Gamer

Sex in the Matrix

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joe@sfbg.com

In the future, humankind will get down and dirty with pixelated playmates. And that future is nearer than one might think.

A year or so from now, the Oculus Rift Virtual Reality headset and other similar devices will hit the market. For the price of an Xbox, you can slip a pair of bulky goggles around your face, pop on surround-sound headphones and find yourself in a near photo-realistic world of electronic imagination.Read more »

From brushes to bytes

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joe@sfbg.com

CAREERS AND ED Matt Burdette is a video game environment artist, crafting expansive alien vistas by tapping out ones and zeroes the way a painter flourishes a brush. But unlike paint on canvas, Burdette's vistas are meant to be explored by video game avatars hunting computerized enemies.Read more »

Boss fight

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joe@sfbg.com

GAMER Imagine Mario telling Nintendo to piss off.

Fed up, he gathers his fellow video game characters for a venting session: Princess Peach, Master Chief, Lara Croft, Nathan Drake, Sonic the Hedgehog, and other characters, waxing philosophic about more inclusive video games. Games where the damsel isn't stashed in a castle, but included in the hero's journey. Afterward, inspired, they go back to the digital world and make those games a reality.Read more »

Play on

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arts@sfbg.com

YEAR IN GAMER The year 2013 has been a triumphant, confident peak in a particularly long generation of gaming, and as we gather around various top ten lists to send off the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 in style, let it be remembered that the pair received a more-than-decent eulogy. Most of the year's accolades will likely fall upon three games, and while all involve guns, shooting and explosions, the refinements of those mechanics demonstrate the medium is unquestionably evolving.Read more »

Don't shoot!

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joe@sfbg.com

YEAR IN GAMER This list is for all the gamers sick of blasting your last alien, zombie, or oppositional soldier of the moment (Nazis, Soviets, snore). That's it. Done! As indie games grow in popularity, games that eschew the "shoot everything" mentality are becoming easier to find. Get your joystick thumbs ready and enjoy this list of 2013's "top games where you don't shoot things."

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Go team!

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joe@sfbg.com

GAMER Winter is the time we spend with loved ones, and much of that time is spent trying desperately to escape. Dodging questions about work, romance, or money from your family? Fear not! Read on for the perfect list of multiplayer video games to keep your relatives occupied — games that even Grandma could play without getting (too) lost. Most of the games on this list are for four players, and span the current and next generations of consoles.

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Pros and cons(oles)

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arts@sfbg.com

GAMER The next generation of game consoles is officially in stores and consumers demand to know — definitively — which is the superior console. Is it the PlayStation 4 or the Xbox One?Read more »

And joysticks for all

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joe@sfbg.com

GAMER Video game heroes often fit the same bland archetype: a hetero white dude with short hair and just the right amount of manly stubble. But now some Bay Area game advocates are pushing that burly soldier with the suspiciously large gun out of his closet.Read more »