Latest Blog Posts

by Kym Buchanan

3 Aug 2016


Albion Online (Sandbox Interactive Gmbh, 2016)

I resent the stereotype than gamers are socially inept loners. Couch co-op games enliven friendships as players overcome challenges side by side. LAN parties and MOBAs can combine elements of traditional parties and team sports. Even single player games can foster discussion, appreciation, and interactive spectating (e.g., Let’s Plays…, Twitch Plays…). In addition to all that socializing, one gaming experience has distinctly given me numerous moments of gaming bliss and months of lasting fascination and satisfaction, in the company of others. I’m talking about being part of a guild in a massively multiplayer online game (MMOG).

I’ve played many roles in guilds, including senior officer, head diplomat, and fleet commander. I recently started playing two newer MMOGs after burning out on another. I play such games in order to interact with other people, so joining a guild is one of my early-game goals. In each MMOG, I searched for the kind of guild I prefer, applied to it, and was accepted. This experience has provoked my thinking about what a guild can become. For example, while reading and watching guilds’ recruiting content I’m reminded of my past guild experiences, good and bad.

by G. Christopher Williams

1 Aug 2016


Given the popularity of Pokemon Go, it seems appropriate to return to a conversation that we had a few years ago about the nature of co-operative gaming.

G. Christopher Williams, Nick Dinicola, and Thomas Cross, discuss varying kinds of co-op style play from the living room to the arcade to multiplayer online and the kinds of dynamics that these experiences create among players.

by Nick Dinicola

29 Jul 2016


Last week I wrote about the story content of Spirits of Xanadu. This week I want to write about its graphics, those terrible graphics that “look like a student project from the early 90s”. That description still holds true, but what’s impressive about this virtual world of simple geometric shapes is how much emotion and style it wrings out of such low fidelity graphics. It might not showcase much detail, but it know how to frame a scene, and in this case, composition is more important than detail.

There are two scenes in particular that I want to call out. Both can kind of be considered spoilers, but one can definitely be considered a spoiler, so I recommend that you play the game first before reading on. It’s only a few hours long and only $10.00 on Steam. With that said…

by Jorge Albor

28 Jul 2016


I’m staring at my local gym leader’s cp 1323 Exeggutor and struggling to understand the popularity of Pokémon Go. It’s been a few weeks since the game came out and I just don’t get. My day job is literally to get this kind of stuff, to understand what makes a trending game interesting to the millions of people who play it, but it’s hard. As someone deeply embedded in the games industry, I’ve never felt more out of touch. Maybe I’m getting old.

Alright, well to be fair, I do understand the basic allure of Pokémon Go. Pokémon is a huge franchise with a lot of nostalgia attached to it. It’s no surprise people familiar with Pikachu and the gang are checking out the app. I also see why the quirky ARG overlay of Pokémon sitting on your coffee table or something is funny in a gimmicky sort of way—hey, look, it’s Koffing in a vape shop. Hell, I can even see why folks rally around the fictional teams of Valor, Mystic, and Instinct. We’re all familiar with group mentality and the sorting hat.

by G. Christopher Williams

27 Jul 2016


I’ve been following my wife and daughters around as they play Pokemon Go for the last three weeks, and it seems pretty clear to me that of the three teams that players can choose from, Team Valor (red), Team Mystic (blue), and Team Instinct (yellow), that it is Instinct that largely gets the shaft.

From what I’ve read, red-blue dominance in Pokemon Go seems the norm around the country. I’ve heard that there are pockets of blue-yellow dominance, but around where I live, this seems an unlikely turn of events. Indeed, there are a number of internet memes that suggest that yellow is the team that struggles with membership and gym dominance.

//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