ARCADE FIRE #9: November 17 – November 22nd

By Harry Rabinowitz

Here, we spotlight the movements, mods, and works of art within gaming culture for your ultimate enjoyment. The weekly post is your central point to see just how video games influence the world around us.

With the reveal of the long-awaited Super Smash Bros. for Wii U opening cinematic, Ron Duwell begs the question: What happened to our inspiring, masterfully crafted, adrenaline-inducing openings of yesteryear? Tracing all the way back to the arcade, Duwell follows the timeline of the videogame opening.  What started as eye-catchers moved into introductory stories, hype-generators, and everything in-between. And most of these memorable intros came from Japan, as seen by nearly all of Duwell’s examples.

Robert Morris University in Illinois has a varsity e-sports team, the first of its kind.  What started off as a simple proposal quickly became real, as staffers received thousands of applications from students around the world. Current members of the team focus mainly on League of Legends. And just like any other varsity team, these “e-athletes” receive large scholarships, sometimes up to half their tuition costs. Manoush Zomorodi gives all the details on “Eagles eSports” via WNYC podcast.

Going east, American University’s School of Communication has a different take on the rise of videogames: applying video game design to journalism. And they got $250,000 in grant money to do it. The belief is that videogame design teaches leadership, management, and collaboration in spades, all skills vital to journalism.  Videogame designers also have a skill journalists desperately want: the ability to capture and engage an audience.  Mike Scutari, albeit skeptical, gives the full breakdown here.

If you see anything that you feel is culturally relevant, artistic in merit, or just all-around cool for gamers — please don’t hesitate to let us know @HaroldGoldberg, @KevitoClark, and @HarryRabinowitz.

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