Today is the grand finals of The International 4. It’s a video game tournament that’s been running for 4 years. This year, it has a prize pool of $10.8 million. The British Open is also taking place this weekend and will distribute $9.2 million prize pool to its participants – it’s been running for 150 years.

Check out how The International 4 ranks against other major sporting events in this Polygon article. In summary: This game tournament will fundamentally change the lives of 5 lucky winners tonight. That’s pretty freaking awesome.

Wednesday, 10:19 pm – Albert

Just a quick announcement for anyone (or has a girlfriend/wife/partner) who wants The Sims 2. Just put the following code into Origin (yes… Origin): I-LOVE-THE-SIMS

It’s the Sims 2 plus all the expansions! A sign of a reversal from EA? Probably not. Who knows? Still cool.

Wednesday, 2:40pm – Gavin

You don’t need to watch the show to have any investment in the game.  They are completely independent entities; the only similarity that they share is that they’re set in the same Altman universe.  However, that’s it.

TWD season 1 was generally a slow-paced game with periodic frenetic bursts of action.  The mechanics are slow and really only exist to impart a sense of player agency; it’s story- and character-driven through and through.  It’s not an action game by any possible stretch, and the characters aren’t action heroes, so the action itself is pretty conventional – nobody is going to be doing anything super-heroic.  It’s a story-based adventure game with lots of character development and minimal loss-states.  On the PC, it uses conventional WASD controls with mouse interaction and two-button quick-time events.  I understand that it’s dual-analogue on both the PS3 and 360.  I’ve always found dual-analogue to be an inferior control system for maneuvering a pointer, so I can see what you mean by that.  If you can play it on PC, it’s significantly superior.

The entire purpose of the game is to create and maintain emotional connections with the characters, and to experience the story with those connections in-hand.  The first season achieved this spectacularly; the second season struggled a bit.  Despite a stellar plot and pacing, the writing left something to be desired vis-à-vis emotional attachment to characters – I complained about this a fair bit earlier in the year.

However, that ship was definitely righted with the release of Season 2, Episode 4 yesterday.  It gave this series a much-needed character investment shot-in-the-arm.  I won’t say much else about it for fear of spoiling it, but I have little hesitation at calling this one of the best episodes of the entire series, right there behind the masterpiece of character development that was Season 1, Episode 3.  I’m fully comfortable looking past the few mistakes of this episode simply out of respect for how much it improves over the first three episodes of this season.

Albert, if you like narrative-heavy adventure games, you will love The Walking Dead.  The zombies are really just the setting for the game, not the purpose of the game.  It’s all about character development, narrative design, and storytelling, and it’s done exceptionally well.  Though, at this point, you should wait until the end of season 2 so that you can play all of it at once.

Tuesday, 12:11 pm – matt

I am surprised the coverage videogame tournaments receive and the cash that has been injected into competitions. I agree with you Albert, if I was a younger kid playing videogames now it would be very hard fo me to try and become a “professional” game player. BUT as it is I am not, despite my belief I would rank pretty well 🙂

Despite it being quite popular with the other gamentary folks, I was not a big fan of the Waking dead game, but I also do not watch the show so that might have something do with it. As a game itself with no emotional investment to the entity as it is, I found ti to be a poorly controlled game with very slow mechanics – but im told from fans that makes the game more fun by building up suspense from crappy controls. what do I know…?

I do know Watch_Dogs from Montreal’s ubisoft studio is a pretty cool game, with some very fun hacking elements. as your character progresses and learns more tricks in the city you can change traffic lights to help avoid collision (or start them), shoot up tire spikes and control moveable bridges to escape police cars. hacking individuals and learning little tidbits about their lives and stealing information or bank accounts is pretty awesome. the interaction with the NPC’s like this help make the world feel more alive than say GTA. I was walking down the street hacking a random person when I heard a loud collision as two NPC’s got into a car accident and stated arguing.

pretty awesome.

you can also hack into people houses through their cell phones or computers and get a peek into the twisted interiors of Chicago’s residents, like peeping toms, mom’s freaking out over crying babies, and a man intent on killing his wife as she sleeps, only for her to wake up.

BrzoxDGIMAEZ36t

Monday, 8:21 pm – Albert

If I were a teenager around this time where they were giving this much money for something that I would be doing anyways — I think my career would be “Professional Dotes Guy”. I mean, almost 10 millis?! Are you kidding me? When I was playing CS when it first came out in tournaments I got a lousy hundred bucks or something and some trophy. It all seemed so awesome back then. Kids these days…

What shocks me even more was that ESPN is showing the finals! WOW. That’s pretty cool. I think. Yeah. Cool! Good for those guys who are in the finals and putting their skills to use. I’m sure i’ll catch a replay someday. Meanwhile i’ll just play my little mobile game on the train.

Anyways, I haven’t even played the first walking dead season! I’m kinda hoping to just binge play someday. What do you guys think? Smart decision?

Monday, 12:01 am – Ricky

Scheduling for the win!

Another route I was planning to take this topic: The Walking Dead Season 2: Episode 4 will release this week, and I can guarantee that it will have an impact on me.

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