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More thoughts than you need about Alan Wake

Multimodality Alan Wake draws on a collection of interesting sources—but if you’ve heard anything about the game, you probably know that already. Between obvious references to Twin Peaks and frequent shout-outs to Stephen King and other writers, developer Remedy Entertainment is ingratiatingly eager… Continue Reading →

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 →

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 →

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 →

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. You… Continue Reading →

How games tell stories, part 5: wandering the wasteland

This is part 5 of an ongoing series on the techniques that game designers employ to tell stories in video games. If you haven’t read the earlier posts, you might want to do that first. II. Exploration (continued) If my… Continue Reading →

How games tell stories, part 4: Exploratory narrative and the player-as-author

This is part 4 of an ongoing series on the techniques that game designers employ to tell stories in video games. If you haven’t read part 1, part 2, and part 3, you might want to do that first. II…. Continue Reading →

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