Is The Games Console Becoming Obsolete?

Writer Tom Chatfield says no: Despite the proliferation of mobile devices, there are still people who appreciate the transporting experience that console gaming can provide.

What's the Latest Development?


Among the critiques surrounding last month's release of Microsoft's latest Xbox iteration, the Xbox One, is this: In an age where, according to writer Tom Chatfield, "there are more smartphones in the world than consoles have been sold in history" and high-quality mobile games can be had for under a dollar, is it possible that the Xbox and similar systems are no longer relevant? The question is especially pointed given that Nintendo, which brought the world the Wii, has seen lackluster sales with its new Wii U and, this April, cited the drop as one cause for the annual loss it experienced in 2012.

What's the Big Idea?

"Games consoles have never been for everyone," argues Chatfield, who admits that he entered his teens when the two great gaming consoles, Sega and Nintendo, were vying for gamers' loyalties. Describing the Xbox One's upgraded version of Microsoft groundbreaking Kinect sensor technology, he says, "[W]hat seems gimmicky when you’re waving at it to change TV channels can become, in the middle of play, little less than a miracle...it’s about becoming an active, physical presence within the screen itself." The heart of console gaming, he says, is "the passionate desire to meld play and technology into something entirely apart from everyday life."

Barone Firenze / Shutterstock.com

Read it at BBC Future

Stress is contagious–but resilience can be too

The way that you think about stress can actually transform the effect that it has on you – and others.

Big Think Edge
  • Stress is contagious, and the higher up in an organization you are the more your stress will be noticed and felt by others.
  • Kelly McGonigal teaches "Reset your mindset to reduce stress" for Big Think Edge.
  • Subscribe to Big Think Edge before we launch on March 30 to get 20% off monthly and annual memberships.
Keep reading Show less

Think of the closest planet to Earth... Wrong! Think again!

Three scientists publish paper proving that not Venus but Mercury is the closest planet to Earth

Strange Maps
  • Earth is the third planet from the Sun, so our closest neighbour must be planet two of four, right?
  • Wrong! Neither Venus nor Mars is the right answer.
  • Three scientists ran the numbers. In this YouTube video, one of them explains why our nearest neighbour is... Mercury!
Keep reading Show less

Horseshoe crabs are captured for their blue blood. That practice will soon be over.

The blood of horseshoe crabs is harvested on a massive scale in order to retrieve a cell critical to medical research. However, recent innovations might make this practice obsolete.

An Atlantic horseshoe crab in an aquarium. Photo: Domdomegg via Wikimedia Commons.
Surprising Science
  • Horseshoe crabs' blue blood is so valuable that a quart of it can be sold for $15,000.
  • This is because it contains a molecule that is crucial to the medical research community.
  • Today, however, new innovations have resulted in a synthetic substitute that may end the practice of farming horseshoe crabs for their blood.
Keep reading Show less

10 novels that brilliantly capture the American experience

The distance between the American dream and reality is expressed best through literature.

American novelist, writer, playwright, poet, essayist and civil rights activist James Baldwin poses at his home in Saint-Paul-de-Vence, southern France, on November 6, 1979. (Photo: Ralph Gatti/AFP/Getty Images)
  • Literature expands our ability to feel empathy and inspires compassion.
  • These ten novels tackle some facet of the American experience.
  • The list includes a fictional retelling of the first Native American to graduate from Harvard and hiding out in inner city Newark.
Keep reading Show less