October 12th, 2008
The past few weeks I seem to be sectioning between days with no time on my hands to days with perhaps too much free time. It’s all pretty random, so in the downtime I’ve been chipping away at some articles and doing plenty of reading because I know, before too long, I’ll be back in the cycle again.
Whatever the case may be I seem to have more time on my hands over here, which is great. This means that the quality of links for this month are top notch. Here’s what I have enjoyed lately:
This editorial should be read in tango with my Culture Bred Through Game Design article as it’s a sarcastic take on the cultural convenience of using Russians as the default video game villains. Despite the humour of the article, I find the observation to be an intriguing one. Been planning on writing about “cultural convenience” for a while.
There aren’t many thinkers in the industry, particularly ones that managed to tie together games and some significant discipline of study, which is why I am happy to plug almost anything that Henry Jenkins writes about games. Take a read.
I don’t think that I’ve ever linked out to Leigh Alexander before which is a pity because I enjoy most of the stuff she writes, it’s all very melt-in-your-mouth writing. This post talks about the conclusive state of mind gamers place themselves in before we even have a chance to play. The quotes at the end nail the point beautifully.
There’s been a whole pile of new writers on GameSpite lately and I’m not too sure that If I like them or not. In anycase, the critiques are still pretty solid, as was the case with this one. Some good points made, still not enough to mend the shitstorm that blew in come review time. Some of the points tie in with what I wrote here too.
The first step to fixing a problem is admitting that it exists and Yoichi Wada just did. Asian cultures seem reluctant to change, his acknowledgment is a good place to start.
The account here is interesting. Basically it’s all about the affinity that builds up between you and the game when you are forced to teach yourself how to play. The effort invested in the game ultimately makes it harder to hate the title because you become more aware of what it was trying to do, even if it didn’t do it properly in the first place.
I must confess, I love this blog and have been backlogging on articles I missed for the early on. Richard’s approach is simple; everything can be broken down into smaller parts, hence by dismantling games we can better understand why they are good or bad. It’s common sense genius that doesn’t exist in this industry. So go forth, learn!