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Free Game Downloads from Xbox Live This Month - "Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag" and "Army of Two: The Devil's Cartel" (see the Events Calendar)

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Masiv / Mar 28, 2015
March 24, 2015

In a podcast with Larry "Major Nelson" Hryb, Gearbox Software CEO Randy Pitchford said that Borderlands 2 has sold "well over 12 million units." Pitchford also discussed the path that Borderlands 2 took to current-gen consoles in the Borderlands: The Handsome Collection.



"We announced [The Handsome Collection] after the Xbox One launched. And a lot of people that had upgraded, they really wanted the Pre-Sequel on that platform… So, we got a lot of people telling us 'Please bring this to next-gen!', and our publishing partner, 2K games thought it was probably worth doing. We were too busy, we didn't have the resources to do the upgrade… But we looked around for partners and found some folks up in Chicago known as Iron Galaxy and some folks down in Austin known Armature, who are experts are this kind of stuff. And they were able to jump in and port it… They found that because Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel was on the same engine as Borderlands 2, we were able to get it as basically a free bonus."

Pitchford suggested that the first Borderlands game might also get the remake treatment, but that'd probably depend on how well the Handsome Collection does. GameSpot reviewed Borderlands: The Handsome Collection and awarded it an eight out of ten, noting that the port is "the best Borderlands has looked on a console."

The Handsome Collection is now available on both the Xbox One and the PS4 for $59.99 and includes Borderlands 2 and Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel, and all of the associated DLCs.
Masiv / Jan 21, 2015
There are PC games and there are console games, and nary the twain shall meet. That’s been the narrative so far, but change is afoot. At a Windows 10 press conference, Xbox chief Phil Spencer announced that the new platform is going to allow for cross-platform play between PCs and the Xbox One as part of what looks like a broader push to incorporate Microsoft’s gaming console into a more unified ecosystem.

We think enabling people to play multiplayer games on Windows 10, across Xbox One and Windows 10, will unlock the potential of Xbox Live and grow social network that’s there today,” Spencer said.



Spencer has hinted at cross-platform play with the Xbox One in the past, but it’s looking like Fable: Legends is going to be the first game to actually make it work. It could be a big deal for games in the future: multiplayer games of all stripes live and die by their players, and cross-platform play can allow for larger communities on both Xbox One and PC. There’s no telling how many games will end up taking advantage of this in the future, but I could see Microsoft making a big push with competitive PC games like World of Tanks, already released on the Xbox 360. Imagine League of Legends ported to a console with its community and competition intact: it’s the sort of potential that actually feels, in a way, next-gen.

When we talk about Microsoft’s role in the video game world, we tend to focus on the Xbox One and the always-exciting rivalry with Sony. But that overlooks the tech giant’s arguably prime role in the industry, albeit one that it’s had a troubled relationship with going back to the first Xbox. But today’s announcement, alongside the announcement that the Xbox One will be able to stream on Windows 10 devices, points to a slightly more involved, and slightly more intentional, role in the video game world.

I’m interested to see how this will play out, console-war wise. My guess is that it will take a very long time for any of this to come into maturity, but Windows is one asset Sony just doesn’t have. The benefits, however, stretch past any potential sales boosts for Microsoft’s console. Video games in all their myriad forms are one of the most important ways people interact with their electronics on a daily basis, and Microsoft is smart to start making that a bigger focus.
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Do video games cause violenence?
By Masiv
I'm tired of hearing about how violent video games somehow make people (young people) go out and kill for real. First, let me say that games, movies, and TV do not show violence. No one is really killed or even hurt for that matter. Safety is a priority for the industry. Everyone knows that. What you are watching is the artistic depiction of violence.

In Xavier Morales' review of Quentin Tarantino's Kill Bill, Vol I, entitled "Beauty and violence", he calls the film "a groundbreaking aestheticization of violence." Morales says that the film, which he calls "easily one of the most violent movies ever made" is "a breathtaking landscape in which art and violence coalesce into one unforgettable aesthetic experience".

Film critics analyzing violent film images that seek to aesthetically please the viewer mainly fall into two categories. Critics who see depictions of violence in film as superficial and exploitative argue that it leads audience members to become desensitized to brutality, thus increasing their aggression. On the other hand, critics who view violence as a type of content, or as a theme, claim it is cathartic and provides "acceptable outlets for anti-social impulses.

Either way, when you engage someone in the debate about violent games and anti-social behavior, be sure to remind them that what we are seeing is not really violent, it's the artistic depiction of violence. Just like when they were watching cowboys and Indians as a kid. Did it make them want to seek out Indians (or anyone else) and kill them. NO. It's just entertainment.