Seven of the best video games

Posted on February 18, 2018  in Video Games

“If you don’t play video games, you’re not just missing out, you’re wilfully ignoring the most rapidly evolving creative medium in human history,” according to TV critic Charlie Brooker. Here are seven to get you hooked.

Super Mario Odyssey

Mario has been with many of us since childhood, says Sam Loveridge in GamesRadar. This latest incarnation is a “beautiful homage”, yet with plenty that’s fresh and new. There’s almost too much to explore in Mario’s evolving and intriguing world. This is the “Mario of the future” and the most “glorious” of his adventures to date. (Nintendo Switch.)


Life is Strange: Before the Storm

If sifting through the fallout of a family tragedy doesn’t sound like the usual stuff of video games, that’s because this is no typical game, says Darryn King in 1843 magazine.  The purpose is to explore the inner life of the central character, and there are codes to crack and conundrums to puzzle through on the way. This is an exceptional  game that doesn’t only “dazzle the senses” but also “ensnares the heat”. (Available for Microsoft Windows, PS4 and Xbox One.)


Shadow of the Colossus

The aim is to slay the baddies and win the princess, says Keza MacDonald in The Guardian. Yet as you drive your sword into the ogres and aggressive lizards, this game elicits a feeling not of triumph, but of uneasy self-reflection on the selfish and destructive nature of possessive love. It’s a game of “extraordinary beauty and quiet profundity”. (PlayStation 4.)


Prey

This wonderfully atmospheric science-fiction adventure aboard an alien-infested space station will make you feel clever and paranoid, and will excite, intrigue, and, at least once in the story, absolutely terrify you, says Kirk McKeand in The Daily Telegraph. There are some glitches in the game play, but not enough to stop this being one of the most interesting and special video games of the past year. (Microsoft  Windows, PS4, Xbox One.)


The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild

Zelda is “one of the greatest games of all time”, says  Tim Martin in 1843. In its open world you can go anywhere and do anything; you can sink for hours at a time into a kingdom of glorious vistas and undiscovered corners that “enables the most joyfully lateral kind of puzzle solving”. This game reinvigorates the open-world format. (Nintendo Switch.)


Night in the Woods

It may look like a cutesy platform game, but this acclaimed indie adventure is a much darker tale than it first appears, says the GameCentral column in Metro.It’s essentially a social-realist version of a community-simulation game and a “heartfelt exploration of depression and angst in a small-town, working-class community”. It’s also very funny and one of the most impressive games of the past year. (Switch, PS4, Xbox One, PC.)


Okami

This new release of an ageing game lacks much that is actually new, but still it remains one of the best games ever made, says Ian Dransfield on Trusted Reviews. Okami is a role-playing game where you run around as the goddess of the sun, taking on quests, exploring and discovering hidden secrets. The world created is “genuinely beautiful and enchanting”, and the game play not po-faced but full of wit, imagination and playfulness. It’s fun for all the family. (Microsoft Windows, PS4, Xbox One.)


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Can video games change the world? This D.C. startup is giving it a try

Posted on February 18, 2018  in Video Games

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Video game fans now pay to watch others play games in person

Posted on February 18, 2018  in Video Games

According to the video game market research company SuperData, one in three people on the planet play video games on their computer or phone. That’s two and a half billion people. And esports — competitive video game playing — has exploded over the last couple of decades. It’s now a $1.5 billion business. 

At Blizzard Arena in Burbank, California, a lot of (mostly) young people sit staring at a massive video screen overhead. They’re watching two teams of six professional players battle each other in a video game called “Overwatch.” The players direct online heroes who must save their world from chaos. It’s loud, and the camera angles are fast and unsettling, but the audience follows it seamlessly. Most don’t know (or care) that they’re sitting in the very sound stage where Johnny Carson and Jay Leno filmed ”The Tonight Show” for more than 40 years — they’re totally consumed with what’s happening up on stage. 

Devon Reynolds and a few friends drove down from Seattle and just got into town. 

“We actually drove 19 hours to get here, straight,” he said. “One or two stops for gas, that’s about it.” 

Reynolds plays “Overwatch” at home — a lot. He’s 20 and studying psychology in college, but says he really wants to be a professional esports player.

“That’s eventually the goal,” Reynolds said from the lobby of Blizzard Arena during halftime of an “Overwatch” match. “I’m working on coaching or playing for a team and working our way up, so this is a great experience. I get to see how the players interact, and how much they’re talking, and which players talk the most and things like that. It’s very interesting to see for me.”

It’s interesting to Reynolds and his friends, but they play the game and could be classified as super fans.

So what’s the wider business model for the Overwatch League?

Scott Johnson, who produces a podcast about esports, said it’s emerged a lot differently from traditional sports.

“Everything is kind of flipped in a weird way, and the endgame, therefore, is a little murky,” he explained.

NFL franchises, for example, make big bucks — more than half of their revenue — from TV deals, not so much from building and maintaining stadiums.

Activision Blizzard, the company that owns “Overwatch,” calls itself an entertainment company, but at its core, it’s a video game producer. Johnson said the folks at Blizzard just need to keep selling games.

“They need to have players keep getting excited about this game,” Johnson said. “In Blizzard’s mind, that’s all you need to be a big cash generator for a pretty infinite amount of time.”

Johnson said Blizzard hopes these live events help. But 10 million people around the world watched the first week of the Overwatch League online. “Overwatch” already has a captive audience. And Blizzard’s already monetized ads on those live streams. For a video game competition, the in-person experience seems secondary.

“Blizzard is deciding to take this way further, and as a result, they’re putting way more on the line, including buying their own arena,” Johnson said. “And they’re trying to make this as big and as mainstream as possible.”

These days, all “Overwatch” esports games are played in Burbank. But the plan is that the games will be played in the 12 franchise cities, like in traditional sports. Nate Nanzer, commissioner of the Overwatch League, admitted his league is borrowing from the traditional sports model in the hopes that it’ll create new sources of revenue. 

“If you’re a local auto dealer, you have no reason to sponsor a global esports league,” Nanzer said. “But if there’s a team in Dallas, a team in Houston, a team in Boston, you might actually have a reason to get involved.”

Lots of kids dream of playing professional sports: quarterback of the Dallas Cowboys or center fielder for the Yankees, for example. Some kids still have those dreams. But many others, like 16-year-old Tyler McCormick, think esports are the future.

“Me and my friend, Adrian, ran from school today,” he said. “Right as we got out of school, we sprinted here. It’s unimaginably fun.” 

Esports are already mainstream in places like China and South Korea. Here in the U.S., big names like Robert Kraft, owner of the NFL’s New England Patriots, and Stan Kroenke, who owns the Los Angeles Rams, have been investing in teams. It seems the growth of esports in America is inevitable.

Take me out to the video game, anyone?

 

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Weekend Hot Topic, part 1: How have your tastes in video games changed?

Posted on February 17, 2018  in Video Games

Weekend Hot Topic, part 1: How have your tastes in video games changed?
Middle-Earth: Shadow Of War – do you have time for it?

GameCentral readers discuss how their video game preferences have shifted over the years, from the types of games to the consoles themselves.

The subject for this week’s Hot Topic was suggested by reader Grackle, who asked whether you’ve noticed a change in terms of the types of games you play, or major franchises you’ve changed your opinion on?

Many people mentioned they have less time for games as they’ve got older, with a tendency towards playing less games for shorter period. But others insisted their tastes haven’t really changed that much, just evolved with the technology.

Short, controlled bursts

My tastes in games has changed without me even realising. I am now the proud father to a four-month-old boy, so time and exhaustion play a massive role in what I want to play. Previously I would be chomping at the bit for the latest massive open world action role-playing game that I could sink hours into, so a week into my paternity I decided to treat myself to Middle-Earth: Shadow Of War. Bleary eyed I stuck the disc in and started. Cut scenes began, but I could hear the rumblings of a baby crying. Pausing a cut scene appears to be a luxury in games these days, so the choices were to skip it and have no idea what is going on, or restart the game.

I opted to skip and pause at the first opportunity, so I started on the back foot with no investment in a Tolkien world I usually adore. A few more hours in and I just couldn’t care less about playing. There is too much to do and I just don’t have the patience any more to pretend collecting runes gives me any joy. I fought my own feelings and soldiered on for a few more hours, but lost interest.

It appears now that short bursts of games are not only what I physically have time to play, but look forward too, with the Switch now being my far and away favourite platform – being so commute friendly and all. Dragon Quest Builders is a story-light, chunked up game that I am playing to and from the office and I am loving it, despite having played it on the PlayStation 4 when it first came out and trading it in.
Joe Throup

Happy days

My attitude to games has changed a lot over the last few years.

I used to be a massive GTA fan, spending hours just mucking about, going on rampages, etc. but I just don’t enjoy them anymore. I don’t like the cynical edge and the fact that most of the characters don’t seem to care about anyone around them.

I also prefer games now with a happier vibe, so while I played The Last Of Us I won’t be playing Part II!

I think this change in taste is due to personal circumstances I’ve had to endure the last few years, as all I want from gaming now is a happy escape from it all for a while.
LastYearsModel09 (PSN ID)

Preferred era

My taste in games doesn’t change often, really. When I was in my twenties I was for some reason obsessed with flight simulators (and SimCity 2000). Throughout my thirties and forties however I’ve mainly favoured third person stealth games, tactical squad shooters, and arcade racers.

I think a gamer’s taste in games is also strongly influenced by what dominates the market at the time. Back in the ZX Spectrum days, for instance, text adventures were very popular, but I can’t imagine that type of game would satisfy me now because of advances in game design and technology.

Saying that, I play sixth generation games more than I play new ones. So I have an enduring taste for the PlayStation 2/original Xbox era. Maybe this choice is comparable to record collectors who have a fondness for certain time periods when it comes to music.
msv858 (Twitter)

E-mail your comments to: gamecentral@ukmetro.co.uk

Unbroken bond

I used to hate first person shooters, they made me feel claustrophobic and restricted, so I never played them. I’d play third person games (Prince Of Persia, GTA, Assassin’s Creed, Uncharted) as I felt more able to explore and take in my environment. Now I love the first person aspect, as it allows me to be fully immersed in the world around me.

Maybe it’s due to the addition of larger and larger TVs into our homes, but I find them easier to play than I did several years ago. Also, back in the PlayStation 3 days I played a lot more online FIFA and Call of Duty but on the current gen I just can’t be bothered to stick on my headphones and shout at the TV (having two kids now makes this less appealing, don’t want to wake them!). Which brings me onto free time.

Clearly having kids means less free time, but I do still play games several times each week. Also, now I’ve got my six-year-old daughter into my old PlayStation 3 games I’ve been playing Lego and Burnout Paradise with her. It’s brilliant seeing how much she enjoys this and it’s a bond I never imagined I would build when I started out playing games all those years ago!
Billy Robson

Evolutionary path

My buying habits have definitely changed over the years, in that I probably buy a more varied selection of games now than when I was younger. This is mainly down to more disposable income and so more willing to take a risk on something I may not like. The genres I enjoyed most as a kid though, I still enjoy to this day.

My first ever computer 30 plus years ago was a Sharp MZ700 and I remember my favourite game, Dragon Caves. A Dungeon Master style romp and I’ve enjoyed this genre throughout the generations from Eye Of The Beholder on the Amiga through to Legend Of Grimrock on my laptop. And loved Shining The Holy Ark on the Sega Saturn.

Also, remember all-day sessions of Kick Off and Sensible Soccer with my mates. This has evolved into games of FIFA with my son. Always local multiplayer though, never got into online.

I would say though that family and work commitments have meant that I appreciate the pick up and play simple stuff a lot more these days. I have a soft spot for cheap hidden object adventure games such as the Enigmatis and Eventide series. They’ll never win a game of the year poll but I enjoy them nonetheless. This may also be why I prefer Horizon Zero Dawn to Zelda: Breath Of The Wild. Not that it’s in the same category of simple as the ones I’ve just mentioned, but I definitely found it more accessible from the start.

Good Hot Topic, and it’s made me realise I need to get back into a more complex role-playing style game. I’ve got Divinity: Original Sin and Shadow Tactics in my backlog, so one of these next I think.
Adam

Easy playing

As I have gotten older, my gaming tastes have definitely changed. These days, even though I think I probably still have more free time than most other people due to not having kids or a partner, I have still found myself gravitating towards shorter games that can be completed in a few hours.

Therefore, I tend to play more indie games and a lot more platformers and Metroidvania style games that can be dipped in and out of in short sessions and still feel like I made some progress. I still do enjoy playing the longer games but pick and choose which I play, and they normally take me a lot longer to get through.

Sometimes, after a long day at work, I want to play something but not something too taxing, which is why games like the stuff from Telltale have been great as they kind of like just watching a TV show.
Truk_Kurt (PSN ID)/trukkurt (Steam ID)/Angry_Kurt (Twitter)
Now playing: Wolfenstein II (PS4) and Super Mario Odyssey (Switch)

Catch up on every previous Games Inbox here

Online decline

From December 2005 the games I played most leaned towards online games with the release of the Xbox 360, this made online console gaming possible for me. I had always been interested and dabbled with online with the Dreamcast, but when I played online on Quake III it was lagging badly and I would shoot a rocket and it would take over three seconds before anything happened (this could have been my Internet connection at the time to blame).

Xbox Live on the Xbox 360 allowed you for the first time on the platform to get online without needing a credit card (which I didn’t have so couldn’t get online on Xbox before this), using prepaid codes I jumped in and would play online regularly.

Now on the Xbox One most of my time is now spent on single-player and only occasionally online, I feel I’ve come full circle from single-player to online and back again.

I don’t think my taste in games has changed as I still play and enjoy a wide variety of games just as I always have. Although online gaming is declining for me, due to regular team mates disappearing off the scene.

The format I use most has changed over the years, the first console I bought was a SNES and Nintendo was always my go-to gaming machine up until the Wii. I didn’t care for the direction they took after the GameCube, so moved to Xbox as my main platform and it’s been the that way ever since. I’ve always enjoyed PlayStation as a second option and continue to do so. Nintendo has now become interesting to me again with the Switch, but I’ve yet to join the bandwagon.
R1CH5TER

E-mail your comments to: gamecentral@ukmetro.co.uk

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Kentucky governor heartbroken over shooting, blames violent video games/music lyrics

Posted on February 17, 2018  in Video Games



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    Kentucky governor heartbroken over shooting, blames violent video games/music lyrics

    Posted on February 17, 2018  in Video Games



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    Abortion, video games and masculinity: 3 surprising takes on Florida shooting you might have missed

    Posted on February 17, 2018  in Video Games

    When a national tragedy occurs, everyone has a quick take on it. While some are reasonable and thoughtful, others are confusing and may have nothing to do with what actually happened.

    Here are a few reactions to the tragic school shooting on Wednesday in Parkland, Florida, that you may have missed:

    No. 1: This is why we need abortions

    Actress and former model Rebecca Griffin chose to use the death of 17 students and school staff to further her stance on abortion.

    “Woman puts baby up for adoption, he grows up to be a violent young man who will spend the rest of his life in prison for a mass murder. Tell me more about how abortions are wrong,” Griffin tweeted Thursday.

    After fierce backlash, Griffin would go on to blame readers for failing to properly comprehend her tweet and saying that her point was based on research showing that mental health issues are genetic, and therefore, the unfit parents of shooter Nikolas Cruz, who gave him up for adoption, are to blame for it.

    She also repeatedly tweeted a link to a research paper that claimed to offer evidence that legal abortion leads to a decrease in crime.

    No. 2: Video games are the real problem

    Kentucky Gov. Matt Bevin said a “culture of death that is celebrated” is the problem that leads to mass shootings:

    There are video games that, yes, are listed for mature audiences, but kids play them and everybody knows it, and there’s nothing to prevent the child from playing them. They celebrate the slaughtering of people. There are games that literally replicate and give people the ability to score points for doing the very same thing that these students are doing inside of schools, where you get extra points for finishing someone off who’s lying there begging for their life.

    Bevin didn’t call for a ban on violent video games, but questioned why games like that needed to exist. “This is a cultural problem,” he said.

    No. 3: Boys are broken and masculinity is toxic

    Actor and comedian Michael Ian Black blamed a culture of “caveman” masculinity that has created broken boys who are prone to expressing themselves through violence.

    “Deeper even than the gun problem is this: boys are broken,” Black tweeted Wednesday. “Until we fix men, we need to fix the gun problem.

    “The last 50 years redefined womanhood: women were taught they can be anything. No commensurate movement for men who are still generally locked into the same rigid, outdated model of masculinity and its killing us,” he said.

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    Opinion: Persistent lack of evidence connecting video games and violence

    Posted on February 17, 2018  in Video Games

    Credit: Cristie Guevara/public domain

    In the wake of the Valentine’s Day shooting at a Broward County, Florida high school, a familiar trope has reemerged: Often, when a young man is the shooter, people try to blame the tragedy on violent video games and other forms of media. Florida lawmaker Jared Moskowitz made the connection the day after the shooting, saying the gunman “was prepared to pick off students like it’s a video game.”

    In January, after two students were killed and many others wounded by a 15-year-old shooter in Benton, Kentucky, the state’s governor criticized popular culture, telling reporters, “We can’t celebrate death in video games, celebrate death in TV shows, celebrate death in movies, celebrate death in musical lyrics and remove any sense of morality and sense of higher authority and then expect that things like this are not going to happen.”

    But, speaking as a researcher who has studied violent video games for almost 15 years, I can state that there is no evidence to support these claims that violent media and real-world are connected. As far back as 2011, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that research did not find a clear connection between violent video games and aggressive behavior. Criminologists who study mass shootings specifically refer to those sorts of connections as a “myth.” And in 2017, the Media Psychology and Technology division of the American Psychological Association released a statement I helped craft, suggesting reporters and policymakers cease linking mass shootings to , given the lack of evidence for a link.

    A history of a moral panic

    So why are so many policymakers inclined to blame violent video games for violence? There are two main reasons.

    The first is the psychological research community’s efforts to market itself as strictly scientific. This led to a replication crisis instead, with researchers often unable to repeat the results of their studies. Now, psychology researchers are reassessing their analyses of a wide range of issues – not just violent video games, but implicit racism, power poses and more.

    The other part of the answer lies in the troubled history of research specifically. Beginning in the early 2000s, some scholars, anti-media advocates and professional groups like the APA began working to connect a methodologically messy and often contradictory set of results to public health concerns about violence. This echoed historical patterns of , such as 1950s concerns about comic books and Tipper Gore’s efforts to blame pop and rock music in the 1980s for violence, sex and satanism.

    Particularly in the early 2000s, dubious evidence regarding violent video games was uncritically promoted. But over the years, confidence among scholars that violent video games influence aggression or violence has crumbled.

    Reviewing all the scholarly literature

    My own research has examined the degree to which violent video games can – or can’t – predict youth aggression and violence. In a 2015 meta-analysis, I examined 101 studies on the subject and found that violent video games had little impact on kids’ aggression, mood, helping behavior or grades.

    Two years later, I found evidence that scholarly journals’ editorial biases had distorted the scientific record on violent video games. Experimental studies that found effects were more likely to be published than studies that had found none. This was consistent with others’ findings. As the Supreme Court noted, any impacts due to video games are nearly impossible to distinguish from the effects of other media, like cartoons and movies.

    Any claims that there is consistent evidence that violent video games encourage aggression are simply false.

    Spikes in violent video games’ popularity are well-known to correlate with substantial declines in youth violence – not increases. These correlations are very strong, stronger than most seen in behavioral research. More recent research suggests that the releases of highly popular violent video games are associated with immediate declines in , hinting that the releases may cause the drop-off.

    The role of professional groups

    With so little evidence, why are people like Kentucky Gov. Matt Bevin still trying to blame violent video games for by young men? Can groups like the National Rifle Association seriously blame imaginary guns for ?

    A key element of that problem is the willingness of professional guild organizations such as the APA to promote false beliefs about violent video games. (I’m a fellow of the APA.) These groups mainly exist to promote a profession among news media, the public and policymakers, influencing licensing and insurance laws. They also make it easier to get grants and newspaper headlines. Psychologists and psychology researchers like myself pay them yearly dues to increase the public profile of psychology. But there is a risk the general public may mistake promotional positions for objective science.

    In 2005 the APA released its first policy statement linking violent video games to aggression. However, my recent analysis of internal APA documents with criminologist Allen Copenhaver found that the APA ignored inconsistencies and methodological problems in the research data.

    The APA updated its statement in 2015, but that sparked controversy immediately: More than 230 scholars wrote to the group asking it to stop releasing policy statements altogether. I and others objected to perceived conflicts of interest and lack of transparency tainting the process.

    It’s bad enough that these statements misrepresent the actual scholarly research and misinform the public. But it’s worse when those falsehoods give advocacy groups like the NRA cover to shift blame for violence onto nonissues like video games. The resulting misunderstandings delay efforts to address mental illness and other issues that are actually related to gun violence.


    Explore further:
    Are violent video games associated with more civic behaviors among youth?

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    What a good boy! These video games let you pet dogs — and other animals

    Posted on February 17, 2018  in Video Games

    video games that let you pet very good dogs ddogpuppymgsv

    Video games are filled with senseless competition and violence, as players often engage in battles with artificial intelligence, as well as fellow human beings. It can be a stressful experience for even the most hardened video game warriors, and at the end of the day, it’s nice to just forget about the kingdom you need to save and pet a good dog. Luckily, plenty of game developers feel the same way, as there are several titles available that let you pet your pup – or pup-like creature – possibly while you reassure it in a baby-like voice. Plus, 2018 is the Year of the Dog according to the Chinese zodiac, so we want to make sure you know you can celebrate with video games that let you pet very good pups.

    ‘Watch Dogs 2’ (PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PC)

    Despite having the word “dogs” right in the title, the original Watch Dogs didn’t actually feature any canines. For shame. Thankfully, Ubisoft rectified this issue in the superior sequel, Watch Dogs 2, and added a ton of pleasant puppies to the streets of San Francisco for you to play with.

    Pressing the “pet” button next to a dog will cause your character, Marcus, to kneel down and give the dog the pets and scratches it deserves, accompanied by a few lines of elated dialogue. You’ll come across big, lumbering “tough guy” dogs, as well as tiny lap dogs, but as anyone with a small dog knows, little ones are the quickest to alert you to someone’s presence.

    Buy it now from:

    Amazon

    ‘Metal Gear Solid V’ (Xbox One, Xbox 360, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 3, PC)

    Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain features a few different sidekick characters who can give you additional abilities during your missions. They’re all useful, but none are as adorable and deadly as D-Dog. Initially found as a puppy, D-Dog can pull a knife out of his own combat vest and brutally murder a nearby soldier while you sit and wait. When he returns, you can give him a loving pet. You’ll find him running around Mother Base while you’re busy managing your troops.

    He’s a lovable and deadly character, but you have to be careful when petting D-Dog. Accidentally press the wrong button, and Big Boss will slap the poor pup instead. The noise D-Dog makes will break your heart, and you’ll never want to put him in harm’s way again.

    Buy it now from:

    Amazon

    ‘Far Cry Primal’ (Xbox One, PlayStation 4, PC)

    Technically, there aren’t any “dogs” in Far Cry Primal. However, there are wolves that you can tame, and since dogs descended from wolves and share similar DNA, we’re going to look the other way. As a Beast Master, you have the ability to tame wild animals, and when they’re by your side, you can press a button to lean down to not only pet their head, but give them glorious chin scratches.

    It’s easy to forget that wolves are killing machines more than willing to eat your face off should you wrong them, but Far Cry Primal has made us a little more willing to give one a snuggle.

    Buy it now from:

    Amazon

    ‘Fable III’ (Xbox 360, PC)

    The Fable series prides itself on player freedom, and with that freedom comes the ability to own a furry canine friend. In Fable III, you can level up your dog’s combat prowess, but he’s also a great friend to have around when you want to relax. By whistling at Man’s Best Friend — that’s what he’s called across the trilogy —  you can open up a menu with the ability to play fetch or give your dog a well-earned pet.

    But your dog in Fable III isn’t content to just sit down and wait for you to rub its head. Instead, it leaps into your arms in a beautiful display of love, even licking your face for good measure.

    Buy it now from:

    Amazon

    ‘Fallout 4’ (Xbox One, PlayStation 4, PC)

    Bethesda’s Fallout 4 features a very good German shepherd with a very bad name: Dogmeat. He loves you unconditionally and is undeterred by the obstacles that get in his way, which is why it is so depressing that the base game doesn’t allow you to pet him at all.

    Thankfully, some smart Fallout 4 fans have corrected this mistake.

    A mod called “Pet-Feed-Call Dogmeat,” which you can download on PC and Xbox One, adds a third-person animation allowing you to pet Dogmeat’s head and stare lovingly into his eyes. The mod also allows you to toss him treats so he knows what a good boy he truly is.

    Buy it now from:

    Amazon

    ‘Valiant Hearts: The Great War’ (Android, iOS, Xbox One, Xbox 360, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 3, PC)

    Valiant Hearts: The Great War is an underrated gem that tells the story of World War I from several participants’ perspectives, and one of them is an adorable canine medic named Walt. Near the beginning of the game, you’ll be playing as French soldier Emile when you run into Walt, and you can earn a quick achievement just by giving the brave dog a quick pet.

    Buy it now from:

    Amazon

    ‘The Last Guardian’ (PlayStation 4)

    The Last Guardian’s titular character Trico isn’t really a dog – he’s basically a combination of a dog, a bird, and a cat – but his dedication to protecting his newfound friend and his love of treats are more doglike than most of the other actual dogs we see in video games. With a furry face and a nose just begging for pets, we’ll consider him an honorary dog, and petting him is actually a crucial gameplay element.

    When Trico is injured or frightened, he can begin to lose control and make things difficult. To fix the issue, all you have to do is climb on top of your furry and feathered friend and pet him a few times, and he’ll calm down and allow you to direct him toward objects in the environment again. Many of the game’s most emotional moments come when you’re petting him, and we’d be satisfied if that were the entirety of the game.

    Buy it now from:

    Amazon

    ‘Nintendogs + Cats’ (Nintendo 3DS)

    Nintendogs + Cats lets you live out the fantasy of owning a dog, complete with the ability to give baths, take the furry fellow for a walk, and even give it food and water like a complicated Tamagotchi. Of course, the game also allows you to pet your loving virtual canine with the Nintendo 3DS stylus, and once you start petting, you can keep going for as long as you like.

    If you want to use your time more wisely, you can also brush your dog to remove dirt and build up your “Owner Points.”  Frankly, we think a few good chin scratches and pats on the top of the head are more effective, whether or not they have any produce any meaningful in-game results.

    Buy it now from:

    Amazon

    Honorable mention: ‘Pet the Pup at the Party’ (PC, Mac)

    Every other game on our list features the ability to pet dogs, but only Pet the Pup at the Party’s sole goal is to pet a dog. The game can be downloaded for a price of your choice, and it features 52 different dogs to pet at a party. All you have to do is follow the sound of barking until you find your new friend.

    “Petting” the dog really consists of you just waving your hand in the air a little bit, but the dogs react with glee nonetheless. If ever there were a game that could inspire humanity to do good in the world, that game is Pet the Pup at the Party.

    Download it from:

    Grey2Scale

    Editors’ Recommendations



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    Kentucky governor blames ‘garbage’ video games, culture for school shootings

    Posted on February 17, 2018  in Video Games

    Kentucky Gov. Matt Bevin said he’s heartbroken over this week’s school shooting in Florida.

    However, he believes it’s a cultural issue — and not the access to guns — that is behind the increase in school shootings.

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    “Look at the culture of death that is being celebrated,” Bevin said. “There are video games, that, yes, are listed for mature audiences, but kids play it and everybody knows it and there’s nothing to prevent the child from playing them. It celebrates the slaughtering of people.”

    Bevin called video games where people kill others “garbage,” stating “it’s the same as pornography.” He said “freedom of speech” has been abused by allowing things that are “filthy and disgusting and have no redeemable value.”

    Bevin later tweeted a video discussing a “culture that is crumbling from within,” which de legitimizes life through violent video games, TV shows and music lyrics.

    Democratic U.S. Rep. John Yarmuth criticized Bevin’s comments, saying, “Here’s the thing. You are 25 times more likely to be killed by a gun in the United States than in any other industrialized nation. We’re not the only country with mental health issues. To respond to Gov. Bevin, we are not the only country who plays video games. They play video games all over the world, but they don’t kill people.”

    Bevin had a similar reaction after two students were killed in a school shooting in Benton, Kentucky, last month.

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