play and letters

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Alan Wake early impressions

Spoilers: Alan Wake, BioShock 2, Lost Highway and a couple of Stephen King novels. The first time I loaded up Alan Wake, I was hanging out with a friend. We were playing, but we were also chatting, and I was… Continue Reading →

Narrative in game-based learning

Over the last two years, I have spent a lot of time reading studies about K-12 and college courses that incorporate elements of game design. Sometimes, these elements are directly adopted into the structure of the course: educators use points… Continue Reading →

Unserious game: Singularity

Singularity is not the most linear game I’ve ever played, but it sometimes felt that way. Blandly American protagonist Nate Renko is either the most blasé guy in the world, or else is mute (perhaps brain-damaged from the game-opening helicopter crash?). As… Continue Reading →

In praise of the "Let’s Play"

A list Dwarf Fortress Animal Crossing Arcanum: Of Steamworks and Magick Obscura Jurassic Park: Trespasser Might & Magic Legacy of Kain Darkseed I Have no Mouth and I Must Scream Deadly Premonition With the exception of Dwarf Fortress and Deadly… Continue Reading →

Serious game: But That Was [Yesterday]

At the suggestion of J.P. Grant, whose excellent blog I recently discovered, I checked out But That Was [Yesterday], a small art game that took 1st place in this year’s Casual Gameplay Design Competition. For another perspective, Grant’s review is… Continue Reading →

On inhabiting false realities

“Maybe each human being lives in a unique world, a private world, a world different from those inhabited and experienced by all other humans. And that led me to wonder, ‘If reality differs from person to person, can we speak… Continue Reading →

Schwarzenegger v. irony

The US Supreme Court recently heard a case that bears on video games and the first amendment. I tend to come down very far on the side of protecting speech in general, and of considering video games to be a… Continue Reading →

Jim Gee talk at the University of Arizona

  James Paul Gee of Arizona State University recently spoke at the University of Arizona, which (as of my graduation this weekend) will soon be my alma mater. The title of the talk is “Embodied Situated Learning and Digital Media,”… Continue Reading →

How "Epic Win" fails

Jon Weigand joined me in writing this post. Our lives are full of quests. Remember that birthday card, send that email, or drag ourselves to the gym on a regular basis. Epic Win is a to-do list with a lovely premise…. Continue Reading →

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