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posts by aris

Polybius: The Scariest Game that Never Existed (?)

People say that overexposure to video games can be hazardous to your health. But has there ever been a game that was intentionally dangerous? According to the legend, the US government, in 1981, produced some arcade cabinets which were shipped off to various arcade halls. Those cabinets contained the game Polybius, named after the ancient Greek historian. Polybius was supposed to look like your typical space shooter game, but it came with a twist. It was said to be addictive and would cause effects, such as seizures and hallucinations…on purpose. All these happened under the watchful eyes of “men in black” who would frequent those arcade halls and monitor the behaviour of people playing the game. Some versions of the story claim that the game was the product..

Playing: It’s Serious Business

Today we are going to talk about playing. But we will go deep. In fact, we will travel to the 20th century, when an entire new academic field, the field of Game Studies, was being developed. What? You didn’t know games can be studied academically? Well, you are in for a surprise! You see, playing games has always been part of human nature. As the famous Dutch historian Johan Huizinga would put it, we are “Homo Ludens,” which is also the title of a book he published in 1938. Then, Roger Caillois, a French sociologist, elaborated further on that in 1961 in the book Man, Play and Games. Caillois separated play into two types: ludus and paideia. Ludus, a Latin word, concerns the type of play that is..

Rare Action Figures

At the Arcade Hotel, we love figures and retro toys. If you walk around our lobby or stay in one of our rooms, you will have the opportunity to gaze at our wonderful collection of items from series, such as He-Man and Marvel comics. However, there are a few figures out there that is almost impossible to get for the regular collector. We selected three very interesting cases for you, to have a look as to what makes them so special. Vinyl Cape Jawa This one is highly sought in collector circles and always a part of rare figures discussions. Jawas in the Star Wars universe are known to collect scraps, but this rare Jawa figure with a vinyl cape (instead of the regular cloth one) will cost..

Game Preview: MultiVersus

While the market is replete with Super Smash Bros.-like games, a new platform fighting game is about to drop and has already drawn a lot of attention. MultiVersus is a game pitting various characters from popular culture (more specifically, Warner Bros. properties) against each other in some really wacky battles. So, if you ever wondered what would happen if Taz, Harley Quinn, the Iron Giant, and Jake the Dog duked it out, now it is the time to find out. We have managed to obtain access to the closed alpha testing of the game, and we are bringing you our first impressions. And no, it is not just another Smash clone. Gameplay-wise, MultiVersus reminds, as expected, Nintendo’s series. However, it does so by adding a few twists. The..

Interview: Rob “Professor Game” Alvarez

Rob Alvarez is a teacher at IE Business School in Madrid, B2B product expert, and the host of the “Professor Game” podcast about gamification (for which he also interviewed our own Dan Salmanovich). He recently visited Amsterdam and stayed at our hotel. We met him at the Arcade Hotel’s lobby and had a chat with him on gamification and its application to our lives. Don’t know what gamification is? Well, keep reading! Arcade Hotel: What is it exactly that you do? Rob: It all started with a podcast called “Professor Game,” where every week I have a guest who talks about how to do things with games that are not just entertainment. Based on that, I have done talks, workshops, and teaching all over the world about gamification..

The First Easter Egg…Ever!

Easter is here, and we are back with some unnecessary but cool knowledge for you! A few years ago, we treated you to some nice Easter eggs, collecting some of popular culture’s most interesting secret messages. However, now we would like to share with you the grandaddy of them all: an Easter egg so old that it predates Easter itself. Yes, ladies and gents, history’s first Easter egg goes waaaay back! As we read in the Journal of Geek Studies (yes, that is a thing!), artists in Ancient Egypt would never receive credit for their work. That did not sit well with Senenmut, an architect tasked with building a temple for the pharaoh Hatshepsut.  Senenmut, then, decided to hide an inscription behind a door, which featured his image..

Error Macro: The Character that Fans Made

Today I want to talk to you about Ermac. You see, they often say that video games companies (and companies in general) listen to their fans and that fans can shape the market. This statement holds some truth. Let’s see an example. So, for those of you born after the 90s, back in the day there used to be something called “video game magazines,” which featured news, previews, and tricks about video games. One fateful day in 1992, someone sent a letter (yes, a letter) to Electronic Games Monthly claiming that they had found a secret character, a red ninja named Ermac in the arcade version of the original Mortal Kombat game. Keep in mind that “Ermac” stands for “error macro,” and it was a setting that would..

Five Things Gamers Today Will Find Hard to Understand

Gaming constantly evolves. While elements such as graphics and sound constantly change and improve, there were a few things around the culture of video games that not everyone expected them to go away. But let’s make it clear that no item in this list has totally disappeared, and you can all find them pop-up occasionally here and there, although not at the rate they existed thirty or forty years ago.

Not Sexy, but Deadly: The Case of B. Orchid

Lara Croft. Tifa Lockhart. Cammy White. These are just some examples of female video game characters, introduced in the 90’s, and designed in a way to be sexually attractive and, thus, marketable.

Transmedia Storytelling; and the ‘good transmedia’

Ever since the ancient times, people would narrate various stories that were, in a sense, interconnected.