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Latest Blog Posts

by Nick Dinicola

22 Jul 2016

Spirits of Xanadu has some terrible graphics. Let’s just get that out of the way first.

From the robots and guns made out of basic 3D shapes to the flat texture-less walls of the ship, the game looks like a student project from the early 90’s. It certainly lacks a lot of visual flair, but I’m telling you about it now because it still manages to do a lot with the very little it has.

by G. Christopher Williams

20 Jul 2016

What I like best about Pokemon Go is the uncertainty. I like the rumors, and I like the lies.

Playing the Legend of Zelda, as I did on its release in 1986, was kind of like this. The game came with a sealed fold-out pamphlet that was to only be opened if you wanted to have some of the game’s secrets spoiled for you. It was a point of pride that I never unsealed mine.

by Kym Buchanan

19 Jul 2016

I have a love-hate relationship with learning new games. I self-identify as a gamer, so being good at playing games is closely entwined with my ego and sense of self. But in the first hour of a new video game I usually die many times. The first time that I play a new board game I usually lose. I feel disoriented, clumsy, and ineffectual. I might petulantly disparage a game or its design elements in my head or out loud. I might remind myself that I don’t like a particular genre (e.g., stealth) or that my partner is better at certain challenges (e.g., puzzles).

Nevertheless, I love learning new games. I love encountering new design elements or familiar elements combined in new ways. With a new board game, I love the group cross-talk as we build our collective understanding and appreciation. And I love engaging with new challenges and ultimately developing new masteries.

by G. Christopher Williams

18 Jul 2016

In next week’s all new episode of the Moving Pixels podcast, we’ll be looking at Jotun. Somewhat in the vein of Shadows of the Colossus or Titan Souls, Jotun is a game that is all about the boss battle.

With that in mind, I thought it would be fun to revisit a discussion that Nick Dinicola, Rick Dakan, and myself had about the relevance or possible irrelevance of the boss fight to contemporary video games.

by Nick Dinicola

15 Jul 2016

Mirror’s Edge is a racing game. Sure, you may be controlling a person, not a car, and you may be jumping across rooftops like a platformer, but neither the first-person shooter nor the platformer fully capture the ethos of Mirror’s Edge. It’s a first-person game unconcerned with shooting and a jumping game that’s unconcerned with jumping. Yes, you’ll jump a lot, but that’s not the really the point of it all. The point of it… is speed. Getting up to speed. Maintaining speed. Improving yourself to increase your speed. Everything about the game eventually feeds back into that singular idea.

//Mixed media
//Blogs

Culture Belongs to the Alien in 'Spirits of Xanadu'

// Moving Pixels

"The symbols that the artifact in Spirits of Xanadu uses are esoteric -- at least for the average Western gamer. It is Chinese culture reflected back at us through the lens of alien understanding.

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