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Storytelling Engines: The Story Arc Has Ended and Yet the Game Keeps Going

Adventurers come and go in some video games, meaning that sometimes the only narrative element that remains consistent in such games is the boss.


One More Episode: A Second Look at 'The Detail'

Despite its seeming interest in them, the social realities presented at the conclusion of each episode of The Detail aren't integrated into the game's narrative and aren't a part of the game's world.


Gaming in the Analog World

A handshake is more substantial than typing "gg" at the end of a game.


Challenge and Abstract Narrative in Adventure Games

Should adventure games sacrifice story and devote themselves to challenge?


Adventure Games As Theater and 'the Charnel House Trilogy'

The Charnel House Trilogy casts the player as an actor in a performance where the script is uncovered as performed. In doing so, it's throwing off an older design paradigm and creating a better work for it.


'Valiant Hearts': The Unneeded Narrator

In the midst of all this human drama is the narrator, lavishing us with needless exposition.


Slaughtering a Sacred Cow, Revisiting 'Grim Fandango'

Grim Fandango has been called "the greatest adventure game of all time". At one point, that may have been the case.


The Party Games of IndieCade East 2015

With the party game, the real experience is having fun in the company of others, not winning.


The Visual Games of IndieCade East 2015

Visuals tend to get a bad rap in video games. However, there are plenty of games in which the visuals are in part the point of the game.


The Offbeat Games of IndieCade East 2015

Indiecast East 2015 offers players a chance to build IKEA furniture, become a chameleon, and to examine their unconscious assumptions.


The Narrative Games of IndieCade East 2015

A few indie developers got to show off their works in progress to me at IndieCade East 2015, including Knee Deep, Liege, and Moonshot


Never-Ending Story: The Role of Gameplay in Modern Adventure Games

By prioritizing storytelling in video games, developers inadvertently send the signal that gameplay innovation is less important to the growing medium.

Colin Fitzgerald

'80 Days' and the Limits of Fiction

80 Days reminds the player that not all worlds are truly open, and that limitations are necessary for there to be true enjoyment.


Considering the Two Seasons of 'The Walking Dead' Video Game

The first season of Telltale's The Walking Dead earned widespread critical praise, mainstream public appreciation, and a bevy of game of the year awards in 2012. Two years later, The Walking Dead Season Two has received a somewhat more muted reception.


Five of the Best Mobile Games of 2014

Here are five of the best mobile games of this year, games that defy the stereotype of iOS and Android games being no more than simple time wasters.


'Unrest': A Tug of War Between Player Knowledge and Character Knowledge

In Unrest, you play a number of characters who all have their own desires and stories, but you play as each of them, and this leads the player into conflict with the game and himself.


'Spec Ops: The Line' Denies the Player the Pleasure of Play

Spec Ops: The Line isn't a criticism of mediocre shooters, but of the romanticism that has so often gone hand-in-hand with the modern shooter genre.


My Downward Spiral with 'Watch Dogs'

Watch Dogs hates me. What is wrong with this game? In a single word: everything.


'Quest for Infamy': A Second Opinion

Quest for Infamy attempts not just to ape the adventure games of old but to attempt a kind of storytelling that was not quite possible in an earlier era of game development thanks to the limits of technology.


Values and the Meaning of Moral Behavior in Video Games

The questions asked by the behavior in a game are limited in comparison to those asked by choices. They are always about violence.


Choice and Consequence in 'Papers, Please'

Papers, Please is a game where actions do have consequences, but most of it relies on the emotional state and investment of the player.


More Thoughts on a More Complex Form of Moral Choice in Video Games

When we talk about video games, we don't seem to have the same understanding of "choice" as we do in other media or even in real life.


Towards a More Complex Form of Moral Choice in Video Games: 'The Wolf Among Us'

Despite how it may look on the surface, The Wolf Among Us doesn't follow standard approach to morality in games exactly, but instead builds on the idea of options not being built on a binary system at all.


The Size and Wisdom of 'Myst'

Myst is a much smaller world than it was 21 years ago.


The Games of IndieCade: Part 3

I honestly believe there is something about IndieCade that leads one to think differently about games and that is quite a feat to accomplish given gaming's frequent commitment to conventionality.


The Games of IndieCade: Part 2

Does the museum environment persuade developers to display games that would feel out of place and alienated in another setting?


The Games of IndieCade: Part 1

I don't know if any of these games are good. I don't know if any of these games are great. But there is something interesting in all of these games.


At Play at IndieCade East

If there was a central theme to this year's IndieCade East, it's that games aren't important. Play is important.


'The Stanley Parable': Mapping Choice to Spatial Movement

By taking the concept of choice and mapping it onto spatial relativity, The Stanley Parable has created an extended metaphor that comments on the whole concept of choice in video games.


'9.03m': A First Person Walker Critique

Point-and-click adventure games tend to be more intellectual affairs, and a minimalist version of one almost seems counter intuitive.


The Denouement of "Dead Man's Switch"

The denouement of Shadowrun Returns is a big advertisement for the game's creation tools and the creator content community that Harebrained Schemes seeks to foster


A Change of Pace in Episodic Gaming

Episodic television often includes small episodes about minor occurrences. Video games don't seem willing to do that.


Considering the Direction of the Telltale Style Adventure Game

Telltale Games has very much set themselves up as a television network as much as a developer. So, why not take a few additional hints from TV?


The Tabletop Sessions of 'Shadowrun Returns'

Shadowrun Returns makes allowances for the video game medium, but it knows that it is a tabletop game at heart.

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