editorials

Why I Don’t Have A Favorite Game Console

Why I Don’t Have A Favorite Game Console

Whenever I talk about game consoles here on SlashGear, much of the discussion reverts to arguments over which console - the Nintendo Wii, Sony’s PlayStation 3, or the Xbox 360 - is best. And in many cases, gamers pick their favorites and defend it to the bitter end.

Continue Reading

The Convergence Con

The Convergence Con

Tablets, iSuppli tells us, are the new epicenter for convergence, part smartphone and part notebook. It's not a new story; every few months the convergence debate rears its head, suggesting the latest and greatest device category is pulling together the disparate threads of modern digital life and blurring the overall lines between segments in the process. Yet, despite the soothsaying, the "converged" experience still falls well short of the holistic ecosystem we've been promised: we have more devices than ever before, and they seldom talk well to each other.

Continue Reading

Five 80s Tech Movies That Deserve a Refresh

Five 80s Tech Movies That Deserve a Refresh

With Tron: Legacy rebooting the aging 80s sci-fi film, I started thinking about other movies from the 1980s that could use a refresh, if not a long-awaited sequel. These were usually a mix of fantasy and technology, some with a vision of the future, and others with a bent perspective on what was technologically possible. None of these have ever had a feature film sequel, though there may have been occasional TV spin-offs and such. Here's my list, in no particular order.

Continue Reading

Movie Review: Tron (1982)

Movie Review: Tron (1982)

In the run-up to the new Tron sequel, which opens nationwide this Friday, I decided to dust off my old copy of the original 1982 film to see what I'd forgotten, and to determine if the original movie still holds up after almost 30 years. In some ways, the original was groundbreaking. It was infamously excluded from Oscar consideration for the best visual effects category because the use of computer animation was considered cheating. But in many ways Tron is quite derivative of some of the more popular sci-fi movies of its age, most notably the Star Wars movies that had been released by then. Still, it's a fun film to watch, and it offers an interesting preview into what the new sequel might hold.

Continue Reading

Why I’m Willing to Give 3D TV A Try

Why I’m Willing to Give 3D TV A Try

Whether it’s gaming I’m after, or if I want to spend some time watching some of my favorite shows and movies, I’m typically sitting in front of my HDTV each and every night. And since I spend so much of my time with it, having a viable television sitting in my living room is something that I’m always concerned about. But lately, all the talk in the television market has revolved around the future adoption of 3D TV by an increasing number of consumers. Speculation abounds that over time, consumers will start warming to the new technology and see it as a valuable option in their living rooms.

Continue Reading

Time To Buy a Blu-Ray

Time To Buy a Blu-Ray

Consider this my official holiday gift guide column. I'm not going to do a round-up of all my favorite gift ideas. I'm not going to recommend which phone you should buy, which laptop, which Lexus, or whatever. There are plenty of great gift guides to tell you all that (and I've even worked on some of those, myself). I'm not even going to recommend a specific product. I'm just going to tell you to buy a Blu-Ray player. I don't really know which one to buy, and I don't even have one myself. But it's become the number one item on my list, and it should be for you, too.

Continue Reading

2010: The year I forgot about DVDs

2010: The year I forgot about DVDs

As someone who loves to sit down in front of the television after a long day’s work and watch a movie or television show, I typically spend some time each month heading down to Best Buy or browsing Amazon to find out what the latest entertainment releases are. It has become a habit that at least so far, I’m unwilling to give up.

But over the past year, my buying decisions have changed, and I’ve officially ditched DVD in favor of Blu-ray or streaming services.

Continue Reading

Movie Review: Black Swan

Movie Review: Black Swan

For fans of Darren Aronofsky, Black Swan engages some of the director's best tropes. It is thankfully more Pi than The Wrestler, more Requiem for a Dream than The Fountain. Throughout the movie, I had the vague feeling that I should be bored by what I was seeing, but instead I was constantly engaged. Even some of the mundane and tired aspects of this genre felt fresh and new under the hand of Aronofsky and the panicked eye of Natalie Portman.

Continue Reading

A Cartoonish Way to Prevent Cruelty

A Cartoonish Way to Prevent Cruelty

In graduate school, I mostly studied –isms. Feminism. Marxism. Racism. I got a Master's degree in Cultural Theory, which is sort of an intersection between philosophy and deep analysis of English literature. Mostly, I read philosophers who talked about literature and wanted to change the world. When I started my course of study, I thought I would get a PhD. I thought I would become a professor. But over the course of two years of graduate study, I realized that all we were doing was reading and talking. The authors we read were writing mostly in terms so abstract that you could hardly divine what they were talking about, let alone what they wanted to accomplish. It seemed a terrible way to change the world, talking but not doing anything. So, I left.

Continue Reading

Which is better: Short or long video games?

Which is better: Short or long video games?

When it comes to video games, every player is different. Some gamers enjoy sitting down on the couch for hours and playing through an adventure game that might take weeks to complete. And each and every time, they complete it.

Continue Reading

Just admit it: We all want bigger HDTVs

Just admit it: We all want bigger HDTVs

As mentioned in a previous column here on SlashGear, I’m currently in the market to buy a new HDTV. I’ve found that my current 50-inch plasma isn’t performing as well as I would like, and it’s probably about time to replace the aging set with something new. But whenever I go to the store to compare pricing on TVs, I lose all sense of reality. Instead of sticking with my belief that I can probably be quite happy with a 42- or 46-inch television, my eyes start to wander towards the larger, 52- and 55-inch sets.

Continue Reading

The Freedom of WikiSpeech

The Freedom of WikiSpeech

I've had a lot of trouble wrapping my mind around the whole WikiLeaks affair. My first instinct was conservative, to say the least, and perhaps even jingoistic. I agreed with the sentiment that WikiLeaks, and its founder Julian Assange, was directly attacking the U.S. I hadn't felt this way about the previous WikiLeaks revelations, but something about this recent information dump struck me differently. In the past, the revelations had always been about the wars the U.S. is fighting abroad. I have some complicated views on the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, and I won't get into them here. But regardless of whether you are in favor of continuing the fighting abroad or withdrawing all of our troops, I think we can all agree that war is the most dire situation in which a country can find itself. It's not a decision to be made lightly, or ignorantly. That is why I was supportive of previous WikiLeaks actions. Americans should know the truth about the wars we are fighting, and that means the entire truth.

Continue Reading