Latest Blog Posts

by Jorge Albor

26 May 2011


Beginning June 10th, impromptu teams of game designers, programmers, artists, humanitarian aid experts, philanthropists, and anyone with a passion for changing the world will participate in GameSave, a “hack-a-thon” like competition to develop disaster response games. Over five weeks, small collections of thinkers and do-gooders will brainstorm, design, and produce games that might save lives. With a 48-hour jam session in Seattle, Washington, a final public reception in San Francisco, and potential GameSave events in the future, creators Annie Wright and Willow Brugh aim to make entertainment and humanitarian aid long-term partners. The two GameSave founders graciously took some time with me to discuss the event and the role that games can play in mitigating the impact of disaster,

PopMatters: Can you explain how the idea for GameSave came about?

Annie Wright: Well, basically it was a comment thread on a Gamer Melodico article. I shared it via Google Reader. I believe it was actually about PAX East coverage.

Willow Brugh: It turned into this fantastic conversation, and going back to face to face time, Annie and I wanted to sit down to talk about it.

by Aaron Poppleton

24 May 2011


It may be safely said that most people with even a passing interest in the video-gaming hobby have at one point or another heard of Metal Gear Solid.  It is one of the iconic games released for the PSX—a game so well-liked that it was given a complete overhaul and update with the release of Metal Gear Solid: The Twin Snakes for the Gamecube.  Now I will freely admit—cheerfully admit, even—that the visual style of the old Metal Gear Solid left a bit to be desired.

by G. Christopher Williams

23 May 2011


From campy exploitation to the exploitation of addiction, the Moving Pixels podcast discusses a few of this year’s flash game releases.

You can find free-to-play versions of the three titles that we discuss in this episode below:

by Nick Dinicola

20 May 2011


Dragon Age II is about prejudice, against refugees, foreigners, and those among us who are simply different. The citizens of Kirkwall hate the refugees from the Blight, they hate and fear the stranded Qunari, and like everyone else in the world of Dragon Age, they fear mages. Oh, and mages fear the Templars. The conflicts are well presented; neither side is very sympathetic as the victims often lash out with violence at their oppressors, justifying further oppression. Dragon Age II seeks to explore this vicious cycle of hate, and for the most part, it succeeds. Prejudice against mages isn’t just a major theme, it’s an important plot point with ramifications that will change the world of Ferelden. However, this delicate balance falls apart whenever the player is put in the role of victim because the player is never truly victimized or oppressed.

by Scott Juster

19 May 2011


I like to think of myself as the strong, silent type in online multiplayer situations.  When I’m not playing with people that I know, I generally keep to myself.  I often don’t even bother wearing a headset.  However, there are times when silence isn’t a choice: non-verbal communication is often enforced by practical, technical, or design choices.  There’s no denying the convenience of being able to speak directly to one’s fellow players.  Even so, some of my most memorable experiences in multiplayer communication have involved very few words.

Voice chat is a well established feature in video games, but it is by no means ubiquitous within the online population.  Unlike Microsoft, neither Sony nor Nintendo has been proactive about giving their online communities voices.  Similarly, while it is reasonable to assume that PC players would have microphones, compatibility issues and a myriad of VoIP clients don’t guarantee the kind of standardization that comes with the Xbox Live’s system and bundled microphone.  Multiplayer game developers must face the fact that a portion of their audience will not be able to speak to one another.

//Mixed media

//Blogs

"No Dollars in Duende": On Making Uncompromising, Spirited Music

// Sound Affects

"On the elusive yet clearly existential sadness that adds layer and texture to music.

READ the article