michael_bao.randy_adam_romero

Berkeley student engineers success

Software developer and EECS student Michael Bao makes a name for himself in video games

Michael Bao’s friends call him Mikey, and on the weekends, they all play Mario games on the Wii. Bao, a second-year EECS major at Cal, is known for not being particularly good at Super Mario Bros. — but when it comes to making games, Bao’s friends turn to him for
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illustrationamanda

Sex, Lies and Video Games

Sexism may be the most challenging threat to gaming industry to date

Lara Croft wears a gray tank top, khakis and combat boots. She is known for her outrageously generous bust, but since her debut in 1996’s “Tomb Raider,” her proportions have become increasingly more reasonable and her figure more conducive to exploring tombs. She’s also extremely easy to cosplay, so when
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Bioshock-infinite-Screen

‘BioShock Infinite’ reaches for the skies

“BioShock Infinite” is a unique game. This is not because it is one of the best games released within the past decade. Nor is it because it is the only piece of popular entertainment set in the period of early 1910s American exceptionalism. Nor is it because it features an
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A Life Well Wasted

Internet podcast host Robert Ashley uncovers the most compelling untold video game stories.

In listening to Ashley’s Internet radio show “A Life Well Wasted,” a show about “video games and the people who love them,” you probably will not learn much about the newest video games. You could call it “This American Life” for people who love video games, but even that wouldn’t capture the amount of editing and attention to detail Ashley puts into his show.
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sim city

Piracy woes in ‘SimCity’

Online sign-up requirement undermines entertainment in urban-simulation game

The problem with “SimCity” is that, in order to play it, gamers must be online and connected to EA’s servers.
The problem with EA’s servers is that they cannot handle the masses of people who want to play.
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starcraft.carlton_beener

UC Berkeley students revel in victory in StarCraft tourney

The most popular games in the eSports circuit are reliant on complex strategies, mixing precise micro-management skills with ridiculous amounts of tactics. Within each match is a battle that is determined by cleverness, multitasking skills and reading your opponent, and the result is an experience that mixes the bluffing style of poker, the balance of chess and the dynamism of football.
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depression-quest

‘Depression Quest’ cripples players with despondent gameplay

“Depression Quest” isn’t a typical game. It’s not even typical for an atypical game. Unlike convention-violating indie titles like “Journey” or “The Unfinished Swan,” “Depression Quest” isn’t artistic, captivating or even enjoyable. Rather, it’s a gray, text-based and emotionally draining experience about living with depression. “Depression Quest” casts the player
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scribblenauts

‘Scribblenauts’ game inventive yet limited

Scribblenauts Unlimited” attempts to turn childhood imagination into reality. Name any object, possibly with some adjectives, and “Scribblenauts Unlimited” will recreate it in its world, with its expected behaviors and properties. It is a huge sandbox that is both a toy and a mix of complex systems, which intermingle with
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walking-dead-video-game

‘The Walking Dead’ feeds off player’s choices

“No one is safe in “The Walking Dead.” Unlike the power fantasies zombie-related media typically induce, Telltale’s “The Walking Dead” is about dreadful choices; forced, dysfunctional relationships and the clash between Darwinist survival and civilized morality in the zombie apocalypse. As resources inevitably run low and tensions rise, the choices
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