Latest Blog Posts

by Rick Dakan

28 Apr 2011


Chapter 1 of Rage Quit is available here.
Chapter 2 of Rage Quit is available here.
Chapter 3 of Rage Quit is available here.
Chapter 4 of Rage Quit is available here.
Chapter 5 of Rage Quit is available here.
Chapter 6 of Rage Quit is available in .pdf format here.

“That might be the most amazingly strange and wonderful thing I’ve ever seen,” said PB, a little out of breath as he came running into Randal’s cubicle from Eli’s office. Eli, the QA Lead, was in Korea with Frank the CTO for a localization meeting with the publishers.

“It’s like I said, it’s got to be a hacker or something right?” Randal asked, his temples still pulsing from adrenaline, like he’d just seen a ghost or witnessed a mugging in a dark alley. “That’s the only thing that makes sense.”

by G. Christopher Williams

27 Apr 2011


This discussion contains major spoilers of the plot of the single player campaign of Portal 2.

The original Portal is in part a performance of (and, thus, a consideration of) the mechanisms of power.  The relationship between the protagonist, Chell, and the supercomputer, GLaDOS, reflects also the relationship between players and rule systems in games in general.  Playing the role of lab rat within the boundaries of computer-defined rule sets is the heart of playing a video game and speaks directly to the complexity of negotiating between the freedom of play and the imposition of regulation necessary to “game,” given especially that embedded in gameplay is a negotiation that is a constant movement between giving up control to authority and then resisting voices of authority.

Thus, given that such similarities exist between the structure and narrative of the sequel and the original title, it is unsurprising that once again another Portal raises the issue of why we submit to rule systems, accept their challenges, and follow their orders in order to enjoy ourselves.  In the sequel, though, I drew a rather hasty conclusion early on in my playthrough that, perhaps, this iteration of the series was going to critique politics and power in a more specific way than the more philosophical and abstract approach that the previous game had taken when merely acknowledging this theme through its gameplay.

by Kris Ligman

26 Apr 2011


Today marks the third of four articles dedicated to fully unpacking my recent paper for Rutgers School of Communication, presented earlier this month at the Game Behind the Video Game conference in New Brunswick, New Jersey. Our previous articles focused on vectors for audience engagement and two of the four major taxonomic categories of Let’s Play walkthroughs, the Expert and the Chronicler. We continue our taxonomies today with discussion of the third major LP type, the Comedian, before concluding next week with our final type and an overarching discussion of Let’s Plays as a fan practice.

by Aaron Poppleton

26 Apr 2011


Every once in a while there is a moment in a game which becomes the defining experience for the player. That moment which, if it is good, makes the player forget they are playing a game, and if it is bad, it breaks immersion or proves such a frustrating experience that the rest of the game becomes tainted by association. Mass Effect is a game that is arguably made with these sorts of moments in mind, but a lot of those moments seemed telegraphed—your crew’s disappearance, for example, was clearly supposed to be a Big Deal which would stick in the player’s mind. I knew better, of course, which is why I acknowledged that my crew was missing, yes, but no big deal. I would rescue my crew after I finished all the missions still waiting around for me. The crew could wait. This would prove to be a mistake that would haunt me for the rest of the game, although I didn’t know it.

by G. Christopher Williams

25 Apr 2011


Sometimes a tech problem requires a little strategy to resolve. With some trouble with a microphone among a few other snafus leaving us potentially unable to discuss our planned topic this week, gamers that we are, our solution was to turn this weeks show into a game by putting a little social media to work for us and treating this podcast as something a little more interactive than usual.

The result is this week’s experiment in podcasting, a show based on utter miscellany about gaming and gaming culture.  We sent a “voiceless” Kris Ligman out to Twitter to gather possible mini-topics for discussion this week related to gaming, and then, of course, arbitrarily assigned points to our podcasters ability for improvisationally riffing on said topics in short conversational bursts.

//Mixed media
//Blogs

Revisiting 'Dark Souls 2'

// Moving Pixels

"Is Dark Souls 2 as perfect as I once thought it was? Not quite.

READ the article