What Video Games Would You Teach?

Friday, January 6, 2012 at 11:00 am
Learn why a Hadouken rules.
If you're a master of Mario video games, maybe you'd like to teach a class on it. That's right - an entire class just on the complexities of Mario.

New on the Web scene, Skillshare is welcoming teachers (and those who've dreamed of teaching) from a variety of backgrounds, including video games. It's "a community marketplace to learn anything from anyone. We believe that everyone has something they want to learn and something they can teach to others"

So what video games would you teach? Check out some examples after the jump.

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What Was Your Biggest Disappointment Of 2011?

Wednesday, December 28, 2011 at 10:00 am
This year had a lot of HUGE stuff in it. About a thousand AAA blockbusters, some notable indies, and (in my opinion) a whole lot of disappointment. Pretty much through-and-through, I thought this year had nothing on the past few, and that what was supposed to be the dopest of the dope ended up being not that tight.

I say this because I wasn't that into Battlefield 3, I wasn't that into CODMW3, and I haven't played many games that have beckoned me as I slept. I haven't really stayed up late burning through some lofty climactic narrative trope, and I haven't completed a game and started back over immediately because I was so in love with it. That, to me, is a disappointment.

So let's talk. What bummed you out? I'll bring up some of mine on the other end of the link.

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What Did Dear Santa Claus Bring You For Christmas?

Tuesday, December 27, 2011 at 10:00 am
Well, we made it folks. We're past Christmas -- well, past most major religious/secular celebratory gift-giving days of this year. Next we got New Year's Eve (or, as I call it, "Drink Champagne Till You Puke And Surprise Kiss Random People Then Run Away Before The Pepper Spray Comes Out" Day). Between the two, we've got a week to explore all our new goodies that have been given to us before we have to resume a long and holiday-less season.

This Christmas netted me NOTHING video game related, except for a Nook Tablet. Which is totally dope, don't get me wrong (I love it!), but I'm going to use that for reading, mainly. Because if there's something I don't do enough anymore, it's read. My family realizes that I get almost every game I am itching to play for free-zy from publishers, so they can buy me actually thoughtful, practical presents like nice sweaters and warm bed linens and all that. I got my brothers game-related stuff though -- to one I got a pre-order code for Mass Effect 3 Collector's Edition, and the other I got a guide to Skyward Sward. Not bad a haul, right?

So, I apologize that I don't have anything particularly pertinent to discuss with you that I personally received, but I would love to hear what you all got! And if you have any recommendations, I would find that lovely. Happy holidays people.

Happy Holidays from Joystick Division

Friday, December 23, 2011 at 11:00 am
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 It's been a wild year for video games, culminating with a holiday window overflowing with quality titles that should keep everyone busy well into the New Year.

The last quarter of 2011 also served as a transitional period for us here at Joystick Division. But with a little determination and the support of some creative new writers, we've managed to keep the ship afloat with unique columns and thoughtful stories you can't find anywhere else.

And we couldn't have done any of it without you, our readers. Headed into the holiday season, we'd like to take this opportunity to thank everyone for stopping by. Whether you're a daily visitor, an occasional lurker, a frequent commenter --or if this is the first post you're reading on the site-- we thank you and wish you the happiest of holidays. Whether you plan to celebrate Christmas, Chanukah, Kwanzaa or are just looking forward to the weekend, we hope these next few days are especially good to you.

Dash on past that jump for some additional holiday banter.

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What Are You Playing This Weekend?

Friday, December 16, 2011 at 3:00 pm
Hi Joystick Division faithful. It is that time of week again -- the time where we all profess our nerddom and tell the world that we are going to be staying in this weekend, playing video games on our couches. Who needs dive bars when you have health bars? Who needs dance clubs when you have dance sims?

There hasn't been much in the way of big, new games recently, but I know that many of you are just getting to some of the dozen AAA blockbusters that released in the previous months. I am still plugging away at Shadows of the Damned (on the hardest mode, mind you), but I believe this will be a weekend of Battlefield 3 and Gears of War 3 if my gaming crew has anything to say about it.

What about you?

What Do You Think Of The Last Of Us?

Tuesday, December 13, 2011 at 2:00 pm

Naughty Dog was pleased to (slowly, cryptically) announce their upcoming survival-action game The Last of Us. First, they dropped a strange non video game related trailer, hinting at some sort of infection/zombie/insanity virus (or fungus), which led to much speculation and a few 28 Days Later... references. Then, they confirmed the insanity fungus with a cinematic trailer at Spike TV's Video Game Awards. 

So, Naughty Dog makes good video games, and they have for a while now. They work hard to produce well-written stories, and back up their action with a lot of excellent gameplay mechanics. Rarely do they swing and miss, and rarely do they lack originality.

Watch this trailer, and tell me what you think. The idea of two protagonists is an exciting prospect for gamers, as we will get to experience great writing and actual video game personalities, as well as explore the personalities of two likely well-drawn characters. Obviously, it looks very nice, too.

But I thought Dead Island ended the zombie craze, for now anyway. And I don't know if we're far enough away from the zombie craze to really start getting excited for them again. It seems like this is a played out storyline to be exploring at this juncture, even if "crazy-making brain-eating fungus" isn't technically zombie. That comes from a fan of zombie games, mind you.

What Are You Playing This Weekend?

Friday, December 9, 2011 at 1:00 pm
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Happy Friday, you wonderful people. I know I'm glad to see this weekend upcoming, how about you? I look forward to all the many hours of NFL I'll be able to watch, the many beers I'll drink, and (of course) the great many video games I'll be able to play.

My shelf is stacked with a whole lot of still packaged games. Some I need to review, some I bought in the hopes that I'd make time for them. Skyrim, Dark Souls, and The King Of Fighters VIII. And yet, I've found myself replaying Catherine and Shadows of the Damned. I love those games. Strong stories, people. Keeps you guessing, lots of surprises. I know a lot of you didn't buy them, but I'd highly recommend you go out and purchase. They didn't sell well, but it isn't because they were bad. It's because they were weird. And weird is good.

Anyway, all that may change when I get a call from my friends to play Gears of War 3 or Battlefield. Because remember when I said "weird is good"? Also, being social is good, too.

Click the link.

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Join The Joystick Division: Writers Wanted!

Wednesday, November 2, 2011 at 2:00 pm
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Have you ever wanted to break into writing about games? Here's your chance.

We're looking for a few talented folks to join the team. As you've seen over the last few days, we've shifted to a focus on feature writing, so we're looking for people who want to contribute well-written, well-conceived longform pieces. We're also looking for commitment: anyone accepted into the JD team will be expected to contribute at least one piece per week by an assigned deadline.

Get the full scoop after the jump.
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"Big Tuesdays" Are A Double-Edged Sword

Tuesday, November 1, 2011 at 11:00 am
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To kick off this week, we have a guest column by Divisionary legend, Benjamin Wallen (aka Ben-Jamin). He's been a guest columnist and featured commenter here before, and his post will signify the start of what we hope to be a great many guest features by our fabulous readership.

Tuesday Afternoon -

It's this day that I dread the most. The day a big, life-changing, epic new game comes out. Most hardcore gamers run to their stores-of-choice to grab their pre-orders, or eagerly await the UPS guy to show up with their launch day game -- wrapped in glorious yellow packaging and bubble wrap. I find myself right along with them. Until I get home.

I came back to my desk to find those yellow envelopes sitting on my desk. Batman: Arkham City and Battlefield 3 sitting, ready to be pop'd open and grind'd on all night. I toss them in my bag so I don't leave them here and count the hours as they get closer and closer to 5, wondering what will be played first. Considering where I used to be as a gamer, I am no where near as bad now as I once was.

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Halloween: What's Your Game-Inspired Costume

Friday, October 28, 2011 at 12:00 pm
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​Halloween is actually on Monday, but we know most of you are making your holiday plans for this weekend. And we know at least some of you are gonna be sporting gaming-inspired costumes. If so, let us know what your costume is gonna be in the comments.

Even better, send a pic to joystickdivision@gmail.com! If we get enough quality pics, we'll post up a gallery of them next week!

Happy haunting, folks!