Why does this species—a species composed of rock—have sexual dimorphism even more stark than mountain gorillas? What purpose does this serve? Come to think of it—why do the women have plant hair? It appears to be growing out of their skulls—so it must be parasitic. But this is a sentient species in a futuristic setting, meaning that if it were a non-beneficial parasite, they’d have removed them. So are Granok-plants an example of resource-resource mutualistic symbiosis? Wouldn’t the males then also cultivate plant-hair? Why is it gender-segregated?
Bryce Mainville is unimpressed by the character design in the new sci-fi MMO Wildstar
. Bonus: Cassandra Khaw's difficulties with creating ugly female characters in Wildstar
posted by MartinWisse
on Jun 14, 2014 -
Indie gaming started out as games written with passion for people who embraced and loved them. Now too much of it is about churning out giant mounds of decent but undifferentiated product to be bought for pennies by people who don't give a crap either way.
It's not sustainable.
Veteran indie game developer Jeff Vogel says the indie game bubble is popping
posted by MartinWisse
on May 25, 2014 -
Pastplay: Teaching and Learning History with Technology.
The fourth book from the digitalculturebooks
imprint of the University of Michigan Press, Pastplay
includes a wide range of essays, all available online
for free. T. Mills Kelly reflects on his historical methods course which resulted in a historical hoax, “the last American pirate,” declared one of the 10 biggest hoaxes in Wikipedia’s first ten years. Matthew Kirschenbaum discusses if board games work better than computer games for teaching history. The book's chapters cover successful combinations of play, technology, and history. Yet, many are wary, as a "playful approach to teaching and learning with technology can seem like the worst of all possible worlds: the coupling of strategies developed for entertainment with tools created for commerce." [more inside]
posted by spamandkimchi
on May 4, 2014 -
" is a fake trailer, for a movie that, for now, is not going to be made, about the incredible power of its characters to defy the physics of the world they live in, almost as if they were cheating a videogame.
posted by Lorc
on Dec 18, 2013 -
Crusader Kings II
is a computer game in which you play as any one of hundreds of feudal lords in Europe in the High to Late Middle Ages. Hoping for your family to become just that little bit more powerful, you scheme against your liege, your vassals, and occasionally even your enemies. Meanwhile, at least half of the game's cast of thousands schemes against you. The game's potential for Shakespearean intrigue has made it ripe for post-game write-ups called after-action reports. With the recent release of The Old Gods
, an expansion allowing for play as a pagan ruler, PC Gamer
published its own series of after-action reports: Lords of the North.
The game's thematic similarities to A Song of Ice and Fire
/Game of Thrones have not gone unnoticed
, either. [more inside]
posted by Rustic Etruscan
on Aug 31, 2013 -
"The Verse flows throughout Aquaria, through each ripple and wave, through every living being. The Verse binds us, narrator and explorer: my story will become your own, and yours will become mine. You will live my life through my eyes, and you will learn the truth… In time, I would discover far more than I'd wish to learn." [more inside]
posted by Nomyte
on Jun 22, 2013 -
Davis and Ma wrote up a long list of one-paragraph game pitches to prototype. They would be small, manageable games that two people could complete on their own. The game they chose to go with would have to be finished within a year, because that was all they had budgeted for. Among the pitches inspired by board games, roguelikes and all the genres that excited them was a 2D, top-down management game called FTL. The Opposite of Fail
- The making of FTL
posted by Artw
on Mar 17, 2013 -
NEW from VIDEO Magazine, arising out of its popular "Arcade Alley" column, it's ELECTRONIC GAMES Magazine
!(page of PDF links)
Brought to you by editors Frank Laney Jr. and Bill Kunkel
, and filled with all the latest news on programmable home console games, computer games (with special coverage for the new ATARI 800 system), stand-alone electronic devices and arcade gaming. [more inside]
posted by JHarris
on Feb 7, 2013 -
An Unknown Alien Being acquires a child's forgotten book and mistakenly believes that it depicts proper protocol for interaction with the human world.
The book is a collection of Peanuts comics.
Woodsnoopy 45 stares into your open heart. Her yellow head squirms and pukes up feathers.
posted by JHarris
on Jan 6, 2013 -
It makes you uncomfortable when she looks at you. She makes a demand.
Her demands come often and always create uncomfortably simultaneous feelings of resentment and obedience.
That is the territory of the Lucy faction. They are the ones who gather nickels. Woodsnoopy 45 is overstepping her boundaries.
Being a mere Woodsnoopy 799, however, you can do naught but obey."
Both characters remained fully clothed and there were no genital shots. But this was still the most explicit sexual content Wildenborg had seen in a video game. “It was at this point I decided to release the patch to the public,” he says. “I tossed the name 'Hot Coffee' on the file, based on the fact that the girlfriends would ask CJ in for some 'coffee' as a euphemism for sex. Hot Coffee was the first modification for San Andreas.”
- The history of Grand Theft Auto's infamous "Hot Coffee" mod.
posted by Artw
on Dec 9, 2012 -
Gaming made me
- RPS writer Patricia Hernandez on how Fallout 2 shaped her world view, her politics and her sexuality.
posted by Artw
on Nov 23, 2012 -
The Most Dangerous Gamer
The Atlantic profiles game developer Jon Blow, most famous for creating the acclaimed and philosophical Braid
, now working on "puzzle-exploration" game The Witness
. Blow aims to make The Witness a groundbreaking piece of interactive art—a sort of Citizen Kane of video games...“Things are pared down to the basic acts of movement and observation until those senses become refined,” he told me. “The further you go into the game, the more it’s not even about the thinking mind anymore—it becomes about the intuitive mind.”
posted by shivohum
on Apr 11, 2012 -
I remember with crystal clarity when I realized I was making more money from this enterprise than I was at my full-time job. I quickly decided to expand and hired four guys in Singapore to play 24/7. I paid them unreasonably well for the time, almost 3x as much as they would for other re-sellers; this bought me loyalty, and in this enterprise, loyalty is everything."
How I Helped Destroy Star Wars Galaxies [more inside]
posted by Foci for Analysis
on Mar 7, 2012 -
is a long, multi-part essay about how computer games deal with the concept of nations and turns it into a game mechanic. The author, Troy Goodfellow of strategy gaming blog Flash of Steel, focuses on how the fourteen indistinguishable national factions of the original Sid Meier's Civilization have been treated by different games through the years. [more inside]
posted by Kattullus
on Aug 15, 2011 -
Recent research on children. (1) Brothers and sisters who argue a lot can improve their language, social skills and outcomes: Guardian article
; paper on part of the research
(pdf). (2) First findings from Understanding Society
. Conclusions include: the unhappiness of children’s mothers with their partners affect children’s happiness, but this is not the case if children’s fathers are unhappy in their relationships; having older brothers or sisters doesn’t appear to affect children’s happiness, but having younger brothers or sisters is associated with less happiness; not living with both natural parents has a greater negative impact on a young person’s life satisfaction than their material situation. (3) A longitudinal study on people now in their forties has found that for these people reading is linked to career success, though not necessarily to better pay, whilst playing computer games and doing no other activities was associated with less likelihood of going to university. In particular, those who owned a ZX Spectrum or Commodore C64 were less likely to go to university. thinq interview with researcher
. Guardian article
. Telegraph article
. (4) Poll about children’s attitudes to losing in sport. Press release
. Data from children’s survey
. Data from parents’ survey
. (All three are PDFs.)
posted by paduasoy
on Apr 9, 2011 -
After years of meticulous research of historic documents, mapping, modeling, texturing, and trying to convince a video game released in 1998 to do something it was never intended to be capable of, the 72 kilometer, 567-turn Piccolo circuito delle Madonie was released
as a community add-on track for Grand Prix Legends
last September. The track was home of the Targa Florio
from 1932 to 1936 and 1951 to 1977, and is made up of curving
, winding mountain roads
in the Sicilian countryside
, and is beautifully recreated in the game. Best of all, it's absolutely free
posted by clorox
on Mar 12, 2010 -
Editor Marty Halpern looks back at the career of George Alec Effinger (part 1
, part 2
, part 3
), a prolific author best known for his work set in the Budayeen
, a walled city in a future Islamic state, teeming with gangsters, hustlers and transsexual prostitutes, many of them habitual users of plug in personality modules. The noirish tone and exotic technology of the Marîd Audran
books (When Gravity Fails, A Fire In The Sun, The Exile Kiss) made Effinger one of the leading lights in the cyberpunk movie, and spawned a videogame
- a rare attempt at a graphical adventure from Infocom - and an RPG setting
. Sadly Effinger faded from prominence
after that, and he suffered from a number of health and financial setbacks before passing away
in 2002. His work has had somewhat of a resurgence in popularity of late, with the Marîd Audran books coming back into print in 2007, a long with a collection
containing The Wolves of Memory, Effinger's personal favourite amongst his novels.
posted by Artw
on Jun 9, 2009 -
SFXR by Tomas Pettersson -
Ever needed a skilled Foley artist and an audio lab for making sound effects? No, probably not, but even the most amateur game designer needs sound effects for his game. Now, thanks to Tomas Pettersson the long tradition of stealing sound effects from other games is finally over. It doesn't do much more than little 8-bit bleeps and bloops, but it sure feels nice to have original, royalty-free sound effects for your game, or just for fun.
posted by Mr.Encyclopedia
on Jan 10, 2009 -
In this way, Lu Yang became one of the "RMB gamers" she disdains. More than 10,000 RMB was quickly and nearly imperceptibly spent. In the game, the "queen" possessed fearsome power. She carried out vengeance for herself and her friends, she accepted entreaties, and she protected the caravans of the kingdom. At the same time, she went out with the heroes to invade other kingdoms. Her reputation spread far and wide. [...] "Long live the Queen!" People bowed to her in submission. That was the high point for Lu Yang on ZT Online, and for that one fleeting moment, she felt that the time and money she had spent was worth it.The System
is a translated Chinese article examining ZT Online, an MMORPG that has taken fleecing gamers to a new level.
posted by Kattullus
on May 6, 2008 -