The gaming world transcends specie barriers, allowing a fish to play Pokemon as a crowd of online spectators watches. Twitch apologetically responds to the recent muting of videos containing licensed music tracks and makes vows about the future of the technology. Steam adds the ability for users to hide games in their publicly accessible library and Sierra, a long gone studio behind Homeworld and King’s Quest franchises, is being revived. Here is the gaming news daily digest from Guardian Liberty Voice for Aug, 8, 2014.
Fish plays Pokemon
Perhaps one of the most innovative uses of live and interactive video game broadcasting technology was a recent “Twitch plays Pokemon” phenomenon. Over a million players from around the world gathered together to input commands which would be sent to an ongoing Pokemon Red game visible in real-time. Some tried to jeopardized the endeavor, some tried to genuinely push forward, and in the anarchistic chaos they managed to beat the whole game after 16 continuous days. An attempt to play the sequels has since followed, but a whole new spinoff has just launched. Grayson Hopper is now broadcasting his efforts to play the game, with one small caveat – Grayson is a fish. By mapping different sides and corners of the aquarium to the game’s controls, the fish has now managed to pick their first Pokemon and win some battles. The attempt seems like an exercise in testing the viability of random input in video games, but perhaps the mankind is just not giving fish enough credit?
Twitch apologizes for sudden policy changes, makes new promises
Speaking of the game live-streaming service, Twitch has begun muting videos containing copyrighted music tracks using the same algorithm as YouTube. The sudden change caused a lot of anger and worries among the users, particularly when the less-than-accurate detection methods ended up muting official promotional game trailers as well as videos on Twitch’s very own channel. Company CEO Emmett Shear apologized for not announcing the changes sooner, and promised that the copyright protection would never affect live streams, only the saved pre-recorded videos. He also explained they have no intention of banning original in-game music and are giving an option for flagged videos to appeal.
Steam games can now be hidden in user library
Soon after Netflix added a feature allowing their users to hide the films and shows they have watched from their public profiles, the biggest gaming digital distribution service seems to be following the footsteps. The latest Steam beta adds a new hidden category the players can assign their games to, preventing them from showing up on their official library. The feature is peculiar given Steam does not sell any risqué games such as erotic or pornographic titles. However, it does have plenty of bad or even downright broken ones. Lack of curation on Steam has been a growing discussion topic among gamers, so perhaps Valve intends to use the new hide feature as an additional metric for separating the wheat from the chaff.
Sierra making a comeback
Game companies come and go, sometimes disappearing into the ether after many failed titles, sometimes leaving a long legacy of classics and making the fans wonder “what exactly went wrong?” Sierra is one such company, which brought gamers King’s Quest, Police Quest, Homeworld and many other beloved franchises. Nonetheless, with decreasing profitability it was finally transferred to Activision and closed down in 2008. The official website has just relaunched, however, sporting a new glossy Web 2.0 logo as well as a short teaser video. Looks like the legendary studio might be getting another life, but it is not yet clear what kind of projects it will be involved with.
Gaming New Digest From Guardian Liberty Voice Commentary by Jakub Kasztalski
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