Top 5 Gaming Trends
A quick science lesson before the best of 2008
1) Falling for Physics
It was nice to see physics engines (the programming in many games that produces realistic interactions between objects) used for something other than creating an authentic-looking corpse falling down stairs. 2008's best and most fantastical games (LittleBigPlanet, World of Goo) were given a rooting in Newtonian and gravitational physics, which lent them a sense of realism and enhanced gameplay.
The continued popularity of the nongamer-friendly Wii spawned a horde of mediocre and half-baked titles in an effort to capitalize on the newfound Wiimote-wielding demographic. Buyer beware.
3) Game Over
Despite the gaming industry's continued good sales overall, local and national game publishers and developers couldn't help but jump on America's layoff bandwagon.
4) Earth to Garriott
Local gaming legend Richard Garriott was vacationing in space while his latest creation for NCsoft, Tabula Rasa, went belly up. Unsurprisingly, he left the company soon after returning to his home planet.
5) Five Within a Five
Who am I kidding? Here are my five favorite games of the year: LittleBigPlanet, Fallout 3, Left 4 Dead, Braid, Grand Theft Auto IV.