In her book, Rise of the Videogame Zinesters, game designer and critic Anna Anthropy argues in favor of a simple, yet radical change to the video game landscape. Her mission is refreshingly straightforward, as is her prose: “What I want from videogames is for creation to be open to everyone, not just to publishers and programmers. I want games to be personal and meaningful, not just pulp for an established audience. I want game creation to be decentralized. I want open access to the creative act for everyone. I want games as zines” (Rise of the Videogame Zinesters, Seven Stories Press, 2012, p. 10). She admits that it’s a daunting order, but then spends the rest of the book enthusiastically and convincingly showing that such a change is well within our grasp. Her book, which could have easily been a simple polemic against entrenched publishers, instead becomes an optimistic guide for people of non-traditional backgrounds to take ownership of the medium.
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Big breasts, waspish waist, long legs. Yes, this is the all too familiar idealized and hyper-sexualized body of women in video games.
Enter Diablo III‘s female barbarian. She’s thick in the middle, has legs like tree trunks, and arms that look ripe to produce a gasp-inducing bear hug. This isn’t a body that you often see in this medium.
Following the success of Double Fine’s kickstarter for their adventure game, interest in what the web site can do for video game development has grown.
A host of potential games, some classic remakes and promised sequels along with new independent projects, are looking at Kickstarter as a viable new way to finance gaming projects. This week we consider the influence of crowd sourcing on game development.
Like most RPGs nowadays, Game of Thrones begins with a character creation screen where we get to choose a fighting style and skill set and so on. It’s very standard until you start to pick your “traits.” These are permanent modifiers named in such a way that it encourages us to think of our character as more than a collection of stats (“Ambidextrous,” “Honed Reflexes,” “Gifted”), but the best part about these choices is that once we’ve picked three positive traits, we have to pick three negative traits that permanently weaken our character.
There was a palpable excitement about King Kong shortly before its release in 2005. Peter Jackson had just come off the amazingly successful and Oscar winning Lord of the Rings trilogy. Unless Jackson pulls an “M. Night Shyamalan,” his name will forever carry with it instant notoriety, drawing a community towards his work eager to participate in whatever artistic endeavor he chooses to create. Like many other media properties of this sort, this built in community makes a natural target for cross-media promotions and transmedia storytelling. Remember that King Kong video game that—much to everyone’s surprise—was actually decent? King Kong and movie tie-in games like it seldom aim high, but they may yet provide an added value—intentionally or otherwise—to media communities.
// Notes from the Road
"Philip Glass, the artistic director of the Tibet House benefits, celebrated his 80th birthday at this year's annual benefit with performances from Patti Smith, Iggy Pop, Brittany Howard, Sufjan Stevens and more.READ the article