I’ve been dabbling in some real-world games this past week. I’m been playing Ingress on my iPhone and actually went out into a field yesterday to play some bocce ball. It’s summer, so trying to find the intersection of “games” and “outside” on the venn diagram is tricky, but mobile gaming certainly makes it easier. Games like Ingress try to motivate you to get outside, walk around and explore, incorporate some light gaming elements along the way. The Vita also had some augmented reality games when it first launched, but those have kind of gone away (along with the system…).

Any other games you’re into playing while out and about?

Thursday, 3:31 pm – Albert

So… random thought. Minecraft Realms was discovered by me today. Which is basically an easy way to host a server and have friends play with you easily. I remember wanting to play multiplayer Minecraft but all the hassles of generating a server or finding someone really deterred me. Now that it’s official and supposedly easy… does anyone want to play Virtual Legos with me? Give it some thought. I mean, eventually you’ll have kids and this will be their pong… or Space Quest, or.. Duck Hunt, or Mario … the point is that you’ll probably have to play it someday. Why not today?

Wednesday, 5:18 pm – Albert

I loved Zombies, Run! It really motivated me to run a lot more and made it fun. Gamifying mundane activities can be fun but I definitely have not seen many games that actually make me want to go out because of it. I’ll just go out. But hey, maybe i’m just old school.

I have never played Mass Effect at all. In fact, I borrowed ME1 from Ricky and played it for like 20 minutes before deciding that it is not for me. I have a feeling that I have a good take on the type of game since I played and was let down by Dragon Age… 2 I want to say. Terrible game. Boo. I wanted more Baldurs Gate and got dialogue game with boring action.

I’m going recommend everyone with a steam account play Unturned.  It’s free to play but I immediately paid the $5.00 to support the 16 year old Canadian creator. It looks and has a similar vibe to Minecraft but is quite different. For one you can get guns and it’s more concentrated on surviving and leveling rather than outright Minecraft lego creations. Check it out! I’ve already spent a couple of hours in it and at first I wasn’t sure about it but the more I play the more i’m hooked. Nothing like scavenging a whole town while taking out zombies. I’m going to experiment with their building system but I can’t stay alive long enough…

Wednesday, 1:07 pm – Ricky

Yeah, fair point, Gavin. It definitely didn’t feel natural bringing out my cellphone to load up Ingress while I was walking around Niagara-on-the-Lake this weekend – it’s probably something I’ll delete in the next couple of weeks. If I’m gaming, I’m gaming, and if I’m not, I’m not. Still, I think there are some interesting hybrids for when I’m gaming on the go – maybe Google Glass will surprise us in a few years, or we’ll all get chip implants in our brain that will make us see zombies running down the street at us. That can’t go wrong, right?

On the Mass Effect 3 ending, I remember hearing that they introduced a new ending with a free patch or piece of DLC (can’t remember which) – maybe it won’t be such a letdown after all!

I’m finally getting on with The Last of Us. After playing for a couple of hours yesterday, I made it to the “winter” portion of the game, and one specific gameplay piece that I won’t spoil. I know Gavin is still planning to play the game when I’m done with it, so I’ll avoid spoilers after I (hopefully) finish it tomorrow. That said, maybe look out for a spoilercast between the 4 of us once Gavin wraps it up, too!

Wednesday, 9:27 am – Gavin

Typically, beyond simple mobile gaming platforms, I don’t mix my gaming with my real life.  Not because I don’t want to, but rather because I’m simply not aware of anything that does it in a particularly fun fashion.  Zombies, Run!! is a good example of one that I believe does it well, but that’s probably more to do with fitness than just trying to get you outside.  I’m working on a basic Couch-to-5K program right now, and that kind of game is beyond my running abilities.  Basically, if it’s nice enough to be outside, and I’m in the mood to play games, then I’m not bringing electronics into the mix.

Holiday weekend here in Ontario, so I did get a bit of gaming in.  I’m into Mass Effect 3 now, probably about 7 or 8 hours.  It picks up fairly soon after ME2 left off and dives right into it.  So far, so good – it’s more of the same from ME2, really.  I’m preparing myself for the letdown ending that everyone complained about a few years ago, but until that point, I’m enjoying myself.

It’s a game with a bit of an identity crisis though.  The characters are generally well-established and interesting, everyone has some motivation beyond “I am here to serve the main character”, and the female characters, including my Shepard, are quite strong, and exist for reasons greater than “men rule women drool lol”.  However, the game is happy to turn that on its head with is ridiculous aesthetic depictions of the female characters.  Boob plate armour everywhere, and many of the female characters are hypersexualized, while the men aren’t doomed to that fate.  It’s like Bioware is aware of feminism, but can’t shake the notion that video games require sexualized women in them.  I know that it’s more for the target market, but plenty of games have shown that you can be financially successful without being overtly sexual (many of those same games have other problems, such as white good others bad, but that’s a topic for another day).

I’m also well into the infamous Water Temple level of The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time 3DS.  I’ve read about this level for the past 16 years and I’ve never known what the deal is.  I’m fairly close to the end of the temple now, and I’m pretty sure I’ve explored everywhere, and I’m still missing one key.  Every time you think you’ve made some progress, another challenge in this level pops up to remind you that you missed something.  It’s an infuriating, brilliant design.  I’m determined to beat this level without any hints or walkthroughs – hopefully I find that ending tonight.

Tuesday, 6:29 am – Ricky

Yeah, a day late. It was a holiday here and I didn’t feel like doing this.