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An aspiring electronics critic and game connoisseur.

Feel free to contact me at ndziomba@yahoo.com for freelance work.

Location:United States

stories by Nathaniel Dziomba

Experimenting with video games as drugs

As the good little boy that I was (and still am), I never experimented with drugs. I respect my health –not to mention the law — far too much to ever allow myself to attempt them. Yet the stories of wild hallucinations, unimaginable nightmares, and indescribable feelings still manage to pique my interest. Now, I’m in no rush to end my life, but sometimes that morbid curiosity just can’t be ignored. “What does it feel like? What would I see? Where would I be?”

How video games will help you survive jail time

Apparently, a few of my tips from last time didn’t work out so well. Something about readers being sent to prison, hoping that I die in a fire, and some nonsense about "dropping the soap" or whatever. On the positive side, I’ve received a few letters from gracious fans that detail how much they’ve learned in prison and exactly what they want to do to my genitalia once they get out. You know, they actually seem kind of hostile now that I think about it.

Indie titles are the motorcycles of the gaming world

As I was sitting in my office chair, playing an indie game while simultaneously mulling over different topics to write about for the latest Bitmob Wants You, my mind began drifting to motorcycles. I pushed them out at first, claiming they were irrelevant and that I should be thinking about indie games. But as I began dissecting the core ideas behind indie games, something struck me. These titles are built on a culture of freedom and fellowship, just like motorbikes.

Does Duke Nukem deserve to exist?

It has been over a year since Duke Nukem Forever finally came out, but I only just recently managed to sit down and play through the entire demo without trying to jump out a window…more than three times. During the moments I wasn’t trying to attempt suicide, I began to question why this game was actually released. I don’t mean in the state it is in, though that is a problem as well, but why it was ever released at all.

“We have met the enemy and he is us”

A few weeks ago, I was watching a video of Spec Ops: The Line, and as I was reading the comments, something struck me. Not many games have Americans as the enemy. Oh sure, maybe if you’re the villain, or if you’re playing the game online, but how about while you’re playing as the “hero”? Developers are quick to use: Arabs, Russians, Chinese, and Koreans, but almost never Americans.

The Oregon Trail and educational video games done right

If you grew up (or raised a child) any time between the 1970s and early 2000s, chances are you’ve played an educational video game. Whether it was one of the many Carmen Sandiego titles or a classic like The Oregon Trail, there’s probably at least one piece of “edutainment” in your past. But let me ask you this: How many of these learning tools would you still find fun today? Where is the balance between fun and learning, and why does it seem so hard to combine work and play?

Screw “realism” in video games

I’m tired of the need for more “realism” in games.  I don’t want to hear about how realistic Call of Duty is while you’re cowering behind cover watching the red Kool-Aid disappear from your screen. I don’t care if Battlefield 3’s bullet-drop physics somehow makes it a better shooter. Does it really matter if you play Forza Motorsport, Gran Turismo, or Need for Speed? They all look and feel fantastic; why does it matter if one is more realistic?

Cloned game experiences can lead to innovation

Any successful formula will be copied. This isn’t a theory. It’s a fact. It’s not easy coming up with unique ideas, and it takes a lot less work to modify an existing one. “Improving” (a term which I use loosely) upon the latest craze can also be a lot more profitable than trying something new. Buyers want an experience they know they’ll like, and a clone can provide that.

Minecraft on Xbox 360 doesn’t have the same spirit

4J Studios ruined Minecraft.   Well, maybe that’s a bit too harsh. What I mean to say is that the developer ruined the feel of Minecraft. Sure, it still has the same gameplay, music, and graphics, but it doesn’t have the same spirit. But I’m getting ahead of myself. In case you didn’t know, 4J Studios recently brought Minecraft to the Xbox Live Arcade Marketplace. Other than being behind the PC version by quite a few updates, the release is a rather decent port of Minecraft. It looks and controls just like the PC version, which is definitely a good thing, and even a few features were added in. One of these additions is an in-depth tutorial that teaches new players all the basics and gives them a small town (complete with a castle) to spend their first night in. Another new feature, the crafting encyclopedia, contains all the crafting recipes and short descriptions of what each item does.