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From Texas Standard:

If you would rather be relaxing on a beach right now instead of being stuck at home, or instead of trying to work during the pandemic, there is a way to do that. You can even spend time on that "beach" with family and friends. If that isn't for you, pick a different setting: say, a place akin to a college dorm where friends pop in and out for casual chats. You can do all of this through the many online games and video chatting apps that are increasingly in demand right now.

Some people look at the weeks ahead and wonder how they will keep themselves from going stir crazy.

Across the U.S., new restrictions have limited in-person gatherings in an effort to stem the spread of coronavirus infection, as concern grows from watching its effects on the hard-hit populations of China and Italy, where thousands have died.

Kazuhisa Hashimoto, the man who invented the "Konami code" cheat that became pervasive in video gaming and pop culture, has died.

To use the code, players would press up, up, down, down, left, right, left, right, B, A and the Start button on the controller to make games easier. It was named after the popular Japanese gaming and entertainment company Konami, where Hashimoto worked.

Konami confirmed Hashimoto's death in an email to NPR and said in a tweet that it was saddened to hear the news. His age has been variously reported as 61 and 79.

In the world of cinema, we're led to believe that a given film lives or dies by the creative decisions of a single, all-powerful hand: the director. In the world of video games, things are (usually) different.

Instead, game players and critics tend to celebrate (or condemn) the work of studios and development teams. This focus on a collective group of individuals as opposed to a monolithic auteur feels more honest. After all, video games are made by hundreds — sometimes thousands — of hardworking creatives.

For roughly 36 hours, players who logged into Fortnite, the wildly popular online battle royal video game, were greeted by a black hole that shut down the game itself. But on Tuesday morning, it returned as Fortnite Chapter 2, giving its fans a new map and tweaking how they play the game.

Mario, the mustachioed, overalls-sporting plumber, is the omnipresent figure of video games, an instantly recognizable property in one of the world's biggest entertainment industries. In 1981, Donkey Kong starting taking our quarters at the arcades — here, with Mario at its center, the first platformer was born. When Mario showed up again just a few years later on home consoles with 1985's Super Mario Bros., the result was nothing less than revelatory. Never before had players encountered a game with its level of precision and character-control.

Game Mode: Composer Inon Zur

Jul 16, 2019

“Fallout.” “Dragon Age.” “Prince of Persia.”

Behind these otherworldly games are intricate, otherwordly soundtracks. And behind those soundtracks is Emmy Award-winning composer Inon Zur.

Zur has been composing video game music for over 20 years.

He told Laced Records about the intent behind his work:

Extreme Gaming Has A New Clinical Diagnosis

Jun 19, 2019
Pxhere CC0:

Many people use video games as an escape – a chance to have fun, unwind and sidestep reality, but when does this pastime become a problem? Should excessive gaming be considered a health issue? The World Health Organization says yes.

From Texas Standard:

The total market value of the video-gaming industry reached almost $135 billion in 2018, and with that growth has come an increased demand for game developers. In hopes some of its graduates stand out in that market, the University of Texas at Austin is launching a new degree program in video game design and development.

In this edition of the Here & Now DJ Sessions, host Jeremy Hobson talks with Kate Remington, music director at WSHU, about the composers creating some of the soundtracks to your favorite video games. Gaming music can be just as complex and powerful as music produced for its own sake, Remington says.