Category: Uncategorized

Expanding Coverage at Play With Pixels

After some time off from the site to wrap up some long term projects (including completing a degree) and on the weekend of PAX South 2016 which we didn’t cover, it seemed like a good time to examine our event coverage over the years. Where can we improve and build upon the Play With Pixels editorial experience in the way that we cover big shows like PAX or even how we choose which events to attend?

First and foremost, there’s a big opportunity to cover the next big changes in interactive entertainment as significant announcements and access to cutting edge experiences such as virtual reality are about to become available to the general public in 2016. The Oculus Rift and HTC Vive VR headsets will release this year with the Microsoft HoloLens augmented reality headset tentatively slated for a year after that, bringing a paradigm shift in how we experience and interact with digital experiences at a high but viable price point for end users. This is the first time that powerful consumer hardware has been produced in parallel with software optimized for the strengths of VR for a mass market and Play With Pixels will invest in bringing that coverage to you.

I have some takeaways for our future coverage of extended gaming conventions or events, namely that Play With Pixels should cover more of what gaming events offer beyond upcoming games and discussions. As an avowed collectible fan and Pinny Arcade obsessive, the explosion of gaming themed statues and shirts as well as the boom in toys to life figures like Nintendo amiibos and Disney Infinity are fun products that we’ll be spending more time on.

That said, panel recaps are niche and hard to find elsewhere on the Internet so we will continue to recap these conversations, especially for the discussion focused talks in smaller venues at PAX Prime and East. Our team has received positive feedback and traffic for panel recaps on topics varying from the relationship between women in the military and games and the myriad of challenges in launching a new hardware platform to the meaning of virtual identity in the modern world. I want to redouble our efforts in attending these talks and providing coverage of the exploratory, informational and inspirational topics discussed at these lower attendance but vitally important parts of PAX.

Our event coverage also needs multimedia! I have been taking a wide array of pictures over the years that don’t make it into the articles, either surfacing on social media via Twitter or remaining hidden from the world on flash memory. I have been reticent to share pictures and video that don’t come out looking polished or professional quality, but there’s still value in sharing original media from the event floor: our posts for PAX Prime 2015 had embedded YouTube links to production trailers and announcement videos, but we can take better advantage of our on the ground press access. I will be using an iPhone 6S for future events, so getting high quality images into our coverage posts is a long awaited production development to look forward to.

There are some bigger features in the editorial pipeline that should establish an expanded editorial path for Play With Pixels, I’m looking forward to sharing the exciting future of gaming with all of you in 2016 and beyond!

Satoru Iwata: Pioneer, Innovator and Legend

It is always shocking to hear of a sudden and unexpected passing in the video games industry, and it hits especially hard when we lose someone who has contributed immeasurably to the gaming community. Today is a sad day that marks the sudden passing of Satoru Iwata, president and CEO of Nintendo who spent most of his professional career in programming, planning and eventually leading game development efforts at a legendary company that is regarded as the video game medium’s equivalent of Disney.

Like most of us, I only know him from press releases and online broadcasts such as Nintendo Direct from the recent E3 2015 event. Iwata always came across as a thoughtful and extremely intelligent man who not only continued to have a passion for interactive entertainment but also understood the trials, tribulations and minute details that went into creating and sharing games that would be enjoyed by all. Nintendo has continued to be a populist and family friendly company with innovative hardware designs in an era that is increasingly focusing on mature rated titles and standardized systems, a leadership vision that was driven by the vision of Iwata. In his stead, legendary designer Shigeru Miyamoto and top hardware executive Genyo Takeda will serve as co-heads of the company until a permanent replacement is appointed.

As the news spreads among the video game community, Polygon is gathering tributes on a page that I encourage you to revisit as more of them come in. My lasting memory of Iwata-san will be as he appeared only a month ago at E3: fiercely intelligent and always focusing on the fun.