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Shigeru Miyamoto, the creator of Super Mario Bros. and Donkey Kong, is not allowed to bike to work because his safety is too important to Nintendo.
During the production of Goldeneye 007, developers considered having players unplug and reinsert the N64 rumble pack every time they wanted to reload their weapon.
The Nintendo character Kirby was named after John Kirby, the legal counsel for Nintendo who helped them win their lawsuit with Universal Studios in 1982. John Kirby was gifted a sailboat Christened the “Donkey Kong” and given exclusive rights to name any boat he owned “Donkey Kong.”
Ghostbusters: The Video Game (2009) has voice acting from all four of the original cast members (Bill Murray, Dan Aykroyd, Harold Ramis, Ernie Hudson), who helped write the script as well. Aykroyd considers it "essentially the third movie".
Many American public libraries carry video games as an attempt to lure teenagers into a library. The result is more teenagers coming to the library and books are being checked out at a rate that exceeds what it was before the gamers arrived.
In 2005, a glitch in World of Warcraft allowed a plague to spread in the game leading non-infected players to abandon cities while those infected were forced into quarantines. It was later studied by epidemiologists to see how real life people would react to a pandemic.
Konami had a sense of humor dealing with Nintendo piracy. If Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles III senses it isn't an authentic copy the game silently reduces the damage the player deals out, doubles the damage they take and makes Shredder immortal.
The creators of Pac-Man did not know how the game ended as it was designed to run indefinitely. It was only when Billy Mitchell finished the game, after all its internal storage ran out, that they saw how it ended.
Every time Pac-Man eats a regular dot, he stops moving for one frame (1/60th of a second), slowing his progress by roughly 10% just enough for the following ghost to overtake him.
Alan Tudyk, Adam Baldwin, and Nathan Fillion all voiced marines in Halo 3. Their characters were given personalities resembling the characters they played in Firefly.
Grand Theft Auto was originally a racing game called Race'n'Chase, however, a glitch made the police cars go crazy, ramming the player. This glitch was so popular with testers that they rebuilt the game around it, creating GTA.
Playing action video games trains people to make the right decisions faster without loss of accuracy. Video game players develop a heightened sensitivity to what is going on around them, which helps with multitasking, driving, keeping track of friends in a crowd, and navigating around town.
Best Buy removed the fighting video game "Primal Rage" from its shelves after an Arizona woman complained that her 11-year-old son had faithfully portrayed one of the game's gorilla-like character's "golden shower/urination" fatality move.
Goldeneye 007 for N64 only had 9 developers on the team, and 8 of them had never worked on video games before.
A study surveying 5000 children on the video game and social habits, came to a conclusion that those playing video games on a regular basis are more satisfied with their lives, are less prone to being hyperactive, have less emotional issues than those who don’t play video games at all.
Scientists in Berlin asked adults to play Super Mario 64 over a period of 2 months for 30 minutes a day. The group showed an increase in grey matter, demonstrating "the direct causal link between video gaming and a volumetric brain increase."
NES games like Battletoads were made so hard because Nintendo was losing money on video game rentals. If they took a long time to beat, people would have to buy the games instead.
The entire GoldenEye 007 game on the N64 is only 12 MB.
With over 25 billion hours (2.85 million years) of total game playtime, people have played call of duty for longer than the course of human existence.
The surface area of Minecraft's overworld (on the PC version) is approximately 9,258,235 times larger than that of the earth.
People who play video games are more likely to be lucid dreamers (have control over their actions in dreams) than those who don't.
The multiplayer mode in GoldenEye was added last minute, without the knowledge of Rare and Nintendo.
Game Boy was the first video game console to be played in space by Russian cosmonaut Aleksandr Serebrov. The game he played was Tetris.
If you finish the incredible hard video game Ghosts n' Goblin, you will receive a message at the end that all was just an illusion and you will be forced to start at the very beginning of the game again. Only after playing through the second time you will see the real ending.
The entire game of The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past is less than 1MB in size.
Miyamoto believed "donkey" meant "stupid" in English, and assumed the name Donkey Kong would convey the sense "stupid ape" to an American audience. When he suggested this name to Nintendo of America, he was laughed at, but the name stuck.
Earthworm Jim was created as a result of the success of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. The game was created as a satire of platform video games at the time; for instance, "Princess-What's-Her-Name" was a parody of how so many video games had throw-away female characters to be saved.
Some political prisoners in China were forced to play World of Warcraft and other games to gather virtual currency.
Rockstar Games hired a private investigator to locate the remaining relatives of one of the members of the Skatt Bros. in Utah in order to obtain license rights to the song "Walk The Night" for use in Grand Theft Auto IV.
The Japanese version of Fallout 3 does not give the player the option to detonate the Megaton nuclear bomb.
A World of Warcraft player had 36 accounts on 11 computers simultaneously and raided by himself.
The award for 10 consecutive kills with a shotgun in Halo 3 was titled "Cheneymania!" before it was changed to "Open Season!"
Scientists have shown that playing Tetris can ease cravings for sex, drugs, and food.
If Mario was a real person, he would have to run (and swim) 3.4 miles to complete Super Mario Bros.
Angry Birds and Clash of Clans have helped rejuvenate Finland's economy after Nokia's downfall.
The average age of a person who plays video games is 30.
In the original Silent Hill video game, the fog covering the town was put in the game because of hardware limitations. Covering the town in fog meant that only the area surrounding the player at any given moment needed to be rendered.
Activision, the company behind the Call of Duty series, runs an endowment dedicated to finding employment opportunities and jobs training for veterans. The Call of Duty Endowment claims to have helped place over 25,000 vets in well-paying jobs since 2009.
A man reached level 90 in World of Warcraft without ever leaving the starting zone; spending 173.5 days mining and picking herbs.
In Assassin's Creed, every key character you assassinate was a real person, and the date and location of their death are accurate.
There is a hiding spot in Pac-man where you can sit still safely for as long as you like.
The Vectrex Gaming Console (1984) was the first gaming console with touch control.
Nintendo’s Mario is the best-selling video game franchise of all time with over US$676 million in worldwide sales.
The Nintendo Wii (2006) was the first motion-controlled console.
The Microsoft Xbox (2001) was the first console with full support for HDTV.
The Sega Dreamcast (1999) was the first online gaming console.
Nintendo’s main man, Mario, actually first appeared in the arcade game Donkey Kong on July 9, 1981, and he went by the name Jumpman. In this game, Donkey Kong was actually Mario’s pet ape who escapes and kidnaps Mario’s girlfriend, Pauline.
Nolan Bushnell and Ted Dabney started Atari with just $500. Within 5 years the company earned $28 million, and by 1982, sales topped $2 billion.
In Space Invaders, the more aliens you kill, the faster they come at you. This pattern of the game getting more challenging the more you play has become a staple in the gaming world, but it actually started as a fluke! The aliens were always supposed to come at you at the same speed, but with so many aliens on the screen the hardware couldn’t handle it, so they were slowed down. The more you aliens you killed as you played, the more system memory was freed up, so the game ended up running faster.
The design of the Playstation 2 is based on an old Atari computer, the Falcon 030 Microbox. Apparently, Sony bought the design patent when Atari was going bankrupt.
The urban legend – that turned out to be true – was that Atari had so many unsold copies [of E.T. the Extra Terrestrial] that they buried them in the desert. A documentary crew actually went out and dug them up! Most of the above mentioned E.T. games (which originally wouldn’t sell) were eventually sold on Ebay for a total of around $108,000.
Barack Obama campaigned in 18 games. During the 2008 presidential election, Barack Obama purchased ad space in 18 games that ran in 10 states. The “Vote for Change” billboards were in Burnout Paradise, Skate, Madden, and more that targeted the demographic of ages 18 to 34.
Toward the end of the movie The Cabin in the Woods, a gallery of monsters is shown for a few seconds. Along with other iconic film monsters, two of those creatures are from the video game series Left 4 Dead. Eagle-eyed gamers can clearly see a Boomer and Witch.
NBA Jam creator Mark Turmell is such a huge Detroit Pistons fan that he rigged his game so the Pistons would have a better shot at beating the then-rival Chicago Bulls. “If there was a close game and anyone on the Bulls took a last-second shot, we wrote special code in the game so they would average out to be bricks,” Turmell told ESPN the Magazine.
Nintendo’s drug is the banana. In the Game Boy title Final Fantasy Legend II, the player encountered a group of opium smugglers, but Nintendo’s censorship guidelines wouldn’t allow that to fly in the U.S. version. Instead of selling opium, the drug dealers were forced to peddle bananas in the back alleys of this world.
In 2010, the U.S. Air Force created the Condor Cluster, a heterogeneous supercomputer built using off-the-shelf commercial components, including over 1,700 PlayStation 3s. This particular system is about half a petaflop, or capable of about 500 trillion calculations per second," said Mark Barnell, the director of high-performance computing at the Air Force Research Laboratory. "In the current time that we can measure it, it's about the 35th- or 36th-fastest computer in the world. The Condor Cluster cost $2 million to build.
A gene and protein that separates your right brain from the left, and determines you have two eyes is called sonic hedgehog. The gene’s symbol is SHH. The name wasn’t inspired directly by the game, but a comic-book series. A British post-doc named Robert Riddle drew inspiration from a Sonic comic his 6-year-old daughter was reading. The gene appropriately has a spikey appearance.
With 4,061,129 words spread across 220 chapters, a Smash Bros. fan-fiction story called The Subspace Emissary’s Worlds Conquest is one of the longest works of literature in the English language. The book is written by someone named Christian, who writes under the name AuraChannlerChris. The longest published novel is Jules Romains’ Men of Goodwill at 2,070,000 words and 8,000 pages.
In 1999, Microsoft’s Ed Fries met with the DirectX team to discuss a new idea called the DirectX Box, a PC with a hidden Windows OS that would be marketed like a console machine. The first mockup of the DirectX Box was a silver X with a PC board inside. As the project moved through development, Windows was dropped, the console look changed, and it was eventually renamed Xbox.
In the first Civilization game, Gandhi’s aggression rating was the lowest score of one, meaning he didn’t want to make war. However, if a player chose democracy, his aggression dropped two points. Instead of falling to negative one, the number looped around to 255, the highest aggression rating possible. Democracy turned Gandhi into a nuke-firing titan.
Ever wonder where all of the people in the Mushroom Kingdom are? In the manual for Super Mario Bros. on NES, a short story summary says the Koopas turned all of the land’s people into blocks, stones, and field horse-hair plants. Think of that the next time you make Mario jump into a block.
The U.K. versions of FIFA 2001 and Gran Turismo 2 shipped with the peculiar idea of “scratch and sniff” discs. If you scratched FIFA’s disc, you would “smell the pitch.” Rubbing Gran Turismo 2’s disc would deliver an “authentic pit-stop smell.”
Comedians Conan O’Brien and Andy Richter visited 343 Industries for a spoof skit in an episode of Conan, in which they recorded audio for dockworkers aboard a spaceship. This audio made it into Halo 4 in a level called Shutdown. You’ll need to stand next to two specific dockworkers for a couple of minutes to trigger their dialogue.