Will GameStop’s digital ventures be enough to ward off online threats? (interview)

Chris Petrovic (pictured above) is the general manager of GameStop Digital Ventures. His job is to make sure that the world’s largest video game retailer crosses over into the digital era, when gamers are as likely to download a digital game to their computers or phones as they are to walk into a store and buy a disk. GameStop still has 6,614 stores and annual revenues of $49.5 billion. Within a couple of years, the company wants to grow its digital revenues to $1.5 billion a year. The retailer grew its downloadable content sales by 315 percent last year, and it has acquired digital game startups Kongregate, Spawn Labs, and Impulse. Will that be enough for the company to “cross over” to the digital age?

Meet Dan Bull, traveling Skyrim rapping bard

Seeking an appropriate tune for The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim's snowy adventuring often involves a complexity just as intricate as some of the role-playing epic's quests. Skyrim's plentiful taverns and inns often host wayward bards and nomad minstrels offering a strum of the lute and a lyric or two in exchange for a few coppers. One traveler's silver tongue gained a more legendary reputation than others, though — and that tongue belongs to Dan Bull, YouTube rapper extraordinaire. Listen to his boastful lines below — some impressive rhymes with words such as "Hjaalmarch" and "Paarthurnax" here — and don't forget to populate your world with your very own Dan Bull bard once the mod releases. (Yes, someone is actually making a mod.)

My journey into games journalism

It hasn't been long that I have considered myself a video game journalist (or even a journalist, for that matter), but as I make contacts and speak with folks in the PR realm of the industry, I find myself being welcomed in an unexpectedly amicable manner.  It took a while to get anyone to listen to me, but persistence was the key.

Video Blips: Borderlands 2, Injustice: Gods Among Us, and 007 Legends

The cel-shaded and chaotic lootfests of the Borderlands franchise eschews formality for cheek and unfiltered humor. Its latest accomplishment of ridiculousness: successfully transplanting a South African doo-wop song into a bonkers world rife with psychos, narcissistic masterminds, and a lot of blood.

The 10 most rage-inducing weapons in multiplayer history

Video game weapons piss us off. It’s inevitable, really. Gamers are extremely prideful and there’s just no way we will ever admit that someone is better at something than we are. This presents an interesting problem when we are “killed” in a multiplayer game. We begin to blame a multitude of different things such as lag, the controllers, or the cheating bastard on the other team who was probably hacking anyway. But, in my experience, I’ve found myself lashing out at something different: the weapons in the games themselves. Whether they have the ability to kill in one shot, cause a huge explosion, or are simply impossible to avoid, certain weapons can elicit anger in gamers like nothing else.

How to survive the Steam Summer Sale

Developer Valve opened the floodgates of ridiculous savings on the Steam Summer Sale today. Over the next week and a half, PC gamers will throw their wallets at their computers and stock up on games they've wanted to play, games they're curious about playing but will buy now because they're on sale, and games they already own on another platform but what the hell, they're super cheap.

Permadeath: Wave of the future!

Friends, I'm afraid modern video-game design philosophy has painted itself into a corner where it's now virtually impossible for players to lose. So long as you adjust the difficulty down to your skill level and apply some persistence, you'll eventually win every time…guaranteed. That effectively separates video games from every other category of game in existence.