Playing a game in its alpha or beta form is like living in an unfinished house; it's habitable, but some things seem off or don't work or might get better (or worse).
16 Aug 2016
The challenge of understanding something enough to beat it is part of the joy of unraveling incomprehensible game design.
10 Mar 2016
In games that feature perma death, by melding narrative consequence to mechanical consequence, a great deal of meaning is added to even the most routine of skirmishes. Death makes play matter.
28 Oct 2014
Despite putting on display both the virtues and vices of man, Dark Souls does not make a judgment call about humanity, but rather leaves that up to the player.
13 Aug 2014
We don't want utopia. We already have that. We need dystopia, something less familiar, something challenging, something painful.
14 May 2014
While it is possible for a roguelike to tell a story, textually based narratives are a burden to the genre.
05 May 2014
Nintendo games are memorable more for their grand and difficult moments than for their easy and quick ones.
01 Apr 2014
The lack of thematic tension and thematic horror stems from the fact that Knock Knock presents itself as an intellectual puzzle instead of as an emotional story.
31 Jan 2014
I have found myself struck with admiration recently by games that I have played that have put me in less than empowering positions, games that celebrate difficulty and hardship, struggling and deprivation, rather than empowerment and excess.
23 Apr 2013
The option to “continue” changed the nature of death in games. It could certainly remain an annoyance and a sign of failure, an indication that the player is not executing well, but frankly, any number of games also seem to use death as a feature, as a necessary mechanic for play.
29 Jan 2013
The greater the failure of the video game player, the greater the financial reward of the video game machine’s owner. More frustration, more 'death', used to mean more quarters per hour. These days, it means something else, entirely.
16 Aug 2012
This week Flash Points looks at the role the internet played in the creation and distribution of 1 Lunatic 1 Icepick, arguably the world's first snuff movie. We also anticipate the release of Dark Souls for the PC, a game that is literally designed to kill you.
21 Jun 2012
To venture into Dark Souls, even for a moment, is to remind yourself of a universal truth: everyone has the capacity to transcend expectations, even you.
04 Jan 2012
In video games, dying becomes useful, functional, pedagogical. In some games, it is consequential. However, such pain ironically can magnify the pleasure of play.
25 Oct 2011
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