Posts by Chris Morris

  • 'Call of Duty' Twitter stunt fakes a war, upsets everyone

    Chris Morris at Plugged In 8 days ago

    The Call of Duty Twitter feed has 2.8 million followers, but earlier this week, someone at Activision changed the feed's name and bio from " Call of Duty " to the newsy-sounding "Current Events Aggregate" and began issuing alerts:

    BREAKING NEWS: Unconfirmed reports are coming in of an explosion on the North bank of the Singapore Marina.

    That was followed by multiple descriptions of an emerging conflict. Within an hour, the feed tweeted this:

    UPDATE: Singapore Authorities have officially announced a state of emergency and declared martial law.

    It went on to describe shots being fired at civilians, a convoy of military trucks with people in Hazmat suits, and the establishment of a quarantine zone.

    Roughly two hours after the last 'update' about the 'situation,' the feed reverted to Call of Duty and admitted the previous tweets had been a promotion for the upcoming Call of Duty: Black Ops III.


  • Happy 30th birthday, 'Super Mario Bros.'!

    Chris Morris at Plugged In 25 days ago

    A few days earlier, lead designer Shigeru Miyamoto was line dancing. And he might dance again this weekend, when the world celebrates the 30th anniversary of the seminal video game.

    "When we finished it, myself and Mr. [Takashi] Tezuka and Mr. Nakano — who has been working on the games with us for a long time; he's a programmer — the three of us went out to a small country music club close to the old headquarters in Kyoto and we all had a little kanpai [a celebratory toast] to celebrate the completion of the game," Miyamoto told Yahoo Games. "So maybe for the 30th anniversary, the three of us should get back together and go back to that same pub and do a little kanpai."

    And it proved to have plenty of staying power. Taken together, the Super Mario games have accounted for over 310 million copies, making it the biggest franchise in video game history.

    Exemplifying the credo of easy to play, difficult to master, Super Mario Bros. had no instruction booklet. But anyone could pick up a controller and quickly figure out what to do.

    [Related: The 5 Best Super Mario Games]

  • This is the best Monopoly player in the world

    Chris Morris at Plugged In 1 mth ago

    Rich Uncle Pennybags, meet Nicolò Falcone.

    The Italian board game fan hit the mother of all community chests Monday, pocketing $20,580 after winning the 2015 World Monopoly Championship.

    Yes, that is a thing.

    Held in Macao, China, the tournament lured the best players in the world. Falcone had to beat 26 other players in a seris of matches that ran an exhausting 10 straight hours.

    The final battle saw Falcone take on challengers from Japan, the United States, and Norway. Ultimately, Falcone (playing as the race car) faced off against Norway's Bjørn Halvard Knappskog, the previous world champ. Knappskog chose the thimble.

    Falcone's ace in the hole was his ownership of the orange property set (New York Ave,, Tennesee Ave, and St. James Place in the U.S. version of the game). Knappskog had the misfortune to land on two of those properties in succession. With their hotel-level rent as high as it was, that proved to be too much of a financial obstacle and eventually led to his bankruptcy.

    The 2015 event markd the 13th Monopoly world championship. The first was held in 1973 and was won by Lee Bayrd, who was in attendance to watch this year's competition.

  • Collection of buried Atari cartridges sells for over $100,000

    Chris Morris at Plugged In 1 mth ago

    Given, calling the stash of old video games found in a landfill in Alamogordo, New Mexico “trash” isn’t entirely fair. The Atari 2600 cartridges, which were buried after the video game crash of 1983, quickly became an urban legend. The town decided to solve the mystery last April by digging up the landfill, resulting in a hoard of old, busted games.

    So are they worth anything? It turns out that yes, they most certainly are. The city has wrapped up its sale of 881 cartridges found in the landfill, earning $107,930 through a series of eBay auctions. (To save you the math, that works out to $122.50 per cartridge.)

    Showcasing the fanatical interest in the long-buried cartridges, officials say they found buyers from across the world, including Australia, France, Brazil and Singapore. Shipping costs alone for the games topped $26,000.

    The city of Alamogordo will receive $65,037 of the funds, with an additional $16,259 going to the Tularosa Basin Historical Society.

  • Donald Trump: Not so great for gamers

    Chris Morris at Plugged In 1 mth ago

    Donald Trump may have some trouble securing the video game vote.

    While Trump the outrageous GOP candidate hasn't had much to say about video games thus far, Trump the outrageous social networker had plenty to say back in 2012:

    Video game violence & glorification must be stopped—it is creating monsters!

    For context, that tweet was made in the immediate aftermath of the Sandy Hook Elementary School shootings, where a 20-year-old gunman shot and killed 20 students and six adult staffers. It was the deadliest mass shooting at a school in U.S. history and emotions were certainly running high.

    The shooting brought violent video games back into the spotlight, though Trump was one of the first public figures to suggest they might have played a role in the tragedy. Connecticut Senator Christopher Murphy didn't make the accusation until the following January.

    As the mogul continues to dominate headlines, Trump’s old tweet has started making the rounds on Twitter once again. Just like in 2012, gamers — many of whom don't realize they're railing against an old tweet — are outraged, while Trump’s supporters are on the defensive.

  • On heels of scandal, eSports league will introduce drug testing

    Chris Morris at Plugged In 2 mths ago

    The Electronic Sports League (ESL) has announced it will begin policing substances that could unfairly improve a competitor's performance.

    "The growing visibility and popularity of eSports, as well as increasing prize pools, make it not only more tempting for teams and players to break the rules, but also more damaging to our sport as a whole when they do," the group said in a statement. "ESL has an ongoing commitment to safeguarding the integrity of our competitions and providing a fair playground for professional players. With this in mind, today we’re announcing further steps our organization is taking, to determine and enforce guidelines and rules the use of performance enhancing drugs (PEDs) at ESL events."

    The first of those steps will be randomized skin tests at the group's One Cologne event next month. Players will be checked for banned substances, though the ESL did not specifically name which drugs are prohibited.

    Adderall is normally used to treat Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and can sharpen the focus of users, a useful skill in the fast-moving world of eSports.

  • Pro gamer celebrates too early, loses match

    Chris Morris at Plugged In 2 mths ago

    Over-the-top celebrations are perfectly fine when you've won a big game. Just make sure you've actually won first.

    That's a lesson one pro gamer learned during the Evolution Championship Series (more commonly referred to as EVO) this past weekend when he prematurely took a victory lap.

    A player named Woshige was in the semi-finals in a tough Guilty Gear Xrd SIGN battle against a fellow pro named Ogawa. After a back and forth fight, Woshige scored a knockout and began strutting around the stage with his arms raised.

    The problem? The game wasn't over. He still needed another victory to seal it.

    He realized that a few seconds too late, rushing back over to grab the controller as Ogawa effortless pounded his opponent to win the semifinal. As Ogawa made his own victory lap, Woshige sat slumped in his chair with his head down, humiliated but chuckling at his own mistake.

    Ogawa went on to win the tournament. Woshige came in third.

  • 10 of the biggest duds in video game history

    Chris Morris at Plugged In 2 mths ago

    We saw plenty of great looking games at the recent E3 2015 conference. And while some of those will indeed live up to expectations, every single one is just a few bad decisions away from disaster.

    All too often, we convince ourselves that a game is going to be awesome based on fancy tech demos, early impressions, or the developer's pedigree…only to watch in horror as 50 things go wrong and it turns out to be a mess. Here's a look at 10 of the biggest busts in gaming history.

    Duke Nukem Forever (2011)

    The one, the only. Long considered vaporware, this ill-fated shooter actually got released. It probably shouldn’t have.

    First announced in 1997, Duke Nukem Forever was originally planned for a 1998 release. Ten years later, gamers still didn’t have anything to play, and when developer 3D Realms downsized in 2009, the game was seemingly cancelled. But where there’s a square-jawed, butt-kicking icon, there’s a way. Gearbox Software swooped in and resurrected Duke Nukem Forever a year later, and it finally hit shelves in 2011.

    Daikatana (2000)

    E.T. (1982)

    Advent Rising (2005)

  • Satoru Iwata: A remembrance

    Chris Morris at Plugged In 2 mths ago

    Like many gamers, I was shocked to hear Sunday night's news about the sudden, unexpected passing of Nintendo president Satoru Iwata. Just as Nintendo isn't your typical video game company, Satoru Iwata wasn't your typical video game executive.

    It would be inaccurate to say Iwata and I were friends. We never discussed our families, we never met in non-professional circumstances, and we were often forced to do the pas de deux of a reporter and executive who have different goals in the conversation. But our relationship, which evolved over the course of many annual get-togethers at the E3 video game conference from 2005 to 2013, was definitely friendly.

    What struck me most about Iwata was his enthusiasm for gaming and the benefits it could offer. That kind of optimism is hard to maintain when you're in a leadership role, juggling the constant demand from shareholders to improve performance and the many moving parts of a massive, multi-national company.

    I'm going to miss him a lot.

  • Nintendo: A new 'Mario' movie isn’t out of the question

    Chris Morris at Plugged In 3 mths ago

    That's a big reversal, given the company's last non- Pokemon big-screen effort — the disastrous 1993 Super Mario Bros. movie — was considered a failure by pretty much everyone involved (especially star Bob Hoskins).

    But design legend and Mario creator Shigeru Miyamoto is ready to explore more film roles for the portly plumber.

    "As we look more broadly at what is Nintendo's role as an entertainment company, we're starting to think more and more about how movies can fit in with that. We'll potentially be looking at things like movies in the future," Miyamoto told Yahoo Games in a recent meeting at the E3 conference in Los Angeles.

    Should films enter the picture, Nintendo's Software Planning & Development Division, which Miyamoto runs with Shinya Takahashi, will oversee those.

    "Under my team is a group responsible for Mario's representation in artwork and how we use the character - and that team would be very involved with any thing done with the Mario character [or other characters] in a movie setting," says Takahashi.