Latest Blog Posts

by Kym Buchanan

10 Nov 2016


Losing XP for dying is wrong. Game design is often a matter of style and taste. However, this is one area where I see a categorical error, as a gamer and as a psychologist. To share my thinking, I’ll unpack dying in games, describe a human capacity called resilience, and describe the problem with losing experience points (XP).

Dying in games is weird. On the one hand, in many games the death of non-player characters (NPCs) is a near-constant event, including both enemies and computer-controlled allies. This is especially true in hack-n-slash and shooter games that feature the wholesale slaughter of NPCs, such as Diablo 3, Castle Crashers, or Serious Sam. On the other hand, in many games the player-character rarely or never dies. Player-characters are often distinguished in a game world by their extraordinary abilities, including their ability to take damage and rebound from it. Even when my player character does die, I can usually resurrect on the spot or nearby, resurrect back at a recent checkpoint, or reload a recent save. Resurrection or reloading may happen so seamlessly that we could be forgiven for thinking of dying in games as something different than dying in real life.

by Mantas Krisciunas

8 Nov 2016


Shit is basically flying off the hook. It’s like shit wants nothing to do with that hook. The hook filed for divorce from that shit and is now seeking custody of the hook and the shit’s two kids.”
—Andrew Hussie’s Homestuck

If you found the above quote hilarious, I recommend putting your life on hold for the next couple of weeks and heading here. The caffeine-fuelled trance you’ll go through before you’re done with the 8,000-plus pages of Homestuck will be completely worth it. Be warned though, your friendships forged before you become a “homestuck” might not withstand the barrage of references to and praises for the comic that you’ll be compelled to unleash. Such will be the case until those who know you either relent and assimilate with the one true fandom or stop talking to you altogether.

by G. Christopher Williams

7 Nov 2016


This week we revisit one of our discussions of how difficulty contributes to the pleasure and pain of gaming.

by Jorge Albor

3 Nov 2016


Overwatch fans love their lore. Blizzard has created a completely multiplayer experience yet filled it with unique and vibrant characters, giving each a unique backstory that ties them all together. It’s a testament to Blizzard’s world building that fans have reacted to so strong to these characters, creating amazing fan art and fan fiction that approaches canonicity for some fans. So why are so many of their community members furious about Sombra?

Sombra is, theoretically, the second addition to Overwatch’s stable of playable characters. She comes after Ana released back in July. Many fans actually thought Ana was Sombra at first. Initially, the ardent detectives of all things Overwatch had discovered an in-game folder titled “SOMBRA [CLASIFICADO]” all the way back in the pre-beta days of the game. Attentive players will even catch Reaper saying, “Where’s Sombra when you need her”, occasionally when spawning on the Dorado map. Blizzard seemingly laid the groundwork for a cunning Sombra reveal.

by G. Christopher Williams

31 Oct 2016


Amnesia: The Dark Descent was one of the more well regarded games of 2010, but we recently discovered that none of our regular Moving Pixels podcasters had played it at the time.

So, this week we catch ourselves up and take a look at one of the most critically acclaimed horror games of the past ten years, Amnesia: The Dark Descent, discussing (among other things) its unique approach to provoking horror and player vulnerability along with its commitment to environmental storytelling.

//Mixed media
//Blogs

Learning the Barbarian in 'Conan Exiles'

// Moving Pixels

"There's no one better than a barbarian to teach you how to become civilized.

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