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by Erik Kersting

10 Nov 2015


Nearly all competitive games get “patched.” The NFL updates its rules every year. FIFA recently added goal line cameras to competitive matches. In fact, the only games that I can think of that don’t get updated are turn based, like Chess. Despite these small changes, the games themselves are rarely affected. This past year, the NFL updated a rule concerning running backs charging forward. Prior to this change, a player could run headfirst (literally) into an opposing player, but after the rule changes if the “crown of the helmet” made contact with an opposing player, then the runner’s team would be penalized. Despite a lot of buzz about this new rule, it has barely been called this season, resulting in little to no difference in the play of the game.

I think that this is an example of a “good patch.” It probably changed the way that players were coached to run with the ball, but ultimately it made little difference in the overall look and feel of the sport. This is because American Football has rules that are mostly set in stone. Since the advent of the forward pass, not much of the game has changed. Soccer, long known as “The Beautiful Game” due to its simplicity, has barely changed in a hundred years. Because the rules in these games are roughly fixed, the emphasis of competition is on putting together talented players, managers, coaches, and strategists in order to win.

by G. Christopher Williams

9 Nov 2015


While the concluding episode of Life Is Strange was recently released, we are only just nearing its conclusion with our discussion of the fourth episode of the series.

This week we continue to consider our commitments to certain choices made in the game and our revisions of reality and the consequences of both on the life of Max Caulfield.

by Nick Dinicola

6 Nov 2015


Silence of the Sleep (Jesse Makkonen, 2014)

Puzzles and horror make a curious pair. This pairing has a real history in video games. When one thinks of “old school survival-horror,” one often thinks of an environment with lots of locked doors, hidden keys, and esoteric riddles. But why was it so often this way? Was this a mutually beneficial relationship, one in which the stress of the horror made the puzzles more exciting and in which the methodology of the puzzles forced us to stay rational amidst the horror? Or were the convoluted puzzles included simply to pad out the game to a more marketable length?

by Scott Juster

5 Nov 2015


We’re still a ways away from knowing if Activision’s purchase of King (makers of Candy Crush and all manner of games with “saga” in the title) was a good investment, but I can definitely see the logic behind it. If you take a bigger look at Activision-Blizzard, they’re more than just a Call of Duty factory or an MMO machine. They’re in the business of making experiences that are ongoing services rather than one-off purchases. Buying King gives Activision-Blizzard a shot at cementing that much sought after concept of “engagement” that is currently driving the video game industry as well as the overall technology sector.

by Nick Dinicola

30 Oct 2015


Horror is hard. You can never really be scared by the same thing twice, not in the same way. After that first time, you’re prepared for it. That preparation may be conscious—a knowledge of clichés and tropes that help you predict the future—or it may be unconscious—a subtle feeling of familiarity that turns something once terrifying into something merely scary—but either way the knowledge of a scare subtracts from its effectiveness. Combine that fact with the sheer number of horror related movies, games, books, and whatnot released in any given year… and horror becomes very hard.

But horror is a cakewalk compared to its little brother: The less scary, more abstract, tonally trickier sub-genre of the spooky story.

//Mixed media
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Getting Social with 'Dark Souls III'

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"If I invade and murder you, it’s for your own good. I swear.

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