play and letters

Tag video games

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 →

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 games tell stories, part 2: cinematic exposition in Final Fantasy and Metal Gear

This is part 2 of an ongoing series on the techniques that game designers employ to tell stories in video games. If you haven’t read part 1, I’d suggest doing so for some background and context, because I’m diving right… Continue Reading →

How games tell stories, part 1

This is part 1 of an ongoing series on the techniques that game designers employ to tell stories in video games. Part 2 is already available, and more are coming. People like me—which is to say, people who spend too… Continue Reading →

Game-based motivation in heathcare

Pharmaceutical company Bayer has recently introduced a new blood glucose monitor for kids with diabetes. The device, called “Didget,” tries to encourage good monitoring habits by rewarding users with points based on the frequency and regularity of their blood checks…. Continue Reading →

Dante’s Inferno, the Epic Poem of the Game

Visceral Games, developers of Dante’s Inferno: The Video Game and Travesty, have released as a marketing tie-in a version of the actual poem. The book is translated by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow and accompanied by sixteen pages of “stunning art,” which… Continue Reading →

Teaching comparative literature with Bioshock, part 2

This is part 2 of my thoughts about how BioShock could be taught as a text in a college-level comparative literature course (although on reflection, I think it could really work in a general English course as well). Part 1… Continue Reading →

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