Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Kevin Interview Media Thing

The Curious Cure

The Curious Cure

How video games have been helping cope with illness.

  1. Everyday, thousands of children around the country are diagnosed with a serious illness, whether it is cancer, autism, or another deadly disease. These children have to undergo serious lifestyle changes and many won’t ever see the outside of a hospital. Their lives are increasingly harder than the average American. They have to deal with real world problems as well as their looming disease which hinders them every day.
  2. On many days, the stress is just too great and most children just want to take their mind of it and escape, even if it is only for a little while. Some find books, others surround themselves with friends and family, but 27 year old Kevin Biondalilo has a different way of living with his autism. Video Games.
  3. “When I was ten I was diagnosed with autism. My life changed in an instant and honestly I didn’t really understand at the time. My parents put me into four different programs immediately to help cope with it and try to take control of it.” 
  4. It wasn’t long until Kevin couldn’t stand it anymore and said enough is enough. 
  5. “I was diagnosed with very partial autism. I could still function, I was able to play sports and run around, but my parents didn’t understand so I told them it needed to end. I stopped going to my autism classes at 15 and around then I found my first video game.”
  6. Kevin bought an Xbox with the money his grandma gave him for Christmas. He got a few games and headed home. After he plugged it in, he immediately had an episode. 
  7. “It was strangely immediate. I turned it on and I went into one of my small episodes. My head feels like it is going to explode and it is just really uncomfortable. The strange thing was, I started playing Halo 2 just to try to get through it and playing the game made me almost completely not pay attention to my pain anymore.”
  8. Over the past few years, video games have begun to evolve in ways no one ever thought were possible. Virtual reality headsets, graphics that look basically real, and stories that are so long you can get lost in the game for hours. Yet, people have still been using them in even more extraordinary ways. There has been a large increase in the use of video games in Hospitals,especially for children. 
  9. Kevin has, for the last three years, been working at Rochester’s Children’s Hospital. He has created a new wing of the hospital completely dedicated to video game research and stress relief. 
  10. “I honestly would work here for free. What I do is so life changing and impact full I wouldn’t trade it for the world. The look on are children’s faces when then are playing a game while getting Chemotherapy is worth every minute I put into this. I can relate to so many of them because I have been there.”
  11. Kevin is not the only one who has started video game sections in hospitals. All around the country and the world, video games are being used to help children deal with the stress of being stuck in a hospital for entire days or weeks. They are used to increase focus in children with autism and Tourette syndrome. Enormous charities have been created to send games to hospitals all over the world.
  12. Whether you are playing casually, playing for competition,or playing to help calm yourself down, video games have changed and impacted lives throughout the world. Who knows in the next few years what video games will help us do next. 

Sunday, April 17, 2016

Unda Da Sea

Subnautica! Finally! I got time to sit down and play Subnautica and it may be a bit late, but good things come to those who do that sort of thing. 

Subnautica is an early access adventure/survival game that takes place after your space ship crashes on a strange planet and you escape in an escape pod. You find out quickly that the world seems to mostly consist of water. Your only option, swim to survive. 

Visually, Subnautica is absolutely staggering. From the ocean biomes to the plant and animal life that inhabits it, the game leaves no one wanting in that department. The vibrant colors of different regions you can explore and the lighting effects at night lead to visually stunning game, no matter what type of settings you run it on.

Now, as it is an early access, some people complain that there isn't a whole lot to do. Those people are wrong. There is so much to do and explore in Subnautica and it is only in Alpha. From hunting down pieces of your destroyed ship for parts, fending off creatures from the deep while you explore, or building your own underwater super fortress, this game has hours upon hours of fun. 

While there is a lot to do, there are four game modes to play on, expanding your options even more. A creative mode for doing whatever you want, a normal survival mode with oxygen, radiation, starvation and dehydration, a mode with just oxygen and radiation, and a hardcore one life setting. 

Depending on what game type you play will depend on what approach you should take to your game. There are many different fish that you can craft into food or water, but there are bigger creatures in the deep that could prove troublesome if taken on to early, especially on hardcore. You will need to craft different objects and useful tools along the way to help you navigate and cultivate this aquatic world you have crashed on. 

On top of all these amazing things, the soundtrack is superb. The transitions from area to area or when your being attacked makes the game just that much better. 

Many people are asking if their computer can run a game even if its just at the minimal requirements. With a lot of games the answer would be yes, but Subnautica might just fit into a different category. You should be able to get away with playing on low settings with your draw distance very low, but to really experience this game and all its H2O antics, it needs to be played with decent settings.

Subnautica has really done amazing for such an early release game. The developers continue to work hard on it and release new content or patches every week or so. Nate Torre, who played Subnautica from the original release, put it perfectly. "Subnautica is the best $20 I have ever spent on a video game, period." Its a fun game that any age of player could enjoy. Go check out the trailer here.

I give Subnautica five delicious Airsacks out of five.

Sunday, April 10, 2016

Prepare To Cry

Dark Souls III is right around the corner and everyone is preparing to cry. The game has already been out in Japan and it finally comes out in the US April 12th. Many people are trying to get a glimpse of the game early, but is it worth watching? 

A long time player of the souls games, Jared Lonsberry, is extremely excited, but is hesitant to watch revealing game play.

"I don't really see a point to watching people play the game before it comes out to us in the US. The point of Dark Souls is to try to test your skills against tough and changing enemies. If you watch people play the game before hand it takes away from the initial experience". 

Many people believe the same thing. It takes away from the surprise. Watching the game before it gets released can help you when it finally comes out, but not experiencing it hands on makes the game a bit lackluster. They don't call it Prepare To Cry for nothing. 

Monday, March 7, 2016

The Culling: Is it worth it?

A fun new game has become the focus of many youtubers recently called, The Culling. The Culling is an early alpha stage game that has a Hunger Games theme, where you and 15 other contestants must battle for survival until there is ultimately a winner.

Many youtubers have shown its interesting mechanics such as spending your Funk Points, the in game currency, to craft different weapons or items to help you succeed in your battle to victory. Others have show how well the game play works for an alpha stage game.

While the combat maybe a little buggy and the guns are overpowered you have to keep in mind it is in alpha. It still has the potential to be an amazing game. At the price of under $15, its hard to beat.

That being said, it may not be for everyone. University of Buffalo student Nate Torre said "I tried to run the game on my new laptop and had a lot of issues. Loading the game was extremely difficult and once I entered the game, the servers were so laggy it was unplayable." He also changed his settings down to lower settings and ran into other problems.

If the settings are turned all the way down to accommodate computers that can't run such a graphically intensive game, the game looks a bit like blurry pixels. There isn't really a happy medium. You have extreme settings for computers that can handle all the textures. Medium settings for a decent computer, which still don't look all that great, and the low settings which are a no go.

I had similar results as I loaded the game on my main computer and on my laptop to test the settings. My main computer is up to date with new graphics cards and ran the game smoothly with little issues. However, my laptop which is only a year old couldn't handle the game on its lowest settings. Not to mention everything morphed together so your character didn't have eyes and a nose, he just had face. His body no longer had abs and an upper chest, he just had chest.

Overall, The Culling has great potential and it is currently great to play if you have a computer that can handle it. If your system does not meet the requirements listed on Steam, you may want to hold off on your purchase until some of the graphic and server issues are fixed. The game programmers are constantly working on The Culling so many of these problems will be fixed in the very near future. You can check out a preview of the game on their website and keep updated with their bug fixes and issues here.

Thursday, February 25, 2016

The Keyboard Conundrum

Every computer gamer has a budget. Each gamer has different tastes, but are always looking out for that game that has hours of game play, but doesn't break the bank. That is the Keyboard Conundrum. What games are worth buying, and what games are a waste of time. In the next few weeks, games will be played, dollars will be spent, and opinions will be shared. We shall explore many games that come out each week and decide what the best bang for your buck will be and what you should be looking forward for.