I basically spent this weekend writing poems for a chapbook with GHOST-MODERNISM and playing/thinking about this game Proteus, and so I thought I’d type out some of these itinerant thoughts about that game. Hopefully it will help me not spend the whole week thinking about it. So what follows after the fold will be poorly arranged. I’ll try not to go into spoiler territory (which will help me keep this in a smaller form). Suffice it to say I think everyone? or many anyone? should try Proteus.
I love all the attention Proteus is getting for its performance-driven gameplay. Why hello Mr. Dissertation! Have you met Proteus? No? Oh I know you’re going to be the best of friends.
Condra here, and wow! Permit me a moment to calm myself, as this post from
Tim Rogers on Kotaku just may be my favorite article yet since I started
with GGW. You may have noticed that “football as RPG” rhetoric has become
increasingly popular in recent months, hot off the heels of Jason
Schreier’s post comparing the sport to JRPGs, and a recent Penny Arcade
comic that drew parallels between the gridiron and the 20-sided die. Rogers
takes all of those instincts a step further and gives the sport the
complete Kotaku review treatment. It’s immediately charming, simply in
concept, but it quickly morphs into one of the best pieces of game
criticism I’ve ever read.
Rogers isn’t simply winking at gamers in order to have a little fun at the
NFL’s expense. Instead, he plays the role of Tyndale, translating the
decades old scripture of football into modern gaming vernacular. An adroit
opening that acknowledges the sport’s more supercilious trappings of beer
and cheerleaders gives way to an airtight, procedural analysis of every way
in which football can stand toe-to-toe with gaming’s most complex
role-playing and strategy classics. The humor of seeing a gaming website
review an athletic sport soon gives way to a serious, honest case-study of
the ways in which athletes and geeks appear to have much more common ground
than they initially thought. It’s a masterful piece that everyone should
I share your enthusiasm, GGW. Rogers might even bring me to watch the Super Bowl this year.
I have formulated a list of freeware games. It is quite extensive, and full of 100% free games. However, I am unable to list every single game in the world that is free. This is where you come in. It’s a win-win scenario; you get a list of games, I get games to list. I don’t have ads on my website, so there’s no obnoxious money grubbing anywhere.
Rules of the list:Must be free Only games that are playable without paying — no demos, free-to-play, microtransactions or anything. Optional donations for cosmetic content are acceptable. Must be legal No “abandonware” games no longer sold or other “legally grey” copyright infringement with no law against it games. Author’s discretion I reserve the right to not add games to the list for any reason I choose, though I will try to use this right as sparingly as possible. Must be downloadableFlash games are a no-no unless they have a download.
To use the list, simply click the “Show/hide if your browser supports HTML5” button if your browser supports it. Otherwise, just go through the list. In order to add or delete games, hit the “forms” button if your browser supports HTML5, then fill out the form you need (delete or new) and hit submit. It’ll make you do a captcha, then it’ll tell me about the change you want to the list.
If you have any questions (e.g. “do freemium games count” or “why didn’t you include ”) or comments, put them in my ask box instead of trying to use the forms for that. Thank you.
This is at least partially personal curation. If I ever need to give students a list of free games to play and study, this is a great source.
discrimination pong is a two-player game about privilege and the myth that everyone is equally capable of succeeding in a capitalist society. it’s unsurprisingly an asymmetrical game: like pong, the players use rectangular “paddles” to try and return a bouncing square ball. but while the right player, who not coincidentally plays the white paddle, enjoys consistent playing conditions, the left player is subjected to a series of handicaps: slowed down, shortened, or straight-up made immaterial. at the end of the game, the left player is told to “work harder,” a message which disregards the obvious ways the odds have been rigged against that player.
not my post but still a great read ….enjoy
When the previews of your latest AAA game hit the net, it hurts you to see a comment that the game is “just more of the same”. It is not true, you think. It cannot be true. Our game has a unique gameplay hook. Our visual style is original, and no one else has our tech. You shake your head, angry at yet another Internet troll, and you move on. Big mistake.
When you design AAA games for an AAA studio, it’s easy to live in a bubble. Famous journalists from the biggest gaming magazines do interviews with you. You and hundreds of thousands of gamers watch your face on YouTube. Your game is advertised on a national TV.
I am a rock star.
You work hard and give it your best. Every day you make dozens of decisions. The color of the heroine’s hair. Branches of the skill tree. Enemy variants.
Every day the game grows.
You think you see everything. How each element of the game affects another. You see the entire structure. You got it under control.
The game is better and better each day.
You track what the competition is doing. Despite your busy schedule and long hours, you still play a lot of games. You know what’s in store for the future. You see the trends. You have an inside info on the next-gen.
You are a creative mind, eager to learn, working hard, making a big game. You’re doing everything you should be doing. Right?
You just can’t see it.
It’s natural. It’s expected. Your comfort zone is a very warm and happy place, and your scumbag brain does everything it can to protect it.
What you can’t see is that the Internet troll was right. That your game has been done already, a hundred times before. There is always an equivalent of it, done twenty years ago. Yes, maybe only in monochrome and maybe with a crappy skill tree and maybe there was only one enemy type. Still, it already exists.
In other words, your precious AAA game commits the worst sin a piece of entertainment can commit.
is it time? is an indie art game that explores what it’s like to be old, feeble and living out your final days alone. It is an unflinching look at the relationship between ailing parents and their adult children, and it pointedly asks the question “When is life not worth living?” This is subject matter that is extremely uncomfortable for most people, and therefore not something you see in many mainstream games or films. On the other hand, the difficulties of getting old are an almost universal human experience, and one that should be explored. Luckily, game designer Jaime Fraina has found a way to turn this experience into an engaging game that can (and should) be played by everyone.
Next time I teach Murray’s Inventing the Medium(its chapter on games predicated on the belief that “the [game] mechanic is the message”), I’m teaching this game. Excellent analytical review.
Continuing the discussion on this whole “immersion” thing.
In some ways, there didn’t seem to be that big of a split between my work-day and my playtime. The line between “work” and “fun” was fluider than I’d like to admit—it still is. I was repeating the same actions, over and over again, with no gain whatsoever.
Thought project, inspired by game studies, Jane McGonigal, and Cathy Davidson: Rather than needing to write three workshop drafts and a few minor pieces before Sunday, I’m actually encountering three main challenges and a few random encounters. I imagine these three principle challenges as mid-bosses in a game, each boss created by one of three different DMs (my professors, who know that Quarlous needs to level more before taking on Final Bosses). Each mid-boss has a set number of HP (ten HP=one page of text), and I deal damage by writing pages.
As I use skills and make attacks, I’ll post the move to Tumblr so that any other interested players can observe, comment, or interact, and to provide a written record of my own choices and accomplishments.
“It is possible that within a decade, each learner—whether a schoolchild or a lifelong learner—could be building up his own private ePortfolio, with badges and credentialing built in, of all learning, all challenges, all there to measure accomplishments at the end of a school grade and still there several years later to help refresh a memory or to be shown to a future employer, all indexed and sortable at will.” (loc. 2364-67)
In my now-lost-forever post I got all skeptical about Davidson (and Jane McGonigal, Patron Saint of Rose-Colored Gaming), but that can wait for class tomorrow. What I’m really interested in is the possibility of a games-oriented composition classroom.
I’ve been turning the prospect over in my mind for a few months. It’s been done here before; Scott Reed taught a student-led 1102 course using games as their literature, which apparently went over phenomenally well. I wonder if game concepts could be applied to the classroom, in addition to accepting games as texts. Could papers become raids? Are low-stakes writing assignments really leveling in disguise? Can grades be replaced with XP and gold? What does a student get for going up a level? And, probably more importantly, what would separate this classroom from cynical gamification (Ian Bogost: “Gamification is bullshit.”)? Engaging students’ attention in interesting ways is a start, but what can we as instructors/game-designers/DMs do to make use of that attention once we have it?