The Roundup: Dogs Play Games, Lots Of Tech Gift Ideas, Jerry Lawson Google Doodle, Indie Live Expo Winter Fest, And More!

By Ronald Gordon 

Hello and welcome back to the Roundup! The Critics Circle’s way of gathering up news on what happened in the past weeks and giving them the spotlight. This week, we’ve got news on fundraiser the Circle has been doing, video games made to help dogs, budget laptops for gaming, IndieGames Winter Fest and a whole lot more! 

Before we start, I’d like to make note of the Circle’s recent fundraising efforts. With the upcoming Awards Ceremony happening in just one month, the Circle is doing its best to not only prepare for it, but to also provide info on why the event is happening. The Awards Ceremony’s proceeds will go towards providing education for those who want to pursue careers in journalism, video games, and writing in the New York area. If you’d like to know more, or donate to the GivingTuesday fund now, take a look here. You can also get tickets at that link. Thanks so much to those that donate, it really means a lot for the future of Games Journalism!

To start us off we’ve got Tony Polanco’s thoughts on the Alienware AW3423DWF QD-OLED monitor, a handful of letters and numbers on a page and a useful update to its predecessor. Offering a thinner design than the original Alienware 34 Curved QD-LED, the AW3423DWF is similar in all things but price. “This new model is virtually identical to the one released in April — only it’s cheaper, lighter and supports HDMI 2.1. These alterations make an already awesome monitor even better. It’s not worth an upgrade if you already own the previous version, but if you’re looking for one of the best gaming monitors and best curved monitors, you need the new Alienware AW3423DWF QD-OLED in your life.” Those that were in the market for a curved QD-OLED screen can take Tony’s words to heart as the AW3423DWF might just be what they’ve been looking for. 

Stephen Totilo brings news on an adorable advancement in gaming. Thanks to a UK-based games company, aging dogs will soon be able to keep their minds working through the use of video games. “Joipaw’s games, which are still being prototyped, run on a custom saliva-resistant touch-screen console that the canine competitors play with their snouts.” Featuring whack-a-mole, a treat dispenser for rewarding wins, and a motion sensor for collars, Joipaw shows that they’re bringing dog gaming to the forefront one paw at a time. “Joipaw co-founder Dersim Avdar is a lifelong gamer and initially pondered the dog game concept as a way to keep his and his wife’s mixed-breed dog Kawet occupied when their particularly active pet wanted more attention than they could give. Avdar soon realized the idea might have deeper potential to aid dogs’ health.” I’m thoroughly excited to hear about the future developments of Joipaw and how dogs react to being able to game with the best of them. 

When it comes to purchasing laptops, there’s far too many categories to be sure of what you want. But thanks to Michelle Ehrhardt and her article on Gizmodo, you might not have to sift through all of them alone: “Since tablets are more powerful than ever, you might wonder if you even need a laptop. But for all the tablet market offers in convenience, laptops outdo them in power and potential. As full-fledged computers, there’s all sorts of things they can do that your tablet can’t dream of.” With Productivity, Gaming, and Budget laptops being the focus, Michelle’s article tells you which of each category is the best Christmas gift for these holiday seasons. She even offers some clever distinctions between Apple and Windows products, splitting the difference for either preference so that there’s no one distinct choice. 

“Sony just unveiled new mobile motion capture hardware called Mocopi (opens in new tab), a series of lightweight sensors attached to your body that lets you capture motion data with a smartphone app.” That’s Jorge Jimenez bringing you news from PC Gamer about the advancements of V-Tubing through MoCap. Jorge says, “This will allow folks to perform their own motion capture anywhere for a fraction of what this hardware would typically cost and do it much easier than most modern solutions that require a PC or cameras.” I expect the idea of motion capture to take a drastic uptilt thanks to Sony making Mocopi cost effective and lightweight, something that most MoCap systems aren’t. The fact that it’s Mobile compatible is even more good news for the communities of people who enjoy motion capture, as now they’ll be able to make content wherever they are. “So the next time you’re in Japan and see someone spontaneously break out into a dance at a park or back alley with little doohickies attached to their body, just stay clear; they are making content, baby.” 

Beyond The Circle

In a wholesome celebration of Gaming, Google featured late gaming pioneer Jerry Lawson in their custom Google Doodle (By the way, Reggie and Harold did an excellent interview with Jerry’s son when we presented Jerry’s Andrew Yoon Legend Award). “Celebrating the late electronic engineer’s 82nd birthday on December 1, the pixel art Google design has more than meets the eye as clicking it opens up a Brick Out style mini-game,” writes Ryan Dinsdale in his IGN Nordic article. “The real depth comes upon pressing the edit button, however, as it opens up an entirely customizable game editor where users can add enemies, switches, and other objects to create a completely different game.” The interactive doodle sheds a light on Jerry Lawson and what he did for gaming having been an essential part of the development of the first cartridge based console. 

Finally, INDIE Live Expo Winter Fest is happening right now, and you can check it out right here. One of the more compelling trailers is from the upcoming Tsurugihime. See what I mean?

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