/. shares a nine pages TenTonHammer article that explores the current state of beta testing by examining the mistakes of the past. There's something magical about being accepted into a closed beta test. Whether you're a veteran of MMOs who finally decided to jump into the testing portion of a game's development cycle or a relative virgin to the massive multiplayer online (MMO) experience that fell in love with a well-known intellectual property (IP), receiving that "You're Invited!" email from a gaming studio/publisher is like opening presents on Christmas Day. You're ready to work closely with the development team, helping them to iron out bugs and improving game systems that aren't quite up to snuff. As the new kid in the testing phase, you're prepared to formulate fantastic posts for the message boards that argue about the functionality of certain mechanics, and you expect thousands of bugs will be reported thanks to your efforts.
The First Hour is a Web site that "reviews the first hour, and only the first hour, of video and computer games. It gives a minute by minute look at what is potentially a deal breaker for many games.
Reuters report that games push visual system to the limits, brain adapts, and vision improvements last for months: "Adults who play a lot of action video games may be improving their eyesight, United States (U.S.) researchers said on Sunday. They said people who used a video-game training program saw significant improvements in their ability to notice subtle differences in shades of gray, a finding that may help people who have trouble with night driving..."
Blue's News shares a two pages [OC]ModShop article on how hard-core gamers are taking a back seat. -- "Hard core gamers have lost their 'most sought after' position for video game system and software producers. Without a lot of fanfare the developers/manufacturers have found that there is a huge general and casual gamer market out there... young or old, male or female..."
Yesterday, Mod DB revealed its "2008 Mod of the Year Awards" and winners: 7th Annual Mod of the Year Awards - the premiere event that celebrates the best creations within the modding and indie gaming scene.
Digg (#1 and #2) shares PC World's image gallery (36 pages, but here is a one print page) titled "The Hottest -- and Most Hideous -- Video Game Box Art Ever" -- "Why haven't video game boxes ever gotten much respect? Because most are seriously ugly. Video game boxes have never enjoyed a particularly prestigious reputation. That’s because most of them suck... Consequently, the majority of game box ‘art’ resembles a bad cover for a straight-to-digital video disc (DVD) action flick -- no matter how critically acclaimed the game inside may be. Compared to music albums, with their fancy refracting prisms and American-flagged tongues, the majority of boxes are a complete embarrassment.
Digg shares a three pages GamesRadar article: "One is a pure, bubbly and pretty-as-pink princess who rarely reveals even the skin of her ankle. The other is a sassy, sexy and no-nonsense computer program who has spent her entire existence in the nude. Within the tightly linked and extraordinarily small world of videogame voice acting, however, these two women are the exact same person.