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by Jorge Albor

2 Jun 2016


I’m about level 40, and I just beat High Lord Wolnir. And by “beat”, I mean watch two sun bros slash the boss to death. I actually sat down and admired the cunning of my fellow players—from afar of course. To my credit, I did cheer for them when the Dark Souls III skeleton boss was finally vanquished, pulled to his dark grave. My phantom allies must have known what they were getting into the moment that they saw my dual-shield wielding hero. After all, his name is Pacifist Pete.

Now, I did complete Dark Souls III like a normal person first. But when the last lord finally sat his throne, instead of going into New Game Plus, I opted instead to roleplay my way through the game as a pacifist. Save for the single boss that you must kill in order to progress, I promised myself that I would wield no sword and intentionally kill no enemy—at least by my own hands. I would be a pacifist, the peacenik of Lothric. As a result, I hoped that I would appreciate the game in a new way.

by Jorge Albor

5 May 2016


My weapon was buffed, balls of energy were swirling around my head, and all my rings were in order. I was ready. My goal: to kill the host of embers in Anor Lando. I was invading in Dark Souls III.

While searching for my victim, I was joined by another ally, an Aldrich Faithful. We bowed and continued on toward the area just outside of the bonfire, where an open courtyard acts as the chosen battleground for PVP duels. There we found the host and their gold-tinged guardian, another player coming to their aid.

by Jorge Albor

28 Apr 2016


Persona 3 (Atlus, 2006)

I recently had the incredibly privilege of visiting Japan, a place I’ve been wanting to visit since Big Bird went to Japan in his 1989 Sesame Street special. Besides bringing back an amazing roll of Yokai Watch toilet paper, I also returned with a renewed appreciation for the “Japanese-ness” of some games. Walking around parts of Tokyo felt strangely familiar, in large part due to numerous anime and video games that make their way to the West.

In Tokyo, I had a special appreciation for the little cultural quirks that I might have seen before in something like, say, the Persona series. There is a sort of pleasurable recognition in seeing high school students in big club groups, for example. I even enjoyed the way that power lines in some residential areas seemed familiar. Visiting Japan was a confirmation that the experiences that I’ve had in games have—at least to some extent—created a real sense of place within a culturally defined space.

by Jorge Albor

24 Mar 2016


Warning: This article contains massive spoilers for Pandemic Legacy. Yes, spoilers for a board game.

It’s October, and the world is ruined. Zombie-like fallen have taken over all of Europe and are now pushing into Latin America and Asia. Cities around the world are rioting. Some have collapsed or completely fallen. St. Petersburg is a nuclear wasteland. And I’m to blame.

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

Best of the Moving Pixels Podcast: Further Explorations of the Zero

// Moving Pixels

"We continue our discussion of the early episodes of Kentucky Route Zero by focusing on its third act.

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