Archive for January, 2013

Destigmatizing Violence? Yeah Right.

Ever since Sandy Hook, video games have been in the limelight along with guns as the center of political attention. Again. Even though I find it infuriating that old men in suits are brainwashing the general public into thinking that video games cause violence or are a threat to our children, I was particularly interested in a certain governor. This governor would be Mr. Dannel P. Malloy of Connecticut. He said, and I quote, “If we spent as much time and energy on destigmatizing mental health treatment as we do in the proliferation of these video games that destigmatize violence, we as a society would make great gains.” So, there is a conscious effort from video games to distance themselves from the issue of violence.

Yeah right.

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Game of the Week #3 – Myst

Ah Myst. The inescapable game. Ported to everything including your piano, lamp, and garage door, If you haven’t played this on one device or the other, HOW?! If you haven’t, Myst is this week’s game, and this is why you should play it.

myst cover art

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World 1-1 is the World’s Best Tutorial, No Pun Intended

Chances are, if you’re in game design, you know all of what I’m about to say. If you’re in a Game Design course in a college, you’ve also heard this lecture. But I feel a lot of people don’t know why Super Mario Bros. is so awesome. It’s not because it had a BUTT-TON of levels at the time, not the fact that for many it was the first game they had been exposed to, but for one reason. World 1-1. It’s the best tutorial anyone could possibly make, because of a few key things that I’ll draw together at the end of this piece  But in the meantime, let’s act like someone who’s never played a video game before, and let’s take that person’s journey through World 1-1.

Alright, Super Mario Bros.!

smb screen 1

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Game of the Week #2 – Half-Life 2

Half-Life 2, although very linear as mentioned in the previous article, is one of the most finely crafted games of this generation, and this is why you should play it.half life 2 art

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No, Notch, Linearity is not “artistic suicide”

First up, a disclaimer, This won’t be bashing up on Notch, and I know this topic and tweet is old and crusty, but it still provides a jumping off point for today’s topic: linearity.

His avatar at the time of writing

His avatar at the time of writing

Waaaaay back in April last year, Notch tweeted (and I’m paraphrasing here), “Making your game linear is artistic suicide.” Now, there are a lot of ways you could interpret it, but for my purposes here, I’ll say that he doesn’t like linearity and that it destroys any artistic value the game had. Notch, I think you’re a cool guy, but perhaps you should think before you tweet, not only for you, but for you to not dupe budding game designers into thinking in your ways. Linearity is not “artistic suicide”. Read the rest of this entry »

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So, What’s the Big Deal With Eye-Tracking?

Maybe it’s just because I’m a gamer, and tend to gravitate towards things involved with gaming, but I saw a lot of news from CES about new means of interaction. There was Valve and Gabe Newell talking about bio-metrics and gaze tracking, there were demos of the latter, hand tracking, and a whole slew of interaction methods and devices that didn’t require a keyboard and mouse. From a gaming perspective, it seemed like everyone was dissatisfied with what we’re using now?

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Game of the Week #1 – Journey

You may be wondering what this whole game if the week thing is all about. Well, every Friday, I have decided to highlight a game that I feel is either really really good, or is interesting enough where it should be at least looked at. Journey falls into the former category, and this is why you should play it.

journey title screenjpg

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