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Weekend Reading

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Weekend Mobile roundup: QuBIT, Two Worlds II CD and more


Jul 09
// Maurice Tan
Gameloft is having some weird Android giveaway thing where they announce a game that will be free for two hours every day. By the time you read this you'll only have Sunday's giveaway left, but you can keep an eye on their UK...
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Sit back and enjoy this gallery of our elbows


Apr 07
// Niero Gonzalez
Some weeks ago, I asked our readers to follow @Dtoid on Twitter in order to help us rip through the e-penis milestone of 20,000 followers. "What's in it for us?", they asked. As an independent publisher, there ...
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Grand Theft Childhood authors live in concert tonight


Jul 09
// Jonathan Holmes
Cheryl K. Olsen and her husband Larry Kutner have everything it takes to become the next big names in the videogame media wars. So far the only really well known figure we have is Jack Thompson, and we all know what he's like...
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Weekend Reading: Grand Theft Childhood


Jul 06
// 8BitBrian
While I'm certainly not the first person here on Destructoid to talk about Grand Theft Childhood, it's mostly been relegated to highlights of others' discussions or a mention on Podtoid. As per usual, I blame Japan on keeping...
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Weekend Reading: Silently over the Hill?


Jun 29
// 8BitBrian
A few of us here at Destructoid love to have the crap scared out of us. I know for a fact that Jim, Dale, Colette and I all have periodic competitons to see whose erection for Silent Hill is larger. The competition is usually...
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Weekend Reading: Unrequited love in videogames


Mar 16
// 8BitBrian
I've found myself cursing at the members of my party in Final Fantasy Tactics and Disgaea from time to time. I'll chastise the characters for not hitting their targets, or dealing less damage than I wanted them to. Alternativ...
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Shadow of the Colossus' controls are an exercise in art


The "videogames as art" movement is a funny thing
Feb 29
// Joseph Leray
Artsy wonks like myself love to wax philosophic about the potential that games have in terms of narration or eliciting meaningful, emotional player responses. We laud innovative game designers for forcing us to make morally a...
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Weekend Reading: Videogames and the auteur theory


Jan 13
// 8BitBrian
A large portion of the videogames as art debate focuses on games telling serious stories, having deep meaning, and being fairly unique. Yet, there's another issue within the games as art debate that I want to focus on: the au...
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Weekend Reading: And the award goes to...


Jan 06
// 8BitBrian
While mucking up Podtoid 37, I really liked the question about the industry maturing. While videogames are definitely more mainstream, with regular articles covering the industry in the New York Times and the Wall Street Jour...
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Weekend Reading: Zombies! Enemy design in games


Sep 23
// 8BitBrian
Zombies aren't an integral part of video games, but dammit, they should be. Sparked by watching Resident Evil: Extinction, I began to think about enemies in video games. Mostly the run of the mill types: zombies, henchmen, so...
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Weekend Reading: Saving your game


Sep 09
// 8BitBrian
Ever since the inclusion of the NES cartridge battery, we've had a way to save our progress, giving ourselves a little break from the constant struggle to beat a game in one sitting. It was a truly life-changing invention, re...
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Weekend Reading: Cutscenes and the effort to tell a story


Aug 26
// 8BitBrian
Most every game that hits the shelves attempts to tell some sort of story. Whether it be a tale of a captured love, who lies in a faraway castle, or one of revenge, striking down those who cursed your family. Some games try t...
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Weekend Reading: Bridget is straight


Aug 19
// 8BitBrian
From time to time, I love to play devil's advocate. Such an opportunity came across recently, and so I wanted to turn it into a full-fledged post. This week, I'm delving into the depths of /bridget/ itself, in an attempt to a...

Weekend Reading: Goozex or Goosex? Hot game trading action inside!

Aug 12 // 8BitBrian
First off, how the hell did you come up with a name like "Goozex" for the site?After millions poured into market research and surveys, highly paid consultants gave us two options: 1. xbryy  2. uuddllrrabab -- we thought about it, and went with Goozex. We somehow figure it's a fun way to mix together Goods Exchanged.Goozex has recently celebrated its one year anniversary. What sort of ground have you guys covered in that amount of time?A lot! When we first started, we were a disc only operation covering PS1, Dreamcast, Xbox, PS2 and GameCube. We only had a few members in the Washington D.C. area, too. Today, we cover 13 different platforms, including PC games. We've got all members in all 50 states and all Canadian provinces trading on multiple levels, and have over 6,000 unique titles available.What's been the most fun has been the friends we've made in the industry including Destructoid, CAG, and more. Oh, and we've seen members exchange 5 million points between each other, saving about a quarter of million dollars when all added up.Compared to what, the retail value of the games new?No. In our calculation we used an average used price of $20.You guys are in direct competition with the used games market of GameStop and other brick and mortar retailers. Have you noticed any sort of feedback, either from users or from some companies, about your service versus theirs?Yes, from a few companies, and big yes from our members. A lot of unprovoked responses are fired against GameStop and their used game market practices. I'd like to say that on a business level, GameStop is an excellent company that knows how to turn a low margin product, ie video games, into a high margin profit driving cash cow. However, many of our members are their former customers vowing never to return. The whole idea behind Goozex started when the Jon Dugan, Goozex Founder, went into a Gamestop to trade in 17 used titles. He received $34 in store credit. The next day he went back with his brother and saw a lot of his games on the shelf selling for a minimum of $20 each. He felt extremely ripped off and started to draw up the plans that is now Goozex.Where do you see the majority of your trades happening? In the older PS1, Dreamcast, etc group, the last gen of systems, or mostly within this current gen (PS3/360/Wii)?PC titles. We are really filling a void in the marketplace for used PC games. A close second are PS2 games followed by Xbox 360. The next-gen titles are trading a better rate as the market keeps growing with new console sales... understandably, PS3 is not the highest traded.That's really unfortunate for me. I look to Goozex for cheaper PS3 games, but they're only $10 below retail price right now. So, you guys have the Goozex Guarantee on your site as a protection against any problems that occur on the trading end, trying to make users feel safer. How often have you actually had to implement that policy?We have a very low negative feedback ratio to total trades.  It is currently below 4%.  Our neutral feedback ratio is below 1%. We watch those very closely because the gamer's trust is a hard thing to earn. We have internal alarms notifying us of malicious users on both sides of the trade and we act swiftly, when necessary.So, how's your retention rate for members?We know one thing: many of our members are repeat traders. Those that start trading, generally speaking, don't stop after one trade. So the retention rate on members that have started one trade is very high. Across the board our trading growth is nearly double our user growth showing repeat trades. We have members that have traded in the hundreds.  So, what are some of the plans that you guys have in the works to keep the members there?We've got a few big ideas. One is that we're building apps for them use and express themselves like our Goozex signature, which displays up to four network identities and their latest received games. Another, which will launch soon is a flash application for Myspace members to use and share their video game library. We have more in alpha and beta stages. We also run organized events on our forums to build that stronger sense of community like Destructoid does with theirs.  In fact, Destructoid is a very good site to see how to build an engaged and loyal community. Most importantly is that we listen to our members and build the site to their specifications. Almost all the big site developments in the past year have been as a result of our members asking us to do them.When can we expect to see cartridge games on the site?That is a common question -- it depends on a few things. What it takes on our end to add them is we bring in our game content from the Muze database. The second thing we need to do is be able to price them properly. There are a lot of rare games with high prices when you go retro, so we need to be prepared for that, otherwise we start to lose that trust factor. Finally, we need to actually build that into the site. We've never been oppossed to retro game trading, and it has always been an issue of website development.One section of audiences that's a hard market for you are the collectors. How do you try and attract those who don't normally trade off a game when they're done with it?I think in the gaming world, everything starts with the hardcore gamer, who is often times a collector. We started and stil do today, and will moving forward, attract them by showing up in their communities. CAG and GameTZ are great hardcore gaming communities. Next, we have to listen to their inputs after they start trading with us. I'd say nearly all our early members are hardcore collectors and a lot of the site changes is due to their input like the Matrix Match. And the 100% guarantee on all trades is another great way to market to them. Making friends with the hardcore gamer is frankly the only to win in the game trading world.If they don't want to give up their games, they can just buy points. Is there much worry about an influx of points flooding the market?We do monitor our point system in a macro economic type of way and watch for inflation. To address any type of run-on-the-bank situation we are developing plans to extend the value of the Goozex points. This is the only realistic direction to go with Goozex points and we're lining up some great opportunities.  By extend the value, you mean increasing the point limit that a game can go up to?No. I mean by go beyond the current use of Goozex points. Game trading is our core and we want to work around that and give our members some new exciting features that compliment getting a copy of Dead Rising.Will it go as far as offering consoles up for trade?I doubt consoles because of pricing and quality issues.  So, with some of the industry looking down on you, what sort of participation would you like to see from game companies?We have met with a few publishers that are interested in working with us on a various levels.  The level depends really on how we fit their needs and future strategy. But overall, I'd like game companies to approach us for a different way to look at their product line up. In the end, our members are their customers and in order to trade on Goozex, the game must have been purchased retail somewhere. We know how to provide a different perspective on the product life cycle and branding. I'd say game life cycles are longer once they hit Goozex because other people are getting introduced to titles that otherwise they didn't purchase because of the naturally high price points.For those of you who want to sign up, use the coupon Destructoid-2007. You'll get 5 free trades, and a bonus 100 points after your first positive feedback from a trade. As Mark said, "a free Bargain Bin Laden game on us."
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Sounds promising, doesn't it? Well, this week, I've sat down with Mark Nebesky, one of the co-founders, and the CMO of Goozex, Inc. For those of you that don't know, Goozex is a game-trading site that's been around since last...

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Weekend Reading: What's the deal with PC games?


Jul 29
// 8BitBrian
In the attempts at coming up with a title for this week's column, my mind kept coming back to Seinfeld. I suppose it's because the question kept popping up in my mind after I was trying to kill some time in my local GameStop...
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Weekend Reading: What Sony needs to do to pull ahead


Jul 15
// 8BitBrian
So, this week we've seen a ton of news come out from Sony. Early on, we got the announcement that they'll be cutting the price on the PS3 60GB model by $100, sending the sales of the system shooting up. Next, at E3, w...
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Weekend Reading: Pen and paper versus console RPGs, part 3


Jul 08
// 8BitBrian
Yes, this is The Haloing of this Weekend Reading arc of mine. Finally, the comparison between console RPGs and pen & paper RPGs will come to a close. The two will duel it out in epic combat, mostly fuelled by your comment...
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Weekend Reading: Pen and paper versus console RPGs, part 2


Jul 01
// 8BitBrian
Last week, I talked about the difference in storytelling and feeling between pen and paper RPGs and console RPGs. This week, I'm going to be talking about system mechanics and gameplay for the two.There's something to...
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Weekend Reading: Pen and paper versus console RPGs, part 1


Jun 24
// 8BitBrian
The first part in Leigh's "Building a better RPG" mini-series got me to thinking about storytelling in RPGs. I agreed with some of the points in her article, especially the fact that nowadays, the stories are so...
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Weekend Reading: An interview with a father


Jun 18
// 8BitBrian
For this week's session of Weekend Reading, I went and got a few questions in with Mike, the managing editor of GamerDad.com. The site has features and game reviews with a focus on the family and issues that imp...
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Weekend Reading: The encroaching mass of casual games


Jun 10
// 8BitBrian
Let every man, woman, and child know of the threat of casual games. They're infecting our schools and our consoles! Children sit in between classes and play Cooking Mama and Phoenix Wright. Pretty soon, our children will ...
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Weekend Reading: A possible solution to region locking games


Jun 03
// 8BitBrian
Japan is the holy land for gamers since not only are most of the companies that create our favorite games are located there, but also because Japan is a treasure trove of games that have never made its way outside of the isla...
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Weekend Reading: Casual games for hardcore gamers


May 27
// 8BitBrian
I just love it when I can pick up and play a game for 10-15 minutes, or however long it may be, and just play. I'm not necessarily talking about something like Guilty Gear or Red Steel or anything -- instead, I'm talk...
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Weekend Reading: What if the PS3's launch was a year later?


May 13
// 8BitBrian
We've all heard people say that Sony should have waited a year to launch the PS3 -- and they're right. The thing is, very few actually go into why this would have been a good move for Sony. At the time, Sony was ...
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UK's Official Nintendo Magazine: Resident Evil Edition


May 10
// SRVSLPS
The UK's latest issue of Official Nintendo Magazine has the markings of greatness stamped all over it. Not only is it featuring what's new concerning the Resident Evil 4 port and the Wii's exclusive Umbrella Chron...
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Weekend Reading: eBay or Virtual Console? Meditations on retro games


May 06
// 8BitBrian
I'm one of those people who really despised the idea of digital content for games. In my heart, I'm a collector. If you head down to my basement, you'll see racks of DVDs, several bookcases worth of books, a growi...
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Weekend Reading: Remakes, revamps, and the fabled definitive version


Apr 29
// Aaron Linde
Right, so let's get the confusion over quickly: I'm not DMV, I'm his mid-season replacement. But just like any proper stepfather, I'll only be around long enough to shatter your self-esteem and devalue your ho...
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Weekend Reading: An open letter to Christophe Gans


Apr 22
// 8BitBrian
Dear Christophe Gans,How are you doing? My name is Brad Rice, and I'm one of the writers here at Destructoid. Not only that, I'm also planning to go into the film industry once I'm out of college -- and so I feel ...
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Weekend Reading: Time management and gaming


Apr 15
// 8BitBrian
Work or games? That's the question that's been plaguing me this week since I picked up Super Paper Mario on Tuesday, knowing full well that I have a paper due in a week, several articles for Destructoid and Japan...
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Weekend Reading : What's up with all these Final Fantasy games?


Apr 08
// Joseph Leray
Square Enix's announcement of yet another Final Fantasy game a few weeks ago has the interwebs abuzz, lauding the publisher's ability to both take their franchises in exciting new directions and milk them for all their wort...

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