video games

Students at a Minecraft camp at the University of Washington. Minecraft is mostly taught at summer camps for the time being -- how to apply it to the classroom is another question.
KUOW Photo/Jamala Henderson

Teenager Alea Frydnlund is creating zombies.

“It will attack you if you’re on survival,” she says. “But right now, I’m just on creative.”

Jeannie Yandel talks with New York Times writer Nick Wingfield about e-sports and their rise in Seattle. 

It's family vacation time, and I've taken the kids back to where I grew up — a small plot of land off a dirt road in Kansas.

For my city kids, this is supposed to be heaven. There are freshly laid chicken eggs to gather, new kittens to play with and miles of pasture to explore.

But we're not outside.

I'm sitting in my childhood bedroom watching my 7-year-old son and his 11-year-old-cousin stare at a screen. The older kid is teaching the younger the secrets of one of the most popular games on Earth: Minecraft.

The League of Legends World Championship in 2012. In 2014, the World Championship attracted 27 million viewers.
Flickr Photo/Chris Yunker (CC BY-SA 2.0)

Click. Click. Clickclickclick. Click.

This is the sound of practice to Robert Chung. He’s moving a character around with a mouse, trying to kill minions for gold while avoiding his opponent.

He is part of a new generation of enthusiasts who play a new type of sport: competitive video gaming. Competitions are massive, filling up sports arenas and drawing millions more spectators online.  

Ellen McLain had a long career as an opera singer. But now her voice is most famous for something entirely different: video games. McLain is the voice of GLaDOS, the passive-aggressive computer in the games Portal and Portal 2.

KUOW Photo/Hannah Burn

Ross Reynolds talks with e-sport champion Yiliang "DoubleLift" Peng about the hard path he took to becoming a professional gamer.

If you can't get your new Sony PlayStation or Microsoft Xbox online today, you can blame the Lizard Squad – or (indirectly) North Korea. Or maybe neither.

The Lizard Squad purports to be a group of hackers now claiming responsibility for a denial of service attack on the two game consoles' online sites.

One Gamer's Take On 'Gamergate'

Nov 19, 2014

A very public controversy has engulfed the world of video games, centered around the treatment of women and minorities in the gaming culture.

The debate has ramifications for educators, as schools ponder the educational potential of online games and the need to protect young people who play them. For some perspective on this issue we turned to Rafael Johns, a reporter for Youth Radio. Here's his commentary:

I enjoy video games.

As the ongoing, harassment-fueled controversy known as Gamergate rages into its second month with no sign of dying down, the Pew Research Center is out with new numbers on online harassment.

Microsoft Buys 'Minecraft' For $2.5 Billion

Sep 15, 2014

Ross Reynolds talks with Jamin Warren, founder of the videogame arts and culture company Kill Screen, about what Microsoft has to gain from buying the company behind the hugely popular video game "Minecraft."

Flickr Photo/Jakob Wells (CC-BY-NC-ND)

Arwen Nicks reports on the growing world of competitive gaming as a spectator sport from this year’s The International, an annual  competition of professional DOTA 2 players. This year’s competition drew more than 10,000 spectators this weekend to Key Arena.

The video game BioShock Infinite received widespread praise for having a rich narrative packed with philosophy when it debuted last year. The game sold millions of copies.

Flickr Photo/Marco Verch (CC-BY-NC-ND)

Microsoft may have found a way to pull ahead of the Sony Playstation — in China.

The company partnered this week with a Chinese company to bring its Xbox One gaming console out of the black market and into Chinese stores.

Gaming While Male: A 'Privilege' Few Men Recognize

Apr 28, 2014

In video games, sexism often comes in the form of male-dominated storylines and character archetypes. In the video game community, it takes a more menacing shape.

It ranges from attempts to silence female critics to the harassment of fellow players. Some harassment even goes so far as phone calls and rape threats, as one female game developer found out last year.

Flickr Photo/Joshua Livingston (CC BY-NC-ND)

Ross Reynolds talks with video game scriptwriter, Rhianna Pratchett, about writing for "Tomb Raider" and the struggle of including more diversity in the gaming world.