Video Games & Gear

Video games have come of age as an entertainment medium and the technology continues to mature. Learn about how your favorite video game consoles work, and see what's on the gaming horizon.

Topics to Explore


Learn More

Have Fun With Our Animal Crossing Quiz

Everyone's heard of Mario, but Nintendo is nearly as well known for the ultra-popular Animal Crossing series. How much do you know about this beloved social simulation game?

The Super Mario Quiz

You might be adept at racking up coins and saving the ever-in-peril princess, but how much do you really know about the iconic video game series? Take our quiz and find out!

The Candy Crush Quiz

Candy Crush seems easy — simply match three candies of the same color. But something about it keeps players hooked. How sweet are you on this addictive game? Take the Candy Crush quiz and find out!

Noob or Not? How Much Do You Know About Fortnite?

Described by The New Yorker as a cross between Minecraft and "The Hunger Games," this video game is insanely popular among teens (and others). See what you know about Fortnite — or learn about it — with this quiz!

Why 'Final Fantasy VII' Endures 20 Years After Its Release

The role playing game upended the video game industry two decades ago, and still looms large on its 20th anniversary.

Neil deGrasse Tyson Enlists Creative Dream Team for 'Space Odyssey' Video Game

NDGT's ambitious plan would create an educational game with input from George R. R. Martin, Neil Gaiman, Bill Nye and Amy Mainzer, among others.

Virtual Reality Arcades Are Getting Real in the U.S.

And they look super fun, whether you're a gamer or not.

How Alternate Reality Gaming Works

Who cares if it's an elaborate marketing scheme if it's fun? In alternate reality gaming, the line between fiction and reality is blurred, and players enter a world filled with rabbit holes and mysteries.

Unintended Consequences of Pokemon Go

Pokemon Go is sweeping the globe, but the story of the game's rising popularity includes criminal activity, death and even an R-rated photo or two.

Pikachu Name Change Infuriates Hong Kong Pokemon Fans

A pocket monster by any other name would smell as sweet. But it would also raise issues of fan respect, linguistics, politics and cultural imperialism.

Putting Yourself Into a Video Game for Free Just Got Way Easier

New, free avatar-creation technology developed at USC means video gamers could be significantly closer to playing as themselves on the small screen.

After More Than 20 Years, Pokemon Is Still Going Strong

For years, kids have been filling their Pokédexes with Pokemon they've caught in Nintendo's digital fields. Why has it stayed so popular while other franchises haven't?

Your Heart — and Your Life Story — in a Computer Game

Computer games have long been a place to escape from reality. Unless, of course, that game is about your life.

Are cheat codes really cheating?

Asking whether a cheat code constitutes cheating may seem silly. "Of course it is!" you say. "It has the word 'cheat' right in it!" Perhaps, but the history and purpose of cheat codes in video games makes this question not so cut-and-dried.

Are there scholarships for video game players?

College scholarships for video gamers? You'd better believe it. The payoff is big at colleges offering a boost to the field's best and brightest up-and-comers.

Are there video games designed for moms?

With 74 percent reporting that they already play video games weekly, moms aren't exactly waiting around for game makers to craft them the perfect "mom game." But then again, what does a mom game even look like — and are there any on the market?

Do video games really improve hand-eye coordination?

The debate on whether video games help players build any lasting skills is as old as video games themselves. Luckily, science has decided to weigh in on the conversation — including the claim that gaming improves hand-eye coordination.

How are video games regulated in the U.S.?

Video games sometimes get a bad rap for corrupting the world's youth. But while some of these concerns might be overblown, keeping "Mortal Kombat" away from 5-year-olds is probably a good idea. So how do we regulate responsibly?

How do free-to-play games make money?

"Candy Crush." "Flappy Bird." "Farmville." You've likely played at least one of the many "freemium" games out there — and chances are you've also wondered how these companies make any money. Sure, ads help, but there's a bit more to it than that.

Is there an archive for out-of-print video games?

Scratching the nostalgia itch can be tricky — especially if it involves playing classic out-of-print video games like "Oregon Trail" or "Street Fighter II." But fear not: When you're in the mood for a little old-school gaming, you have options.

What are quick-time events?

Quick: Press X to not die! If normal gameplay in your favorite video game has ever been interrupted by a sudden, unexpected moment of desperate button-mashing, then you've probably experienced a quick-time event.

How Gold Farming Works

Don't be a n00b — gold farming has nothing to do with actual mining. The practice of selling virtual gold for actual cash might be lucrative, but it's also been accused of creating "virtual sweatshops" in many countries.

How the Nintendo Power Glove Worked

It seemed like the gaming accessory of the future — a glove that turned hand motions into player actions. But it turned out, the Power Glove left gamers feeling powerless over their gameplay.