Barky Pup 2600


I held a seminar at ElectroFringe 2016 on how to program the Atari 2600 and gave a demo of Barky Pup, the barking dog simulator for the Atari 2600 written in assembly.

While I update this post with content from my talk, feel free to download the game and play it in the Stella emulator.

The goal of Barky Pup is simple: you bark! But how often can you keep up the noise before your owners get fed up and have you put to sleep??

Barky Pup screenshot

The Carrot and the Stick


EA leads another unpleasant trend in video games, this time requiring a separate unlock code for online play. They saw the income generated by game resellers like GameStop and decided they wanted a piece of that action. So now you if you resell your copy of Uncharted 3 (Or Battlefield 3, or Dead Space 2, or Madden), expect it to get less money for it, because the game’s next owner will have to separately purchase an online play code if they want all the functionality of the game they just bought. That is, if they’re able to play the game at all.

Which is why I’m glad to see Club Nintendo, which doesn’t punish you for reselling your games, but rewards you with stuff for registering the ones you bought new (and after filling out a survey, that is). It’s a reward system for buying new games, and I’m glad that at least Nintendo doesn’t go out of its way to cripple its own product. I just registered two of my Wii games, and am going to go back for more to see if I have enough points for those sweet Legend of Zelda posters!

Or would you accept complaint-inciting hero?


Regarding my brief essay on how videogames are cruel taskmasters when compared to the halcyon days of say, 2005, CrunchGear has an apt description of Fanboyism: When Expression Meets Desperation.

“Lacking anything real in life, the fanboy latches onto that which he has, and imbues it with the significance he craves.”

They paraphrase Marx, saying fanboyism is the opiate of the internet, which should put those 600 or so words of mine into perspective. But putting repetitive tasks in a game that’s supposed to be fun is still no fun at all. If I wanted to set goals for myself, I wouldn’t be playing video games now, would I?

It’s Guitar Hero, not achievement-unlocking-hero


Let me blow your mind really quickly: playing video games are like doing chores these days, man.

I’ll gloss over how WoW and Farmville are designed to keep you playing (I’ll leave that research to Cracked, apparently), but want to talk about how this extends to even casual games you’ve already bought and paid for.

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