March 23, 2009 |
It's no coincidence that most of the blockbuster video games of the last two decades have been gorefests and war simulations. Their creators were single guys in their teens and 20s whose all-night coding sessions were fueled by Doritos and Mountain Dew. John Smedley was one of them. In the mid-1990s, he helped make the trailblazing online game EverQuest, a slash-'em-up fantasy world that only a Dungeons & Dragons-obsessed geek could love. But Smedley has grown up, and so has the industry.
March 17, 2009 |
Nirvana for the video game industry looks a lot like World of Warcraft, except without the arcane rules that mystify the average player. That vision is the driving force behind Lego Universe, a new online game that's based on the toy building bricks franchise and is scheduled for release in 2010. Developed by a San Mateo, Calif., firm called Gazillion Entertainment, the game is designed so that even a 5-year-old and his grandfather can play together.
November 21, 2008 |
Not all Google Inc. endeavors turn into gold. Lively, a virtual world the Internet giant launched less than five months ago, will be shut down at the end of the year so Google can focus on its bread-and-butter search business. The Mountain View, Calif., company said late Wednesday that it supported experimentation but "we've always accepted that when you take these kinds of risks, not every bet is going to pay off."
November 7, 2008 |
Ever wonder how a gladiator fight looked from the front row of the Colosseum in Rome? "Rewind Rome," a 3-D simulation presented Thursday in a theater a few steps from the ruined arena, offers visitors the chance to experience daily life in the ancient capital. Virtual tourists will see the simulation on a giant screen and animated characters will guide them through the streets of Rome as they appeared in AD 310. Some of the reconstructed monuments include the Forum, ancient Rome's center of power, and the temple of Vesta, where visitors will spy on a secret rite dedicated to the pagan goddess.
September 12, 2008 |
Virtual worlds, once a niche market within the video game industry, are heading to the big leagues. Six Degrees Games Inc., a Marina del Rey company, is planning this fall to launch a sports-based virtual world for kids called ActionAllStars.com. Members will be able to create avatars, chat with buddies as well as collect virtual trophies for competing in games based on baseball, basketball and extreme sports. In less than two years, the tiny company has scored hard-to-get licensing deals from Major League Baseball, the National Basketball Assn.
April 2, 2008 |
A man with an oversized top hat sat in the front row of a House subcommittee hearing Tuesday, munching on popcorn. Next to him was a woman wearing wings that let her fly out of her seat. And she was sitting by a large bumblebee. It wasn't an April Fool's Day stunt but the first time a congressional hearing was simulcast into the popular online virtual world called Second Life.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
November 24, 2007 |
In a computer lab at UCLA, the worlds of cyberspace and Medieval Europe merge. A large group of computer engineers, scholars, students and other experts at UCLA have built a virtual cathedral -- a computer re-creation of the Santiago de Compostela Cathedral as the building probably appeared when it was dedicated in northwest Spain in 1211. Projected onto a screen curving nearly a half-circle, the image looks as if it belongs in the virtual world of a video game.
August 24, 2007 |
Exploring the connection between our mental and physical perceptions of ourselves, scientists on Thursday said they used virtual-reality goggles to induce out-of-body sensations in healthy volunteers. In simple experiments carried out by teams in Switzerland and England, test subjects looking at video images of themselves projected through the goggles reacted as if their own bodies had been touched when their virtual selves were stroked or poked.
June 16, 2007 |
Imagine strolling through the Forum like Emperor Constantine, or climbing the marble steps of the Senate amid the splendor that was ancient Rome, the caput mundi, the capital of the world. Such flights of fancy have long been the dream of many a scholar, tourist and ordinary modern Roman. A new $2-million, 3-D computer project by a team of international experts may make the dream a reality -- a virtual reality.
June 4, 2007 |
Kathy Choi touches a kiosk screen, then looks up at a larger wall screen to see digitally created yellowish-brown mounds snaking through bright green grassland dotted with brilliant blue rivers and lakes. The ancient earthworks in the Ohio River Valley now are grass- and tree-covered mounds and walls diminished by development, floods and agriculture. But she's seeing them as they might have looked 2,000 years ago by way of a computerized fly-over.