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Portal is the most subversive game ever

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344w ago - This modern masterpiece shakes the FPS genre to the very core.. Warning: The text you are about to read contains heady intellectual discourse and is not recommended for anyone made queasy by the discussion of feminist film theory or psychoanalytical signifiers.

Since its release two months ago, Portal has met with overwhelming popular and critical success thanks to its quirky physics and dystopian humor. Yet beneath the mainstream success lies the most subversive first-person shooter (FPS) ever created. Portal is essentially a feminist critique of the FPS genre, flawlessly executed from within the margins it assails. Gender politics just got a whole lot more fun.

Deconstructing the term "first-person shooter" reveals two fundamental concepts of the game mechanic. "First-person" is a personal pronoun that provides linguistic context, or origo, to enable discourse. It is a perspective. "Shooter" describes the discourse that is to occur, specifically the shooting and ultimately killing of the other participants. Thus, a "first-person shooter" is easily identifiable by its specific perceptual presentation of game events, and the presence of a gun or other weapon.

The gun is typically regarded as a phallic symbol of masculine agency, through which power is won and maintained. In any first-person...
 

I don't care what it says -- Sega must revive the Dreamcast

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344w ago - After writing a quick little something here on The Digital Home about my hopes for a second Dreamcast by 2009, a flood of news and rumors hit the Web about the future of Sega.

First, it was discovered that Sega filed for a "renewal of brand" on the Dreamcast name and that was quickly followed with rampant speculation that Sega may be planning on bringing back its venerable console. Unfortunately, the company quickly responded by telling Gamedaily that it "has no plans to get back into the console business" and that the company is "very happy being a platform agnostic company and have moved up the ranks the past three years from #11, to #9, and now stand at #6 in terms of our market share by units among third-party publishers. We like our current strategy and have no plans to change in the middle of this outstanding growth."

Huh?

Am I the only person who thinks this makes absolutely no sense? Sega is proud to be the sixth-largest game developer in the world and wouldn't want to do anything else? Does this company realize that it's competing in an extremely competitive environment and due to the recent merger between Activision and Vivendi, its chances of owning more shelf space are dwindling by the minute?

Sure, Sega has been successful in its software endeavor, but if it really...
 

CompUSA to close all of its 103 stores

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344w ago - The consumer electronics store will run store-closing sales during the holidays to get rid of inventory.

Consumer electronics retailer CompUSA said Friday it will close its stores after the holidays following sale of the company to an affiliate of Gordon Brothers Group, a restructuring firm.

CompUSA operates 103 stores, which plan to run store-closing sales during the holidays.

Privately held CompUSA, controlled by Mexican financier Carlos Slim Helu's Grupo Carso SA, said discussions were under way to sell certain stores in key markets. Stores that can't be sold will be closed.

Gordon Brothers will also try to sell the company's technical services business, CompUSA TechPro, and online business, CompUSA.com.

Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

Dallas-based CompUSA has struggled for nearly a decade with falling prices on personal computers, its most important product, and competition from big-box retailers such as Best Buy (Charts, Fortune 500).

Helu took the company private in 2000. The chain went through several CEOs and tried different turnaround strategies, such as a move this year to focus on core customers such as gadget users and small-business owners.

CompUSA closed more than half its stores this spring and got a...
 

Lost Planet launches with a budget price

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344w ago - Capcom's big PS3 surprise was a port of the former Xbox 360 exclusive, Lost Planet.

Disappointed PS3 fans expecting more were dismayed by the idea of yet another port, and threw a collective tantrum on the internet. Well, at least Capcom's making a smart move by pricing next year's port at a discount price.

If Capcom's official store is to be believed, the game will launch for only $40 -- that's $20 less than the standard retail price for games.
 

Unreal Tournament III coming to Australia in Feb for PS3

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344w ago - Those wondering when Unreal Tournament III would make it to Australian shores on the PlayStation 3 can breathe a sigh of relief today, with Midway sending out an updated release schedule stating that the PS3 version of Unreal Tournament III would be out in February.

The release schedule did have a little TBC notice beside it, which basically means that the February release date is yet to be confirmed, but it is more than likely that PlayStation 3 gamers will be blasting their way through Unreal Tournament III in February 2008.
 
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