Posts Tagged ‘gaming’

Ratatouille video game

Monday, December 21st, 2015 | Distractions

Earlier this month I took the unusual step of going to buy a video game. I don’t play games most of the time, but given the old versions of Madden can usually be picked up for a couple of pounds, I decided it was worth it. I haven’t actually played it yet, but I will…

It was part of a 3 for £12 offer so I had a look at what else they had. I found this:


A video game based on the best film ever? I’m sold! This resulted in me being able to get one more game for the same price. This was really tricky because I did not really want another game and therefore spent ages trying to decide between all the games I didn’t really want. In the end I picked Tomb Raider.

Happily I took my Ratatouille game home and the next day had a bit of time to give it a go. It turns out the controls are impossible! It’s hard enough to stop Remy falling off stuff most of the time and sometimes he falls down inside a solid object and the only way to get out is to restart the game.

Then you have to learn how to balance on a wire. But how? The game does not explain it. Do you tilt the controller? Use the joystick? Use the arrows? Use the top buttons? None of them seem to have any effect. What am I supposed to be doing here?

I chatted about it at work and I am not the only person who has had such problems. In general, I realise what the controls reminded me of though. Tomb Raider! The way it was impossible to stop Lara falling down holes, usually by accidentally jumping backwards to her doom.

The frustration was brilliantly captured in this 2006 video:

So maybe me and Ratatouille the game are just not destined to get on. Luckily, I can just play one of the other games I bought and get away from those horrible Tomb Raider style controls that I had forgotten how much I hated.

Oh, wait…

ICE Totally Gaming

Tuesday, February 10th, 2015 | Travel

Earlier this month we visited ICE Totally Gaming to get to know potential customers and suppliers. It was my first trip to the ExCeL centre which is predictably huge.

Many of the stalls were very impressive. One had a slot machine connected up to a Oculus Rift headset and when you won you got taken on a roller coaster ride.

Not surprisingly, there were lots of men in suits and women in far less clothing. I was very proud of the good twenty minutes we spent discussing sexism and objectification of women.Then we had a good stare.

London was as horrible as ever. It took me an hour and a half in a taxi to get there the first morning.

Gambling legislation

Tuesday, August 7th, 2012 | Religion & Politics, Thoughts

Last month, a report by the Commons Culture Committee concluded that our gambling legislation was “outdated” and “ill-equipped” to deal with globalisation.

I strongly agree. Having worked in the industry for years, I know first hand that our legislation is lagging behind.

For example, you can only have four FOBTs (fixed odds betting terminals) in a bookies. But over the last ten years, traditional betting has been almost entirely replaced by the use of FOBTs, and without them high street bookies would close. You could argue this is a good thing, but with millions out of work do we really want to go slashing many more jobs?

Secondly, we simply don’t have the legislation to deal with new technology. At Buzz, we developed a bespoke wireless terminal for our games. But what does this count as? A FOBT? It’s just a tablet computer in a case. Does that mean we can put them in pubs? Probably not. But if you took your own tablet into a pub, you could then gamble online. The Gambling Commission simply didn’t know what to do.

Thirdly, because of the online nature and high taxes in the UK, bookmakers can just move abroad – and most of them have. Running a website is the kind of thing you can do from Gibraltar, so they do. Not that it’s cheap – you have to pay staff a lot more money to go work out on some god-forsaken rock, but the tax difference is so great that is still works out cheaper. If we lowered taxes, we would bring that income back to the UK.

This is becoming more and more apparent, as services continue to move online. For example poker tournaments and live dealer casino games, once exclusively the preserve of the real world have now moved onto the internet. You can sit, at a table, with a live dealer, on the internet. When the technology is this good, we need to ensure that our legislation can keep pace with it, or we’re only hurting ourselves.