Latest Blog Posts

by Nick Dinicola

18 Mar 2016


The world of Dying Light is harsh, and the world of its expansion, The Following, is even harsher. There’s no fast travel in the expansion, safe zones are few and far between, and there are significantly more Runner zombies than before. When I set out to do a mission, whether it be something major and story-related or it is just a minor collection quest, I gird myself with the knowledge that getting there is going to be tough. It’s easy to get overwhelmed. I have to be prepared to run away, to ditch my car for higher ground, and most importantly I have to keep track of the time, lest I be stuck out in the open when night falls and the real monsters come out. I have to be ready for all of this even though I’m fitted out with grenades, powerful weapons, and a wealth of med kits. Yea, the world of Dying Light is harsh, and it makes getting anywhere a pain in the ass. And I love it.

by G. Christopher Williams

16 Mar 2016


I don’t know too much about dating sims and virtual boyfriends, but I was pretty fascinated by an article over at Vogue called “Why Women Are Choosing Virtual Boyfriends Over Real Ones” written by Pip Usher. In the article, Usher interviews several women who play dating sims or are users of My Virtual Boyfriend alongside interviews with developers of these types of games and apps.

Usher seems to be making the case that cultural changes, such as the fact that there are now more single adults in the United States than married ones and that a large percentage of Japanese millenials claim to be “not interested in relationships” are related to the popularity of these kinds of games in Asia and their increasing popularity globally (“Why Women Are Choosing Virtual Boyfriends Over Real Ones”, Vogue, 5 March 2016). Additionally, she suggests by the end of the article that maybe these games and apps are useful “practice” for real life relationships.

by G. Christopher Williams

14 Mar 2016


This week we consider the multicultural mash up in this indie from last year, a game that includes concerns about robots and body augmentation alongside passages from The Tibetan Book of the Dead.

Cradle asks questions about the soul, the body, and the relationship between those two things and advanced technology. In the podcast, we discuss its concern with incarnation and reincarnation in a culture in which science and reason are ascendant.

by Nick Dinicola

11 Mar 2016


I tend to put roguelike RPGs into two categories: The games in which we fight people and the games in which we fight something more akin to elemental forces. I usually prefer the “forces” roguelikes. These are games in which we struggle against something that we can’t kick or punch. It’s an idea we battle, something universal and almost mythical in its scope. These are games like Out There, in which we explore a galaxy and pray that we find enough resources along the way to fuel another jump, or Tharsis, in which we struggle against constant mechanical failures aboard a starship, like characters might in a disaster movie. We’re not fighting other people in these games. We’re fighting nature itself: the barren universe and the cruel indifference of space.

When up against such all-encompassing forces, how can we not expect to fail? These kinds of roguelikes make me feel okay about losing, and since they are roguelikes, I’ll be losing a lot. Additionally, It’s nice when those failures don’t sting.

by Jorge Albor

10 Mar 2016


Firewatch (Campo Santo, 2016)

Sometime later this month or early next month, thirty-five masochists will meet up in Frozen Head State Park outside Wartburg, Tennessee to run what is widely accepted as the most difficult marathon in the world. The Barkley Marathon, held annually since its inception in 1986, has been finished only sixteen times. It’s a brutal, multiloop, hellscape of a race. It’s also an inspiring example of design.

When we criticize game design, we often bring up the concept of clarity in a variety of forms. How clear is the interface? How clearly does the game communicate its goals? Is progression clear? Does it tell the player where to go next? Or what things that the player is doing wrong? Clarity is an excellent game design goal. Except for when it isn’t.

//Mixed media
//Blogs

The Specter of Multiplayer Hangs Over 'Door Kickers'

// Moving Pixels

"Door Kickers is not a multiplayer game, but for a while there, I couldn’t tell the difference.

READ the article