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Antonio writes about creativity and the creative process in video games.


stories by Antonio Byrd

Publishers should sell games without the pre-order baggage

Special-edition video games have always left something to be desired. One title, however, may have beaten out all the rest. Capcom will bank on fans' enthusiasm for Resident Evil 6 by releasing a premium edition of the game this October. The items seem…promising. The bundle will include the game, one of four character-designed cellphone cases, and Leon's jacket. Price: 105,000 yen. But Capcom should just sell the game and leave Leon's jacket in its closet. 

Colorless in the industry: Lessons on race from a black video game pioneer

"Does the video game industry have a problem with diversity?" I asked myself this question when I had recently realized that everyone I saw or read who talked about video games were not minorities. The question had some personal weight to it, as I myself am black. Where are the black developers or the Latino developers? Do they exist? Out of curiosity, I Googled "black pioneers in video games" to see if someone of my race had influenced the industry in some way.

Games that break the mold: Cloud

Earth can be a stressful planet: global economic collapse, foreclosures, joblessness. No wonder we immerse ourselves in digital fantasy worlds where we blow up zombies, slaughter necromancers, and stomp on tiny turtle shells. Actually, even playing video games can be stressful (I once destroyed my controller over fighting Krauser from Resident Evil 4) so we should get in touch with our happy side and play Cloud for the PC. 

Responsibilities of an adult gamer: Cleaning video game consoles

What's the accepted marker for adulthood for Americans? Jewish communities host a bar or bat mitzvah for 13 year-olds; Hispanic communites celebrate quinceanera–a ceremony that honors a 15 year-old girl's sexual growth and marriage availability. In general, America celebrates growing up in other ways: driver's permit at 16, driver's license at 18, legal smoking at 19, and legal drinking at 21. Sure, on birthdays we celebrate with cake, ice cream, and gifts, but in the greater scheme we get more responsibilities as we grow older: bills, jobs, thinning hair. For gamers who deal with these tasks, I would add another: dusting off video game consoles.

From Lara Croft to Tomb Raider: Growing a hero through voice

Almost every book on writing mentions Aristotle or refers to ideas in his Poetics. They mention such ideas as every story must have a beginning, middle, and end, and every event should contribute to the greater whole. The most important rule they mention, however, is that a good story should explore what it means to be human in all of its complexity. Exploring the humanity of Lara Croft is long overdue. Finally, Crystal Dynamics is turning the legend into a real girl, but I hope they also successfully grow her character.

My mother made me a better gamer

I called her the Commissioner. In her left hand, she had a credit card to purchase video games; in her right hand, she had a fist full of discipline. When playing games, I had to control my emotions and make good decisions, or she would come down on me like a hammer on an anvil. She was my mother, and without her I would not be the gamer I am now.

Profits over competition: Trying to make a living

The Escapist reports that Sony cares more about profit than topping their competitor Microsoft. Little Big Planet 2, Uncharted 3, and the latest Twisted Metal game are all meant to steer Sony toward greater profit this year. Not to say Microsoft flies under Sony's radar–they noted the competition, but said getting ahead of them would be a nice addition. And with a four percent drop in sales last month, Sony has every reason to seek more profit with their games and PlayStation 3.

Let Them Play Games

 Tips. Advice. Ways. Everyone has them. They are the easiest topics newspapers and magazines can cover. The editor of my university newspaper does it from time to time. I pulled three magazines from my parents' shelf to demonstrate. "12 Tips for a low-upkeep pond" reads the March 2010 issue of The Family Handyman. The October 2010 issue of Essence has "7 Breast Cancer Tips to Save Your Life" and an April 2010 issue of the same magazine has "9 Ways to Save Money & Time Online". It seems tip articles are used to fill in space when nothing else will do. That, or they can take broad subjects and narrow them down to a few hundred words. While video game websites like GameFAQs and Gamespot offer great  advice from gamers, sometimes it's best not to listen to them.

Changing Trends: Video Games to Books

As a kid, my parents bought me video games on two occasions: my birthday and Christmas. The rest of the year I asked them to rent me video games from Blockbuster. Each weekend video games consumed hours of my time. Reading was not at the top of my list of things to do. Now twenty-two and with a job, I shop on Amazon for books, instead of blowing my paycheck on video games; you'd think I would buy as many video games as possible, but I've traded them for something more intimate.

Resident Evil’s Movie Concept Works

Rotten Tomatoes describes Resident Evil as "loud, violent, formulaic, and cheesy." On Resident Evil: Apocalypse, Peter T. Chattaway from Chrisitianity Today wrote, "Just because a film is about the undead, that doesn't mean the film itself has to feel like it was made by the undead or for the undead." Resident Evil: Extinction recieved similar comments from Kyle Smith of the New York Post: " [it's] no more interesting than watching someone else play with his Playstation". Resident Evil may not be the greatest cinematic movie in history, but it does execute a good concept for adapting a video game to film.

Video Game Violence: Are You Not Ashamed?

I enjoyed last year's District 9 so much I  recommended it to everyone I knew, and even made it a point of conversation to people I did not know. But my chief remark, which was not a flippant remark but well-meaning, was always on the spectacular portrayal of violence in the movie, while the story and documentary-style shooting was secondary in my mind.

3D Technology and Motion Control: Influences on Reality

After I saw Avatar in 3D  I thought to myself, "Wow! The visuals were spectacular!" I saw Avatar in 2D on Blu-Ray and left the room saying to myself, "Wow! The visuals were spectacular!" Moving from 3D to 2D, the movie was no less pleasing to the eye. The measure of 3D's worth is when a movie is re-experienced without the technology and unless the differences are so remarkable 3D becomes a necessity, its just a toy filmmakers like to show and tell. After the presentation, the class leaves noting its appeal, but are more entertained by the pet rabbit. The audience will always be an observer of movies, no matter how close they feel to the action. 3D is more suitable for video games–by manipulating depth perception, the interactivity with games can increase, nearly combining reality and the fiction on screen.

Memorial Day: Honor the Fallen Troops of Dynasty Warriors

Memorial Day weekend–a time of solemn ceremonies and joyful family cookouts. Millions of American soldiers have died throughout history, and they deserve the recognition we give them; however, there is a population of troops who deserve just as much recognition, if not more: the millions of Chinese soldiers who have sacrificed their lives in the Dynasty Warriors series.

Mario: Design and Adventure

Appearing in over 200 video games and selling more than 210 million units, Mario is the sexiest video game character of all time, but not in the sense we want to get Mario in the bed; in the sense that he's pleasing to the eye–most of us can relate to the Italian. He doesn't have the well-toned body of Kratos, but rather a fat  mid-rift. For over twenty years Mario has carried that weight with no sign of caring to get in shape. In fact, he's happy with his weight. His occupation is humble and nothing to boast about, yet it is important to many homeowners.

Meet the Mob: Antonio Byrd

 I started writing fiction when I was in third grade, but didn't consider writing nonfiction until March 2006 when, on a boring day in Web Page Design class, I joined 1UP as trafar94. New to blogging, I came to the medium with high expectations: I would be an Internet sensation, video game journalists would interview me to get my perspective on video games, the industry would  be changed forever, and my name would be in the history books.

The Thin Line Between Reviews and Previews

I'm twelve hours into Final Fantasy 13, and I'm enjoying it so far. Others can't  say the same: they either hate Square- Enix's latest installment to the series or love it.'s professional review is accompanied with reviews by gamers, many of them attacking each other for their opinion on the game, especially those who didn't play Final Fantasy 13 but reviewed it anyway. Recently, I've decided to try not to let  reviews guide me to what game I should buy, professional or amateur. I have nothing against them; everyone has an opinion, of course. But in my own gaming life reviews play a small role. I form an opinion long before the game and its reviews are released.

Dragon Quest Says A Lot about Me

Editor’s note: It’s extremely hard to keep up with the rush of games. It feels even harder to do so this year, with so many games pushed from the recent holiday season. Antonio finds it difficult, too, and he uses what I think is a clever gaming analogy to convey this idea. -JasonDragon Quest 8: Journey of the Cursed King for the PlayStation 2 introduced me to the Dragon Quest series. Since then I’ve learned more one of Japan’s most beloved role-playing franchises, immersing myself in Dragon Quest 4 and Dragon Quest 5. And I love them both. They don’t have the polished look of the upcoming Final Fantasy 13 or the dynamic environments of Dragon Age: Origins, but Dragon Quest is something more, something no other RPG has pulled off before: Dragon Quest is me.