Thursday, 20 November 2014

"Games reviews are changing from product assessments to tourist guides"

Written by Keith Stuart, "Games reviews are changing from product assessments to tourist guides" was posted on The Guardian:
Perhaps games reviewers should think of themselves more like TV critics from now on. When a game is released, it’s like the first episode in a new series: you review elements of that – the set-up, the acting, the direction – but you also assess the possibilities in a frank and open way. Games evolve now; they are shaped as much by player activity as by design ambitions. This is why YouTubers have become so popular and valuable – they are part of games and convey the ever-changing experience – they report from the frontline of engagement.  Full article.

Tuesday, 18 November 2014

"Why Anything but Games Matters"

Written by Ian Bogost, "Why Anything but Games Matters" appeared on his blog:
Even as games have become ever more widespread they have also receded further within themselves. And among this community—indie developers at one of a small handful of successful independent games festivals—it’s easy to pat ourselves on the back and say, “but it’s different here.” And it is. 
But also, it isn't. 
Think about the ways we distribute and sell games—especially the indie games that are supposedly enacting the expressive revolution we claim. Steam has made independence financially viable at times, but it has done so by recapitulating games retail—the dark, weird, embarrassing game shop recreated as a tiny-text, black-and-gunmetal interface through which all further activity is sieved. One is not even allowed to run games away from Valve’s supervision. Encountering games still requires pledging fealty to gamedom. Full article.

Wednesday, 15 October 2014

"By request: The impact of games journalism"

Written by Jeremy Parish, ""By request: The impact of games journalism" appeared on his blog, Gamespite:
"But we can be less glib and reductive about this, too. I actually do think the games press — both large and small — has played a valuable role in changing the way people think about video games. Or rather, in making people think about video games. Certain I can credit my own heightened awareness of the medium and the mechanisms behind it to a string of excellent issues of Next Generation in the mid ’90s and, a few years later, some great pieces in EGM as the magazine reinvented itself into something richer and more substantial than a gallery of screen photos from Japan. Not that I minded the “galleries of screen photos from Japan” era; those early glimpses of games that sometimes made their way to the U.S. and sometimes didn’t were always interesting." Full article.

Thursday, 28 August 2014

"Jerry Lawson, Black Video Game Pioneer"

Written by Benj Edwards, "Jerry Lawson, Black Video Game Pioneer," appeared on Vintage Computing and Gaming:
BE: To fast forward a little bit, before I get off your history with computers, do you remember the first personal computer you ever used in the 1970s? 
JL: Two of them — that is funny, because I had an Altair. And before that, I also had — Fairchild gave me a DEC PDP-8. I put the PDP-8 back into work. In fact, the PDP-8 is a story in itself — that ended up running a school in my garage. With the PDP-8, I had two tape units, the tape controller, a high speed tape reader, and all the maintenance boards and backup spares for it. My garage became a service depot.

DEC said I had the only operating PDP-8 — straight 8 — west of the Mississippi. And they asked me if they could run classes in my garage on it. As a result — my PDP-8 had a control unit on it called the TC01. And the TC01 didn't have all the maintenance updates on it. They said it would cost about ten grand to update it, and I said, "Well heck, I'm not paying ten grand." So they said — for them having the class in my garage with the guys there — they would do the updates for free. They did. The whole updates for free. Full article.

Tuesday, 26 August 2014

"Women as Background Decoration: Part 2 - Tropes vs Women in Video Games"

Written by Anita Sarkeesian, "Women as Background Decoration: Part 2 - Tropes vs Women in Video Games" was posted to YouTube:

Monday, 28 July 2014

"The studio that made Tony Hawk's Pro Skater closed, here's its billion-dollar story"

Written by Tracey Lien, "The studio that made Tony Hawk's Pro Skater closed, here's its billion-dollar story" appeared on Polygon:
"Releasing a game for the same series every year has a downside. There's a term called Madden Syndrome, derived from the Madden football video games. It describes an annualized franchise that barely changes from year to year. After all, how much can you improve on a football game, soccer game or skateboarding game — especially on never-ending deadlines?" Full article.

Friday, 11 July 2014

"Master of the Game (Diploma Says So)"

Written by Chris Suellentrop, "Master of the Game (Diploma Says So)" appeared in The New York Times:
"Jonathan Blow, whose 2008 game Braid for the Xbox 360 did as much as any title to bring independent games into the mainstream, dropped by the Game Center unannounced last semester to look at some student projects. This spring Zach Gage, who helped create Ridiculous Fishing, selected by Apple as the iPhone game of the year for 2013, offered a critique of a set of student games. The closest analogy might be having the directors Wes Anderson or Richard Linklater visit to check out student film productions." Full article.