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Game design essays

A whole bunch of great game design essays.
posted by Tlogmer on Sep 23, 2005 - 13 comments

WoW Plague

Plague in World of Warcraft.
posted by srboisvert on Sep 19, 2005 - 59 comments

Video Game Music (with orchestras)

Video Games Live, a game-music-with-orchestra concert tour, has gotten lots of press; videogame music's gettting new attention.
posted by Tlogmer on Aug 14, 2005 - 10 comments

xoc - SMW

SMW - The complete soundtrack to Super Mario World, covered by one man using dozens of instruments. Roughly in game order, faithful to the originals, with some bizarre artistic license thrown around. A private hobby made public. Dedicated to Koji Kondo.
posted by Pretty_Generic on Aug 13, 2005 - 20 comments

Now entering nerdspace.

A Brief History of Game: A nine-part review of the major highlights in rpg history. Other interesting if generally unrelated pieces on the history of gaming, pen & paper or otherwise: "Where Have All the Demons Gone?", discussing the history of Magic the Gathering; A somewhat flippant piece by GameSpy; and some obligatory RPG theory regarding the historical popularity of various styles of RPG.
posted by voltairemodern on Aug 5, 2005 - 32 comments

MMORPG Sweatshops

Wanna make money playing games? In certain Asian countries, workers are paid just cents an hour to camp virtual spawn points to collect gold or items that will then get sold for real currency. Owners of these companies are making tens of thousands of dollars a month whereas their workers are barely earning over $100.
'Sell is a recent graduate from Nanjing University. At 24, he's a manager for Vpgamesell, a large SWG Chinese farming center that wholesales to popular resellers. He started off by selling gil in Final Fantasy XI, but his farming days are over. He's moved up to manager status, helping with marketing and delivery. His many farmers work 10-hour rotations and are paid $121 a month. Sell gets $180 a month and works closer to 14 hours a day because he lives at the office, which is a fairly common practice at farming centers - if you lose your job, you also lose your home.'
Absolutely amazing, this human ingenuity thing...
posted by jcterminal on Jul 6, 2005 - 47 comments

F1=Divide Loaves, F2=Walk on Water, F12=Rapture

This game rated JC for eternal salvation, curing of the sick, and excessive scourging at the pillar. Ok, this is getting ridiculous...a Christian videogame about the rapture and the tribulations? WTF? I guess I know which side I'd be on. Seriously, though, do these people realize that every single new Christian-centric product is nothing more than a honeypot for harvesting names, addresses, and email addresses? Just like the GOP, people realize there's money to be made in marketing to Christians. But, the second you sign up, I'm sure you get added to one of the GOP's spam farms direct mail providers and sold to the appropriate politicrit or ideological demagogue. Just to show you I'm not full of it, look at who's in the databases of the Omega List and Response Unlimited...Advance Ticket Buyers for the Passion of the Christ, Peace Frogs (what?), Y2K Preparedness Buyers, the current (68k) and former (19m) subscribers to the Washington Times (aka Moonie Times), and of course, the Terri Schiavo Donor List. Take a look at who else is in there - Limbaugh, Newsmax, Fortune Magazine, Human Events, Guns and Ammo Magazine, Oliver North, the Heritage Foundation, Linda Tripp donors, G. Gordon Liddy's Toughguy Database, and the buyers of the Left Behind Video Series. No wonder we always lose...every single rightwing entity is in there! Via BoingBoing.
posted by rzklkng on Jun 30, 2005 - 53 comments

Death sentence for online gamer

Death sentence for online gamer SHANGHAI: A Shanghai online gamer who murdered another player because of a dispute over a "cyber-weapon" was given the death sentence with a two-year reprieve yesterday at Shanghai No 2 Intermediate People's Court. Qiu Chengwei's death penalty will be commuted to life in prison if he behaves well in jail, and no other crimes relating to him are uncovered.

Not to condone the murder, but is cyber theft or isn't it? Acording to the DMCA if I download a song or movie from cyberspace I am commiting a crime. Yet if someone steals your item in a cyberworld and sells it for real world cash your left without recourse. I feel China had a chance to establish new law and balked. (more inside)
posted by Trik on Jun 8, 2005 - 124 comments

A Gamers' Manifesto

A Gamers' Manifesto
posted by Tlogmer on May 23, 2005 - 40 comments

Bridging the gender gap in computer gaming.

Bridging the gender gap in computer gaming. Computer games often portray women as victims or prizes . But things seem to be changing. Some see hope in the growing number of games where women play the leading character, especially when the game (NSFW) completely focuses on the character herself. Change, however, may be more apparent than real. If this is real change, it may reduce gender drift (.pdf) in gaming. Women are getting out of the closet (discussed here). Their motto: They grow stronger !
posted by joaovc on Apr 29, 2005 - 44 comments

Illusion of Gaia and my cousin David

Illusion of Gaia and my cousin David
posted by Tlogmer on Mar 29, 2005 - 20 comments

Audio and Visual are as one.

Time Traveling with Tetsuya Mizuguchi: an auditory interview with the producer of such classics as Rez, Space Channel 5, and Lumines. (via)
posted by graventy on Mar 29, 2005 - 5 comments

MIM game reviews

The Maoist International Movement reviews videogames
posted by Tlogmer on Feb 19, 2005 - 43 comments

The future of gaming

The future of gaming (video stream). Check out the demonstration by Total Immersion (French). This is the future, baby!
posted by knutmo on Feb 5, 2005 - 26 comments

Girls do their best now and are preparing.

The Touhou, or Shrine Maiden, series of "curtain fire shooting games" start off challenging and quickly become hard enough to satisfy any hardcore gamer/masochist. They're also gorgeously crafted works of art, and were created in their entirety by one man, ZUN. If you want to play them you'll have to import them* from Japan, but you can download the demos here.
* site sells naughty things as well. Don't order at work.
posted by squidlarkin on Feb 1, 2005 - 10 comments

Ngage self-destruct mechanism!

Introducing the Gizmondo handheld games console from Tiger Telematics. It's like the PSP, only DOOMED.
posted by Pretty_Generic on Jan 27, 2005 - 23 comments

Cheating detected, we're at Defcon 1

Some of you (and clearly the bad guys are among them) don’t always remember that this game, and all accounts and derivative products, are the property of the United States Army. America's Army is the Official US Army Game. Funded by the military, the game is free to download and play online. As of this posting, the game has 1741 servers and 8318 players online. In a post to the game's official forums (the post itself required registration to view and now seems to be gone), a developer warns cheaters "The Army is angry, and we’re coming for you."
posted by ludwig_van on Jan 17, 2005 - 33 comments

bog leech

BOG LEECH! Game sprite horrors! Lovecraftian nightmares!
posted by jimmy on Jan 13, 2005 - 5 comments

Super Mario Bolsheviks

Was Mario some Communist propaganda? "If anything can be said about Mario, it is that he seems to wear quite a bit a red . It’s on his name, it’s the color of his suspenders, his super mushrooms, his flag, even his hat." He does kinda look like an 8-bit Stalin, but a more important question must be asked: "Is Mario a drug pusher?"
posted by StephenV on Dec 24, 2004 - 20 comments

I am Mr. Roarke, your host. Welcome to Fantasy Island!

I am Mr. Roarke, your host. Welcome to Fantasy Island! The virtual economy gets more interesting. (More inside)
posted by malaprohibita on Dec 17, 2004 - 35 comments

Great distraction for work, surgery!

Game Boys used to calm down kids heading into surgery. I have been replaced, as a parent, by a Game Boy, and have come full circle.
posted by adampsyche on Dec 9, 2004 - 7 comments

Speed Demo Archives

Speed Demo Archives is the Guinness Book of Records for Quake speed runs, but they also have speed demos for other games, including a 2:57:35 Half-Life 2 run (torrent to video here). [Via FileRush]
posted by turbodog on Dec 8, 2004 - 7 comments

Atari BackWater Produces First Page Post

The Atari Games That Never Were -- and then some. A community dedicated to rooting out prototype or unreleased titles such as Alligator People,Monstercise and -- hey cool -- a genre-busting color-field. While all this may seem a tad on the esoteric side, the glimpses into the the art is cool, hey?
posted by undule on Dec 1, 2004 - 15 comments

Blowing off Steam

SteamWatch: Observing Our Benefactors Since 2004 - "Who has control over the games I bought? It used to be me. Now it is 'Steam.'" Justifiable implementation of digital rights management or complete insanity? Anyone had any problems yet? (11/18 Half-Life 2 thread.) More on XrML, including Karen Coyle's excellent survey.
posted by mrgrimm on Nov 30, 2004 - 40 comments

Being games developper is cool... think twice

...when Jesus appears in your texture maps.
Ok, this is old news (been there since 1996), but from my own game programmer point of view, this site is hilarious, in a bittersweet way.
It's been down for a while, only available through the wayback machine, but recently got online again.
It might even be informative for all nerdy mefis, since latest news prove games programming stay as a modern slavery icon.
Might be NSFW if you're working on 'in trouble' game project.
posted by denpo on Nov 30, 2004 - 11 comments

Gaming girlz

The Frag Dolls "represent the ladies in gaming with the taste and talent for beating you at your own games. So, for all you guys who think the only gals in gaming are the leather-clad, pixilated beauties on your screens, think again. We're real, and we've got the skills to teach you a few tricks of our own." They're also sponsored by UbiSoft. Dismantling stereotypes or reinforcing them? (via Annalee Newitz, and a nice counterpart to this thread)
posted by mrgrimm on Nov 18, 2004 - 52 comments

The Ultimate Geek Auction

A tour with WotC, a session to play D&D with them. Lifetime subscription to Steam. Ok, some items are better than others. But for Child's Play, the folks at PA are pulling one heckuva dream auction for geeks. More auction items are detailed, go to the the second news post.
posted by eurasian on Nov 18, 2004 - 6 comments

Take your mind off the election...

Princess Maker 2 - Stressed out from current events? I doubt the game is as much fun to play as it is to be bewildered by, but either might help. "...is basically a perverse sports management simulation where your entire team consists of a single ten year old girl that you have to raise to adulthood. Much like any decent sports manager game you have to keep track of a nearly overwhelming number of statistics that fluctuate based on training. In Princess Maker 2 these run the gamut from the mundane like "strength" and "charisma", to the droll like "cooking" and "conversation", to the bizarre like "sin" and "temper". "
posted by soulhuntre on Oct 28, 2004 - 13 comments

Retro Remakes

Retro Remakes is devoted to fan made remakes of classic video games.
posted by cmonkey on Oct 27, 2004 - 5 comments

Yeah, I'm a geek - but I've got company!

Don't Forget to Pack the Scimitar (NYT Link): Mainstream media covers Live Action Role Playing in a way that makes us sound only a little like freaks.
posted by Karmakaze on Oct 22, 2004 - 5 comments

The Ultimate Gaming Table

The Ultimate Gaming Table. While looking around the webernets to find a replacement for my living room table, I stumbled across this. Breathtaking in scope and purpose; I salute this person's nerdly vision and dedication.
posted by majcher on Aug 15, 2004 - 13 comments

You've read the book, now play in the website!

The Davinci Code website hasn't been linked on the front page! Check it out and have fun with codes, conspiracies, art and a challenge. Good fun that might also make you go "hmmmm".
posted by ashbury on Aug 10, 2004 - 47 comments

CACODEMONS

Doom 3: It may possibly be the most pirated game in history.
posted by Keyser Soze on Aug 5, 2004 - 68 comments

Bungie's up to its old tricks...

More viral marketing? Move over, BK chicken. I love bees is teh rox0r.
posted by cohappy on Aug 2, 2004 - 7 comments

remember MUDS?

Rising Force Mud Remember back a couple of years, when the rage was "Multi User Dungeons "? You know graphical role playing. Well, its still around, And loads more interesting than the new online rpgs than the playstation has going. So check it out and play awhile if you want.
posted by edmcbride on Jul 3, 2004 - 15 comments

Twisted Reality 0.1 Beta

Policing Virtual Reality. Wired reports on Sociolotron(NSFW). A MMORPG that allows gamers to rob, rape, and kill other players. Being a gamer, I understand that actions in an MMORPG aren't "real" but how far can you take it?

"Lord Foucault is an admitted rapist. He does it on impulse -- for the thrill of it and for the feeling of control he has over his female victims." Is this any different than running around and killing dwarves?
posted by jopreacher on Jun 29, 2004 - 50 comments

MmmmMm .. . I wants me one o' them robot corpse thingies. . ..

Videogames are falling into the uncanny valley. (Previous mefi discussion: 1 2 -- aw, hell).
posted by Tlogmer on Jun 12, 2004 - 26 comments

Retro or Classic?

Retro Gamer. £5.99 at all good newsagents in the UK. Classic Gamer. Free and downloadable here. I'm suddenly getting flashbacks -- should I buy Zzap! 64 or Commodore User? Choices, choices ... [latter link via ReBlog]
posted by feelinglistless on Apr 8, 2004 - 1 comment

Gaming for the mature

Gamegeezers A new forum for the mature gamer. As the site says "... the new community for the "not so young" gamer. The reason we're setting this forum up is to provide a home for the great many of us gamers out there who are old enough to remember the beginning of this phenomenon known as gaming and are still going to be at it for the rest of our days. You will find no whiney teenage flamers here. Just a good wholesome community of GameGeezers who wouldn't admit to knowing what "l33t" meant if their life depended on it. "
posted by snowgoon on Jan 14, 2004 - 9 comments

Child's play screwed over by media.

Wil Wheaton sums it up best -- Penny Arcade's Child's Play, as posted previously, has been completely ignored by the media, despite donating over US$200,000 worth or toys and cash to a local children's hospital. 11,100 news items on violence in video games, 3 news items on video gamers opening their hearts and wallets.
posted by krisjohn on Jan 5, 2004 - 78 comments

Won't somebody think of the children?!

Child's Play - Penny Arcade, the popular gaming web comic, is looking to reverse some of the stigma that comes with playing games, by asking the community to send games to children at the Seattle Children’s Hospital.
posted by Orange Goblin on Nov 26, 2003 - 10 comments

Carnage in Real Time!

So I reinstalled an older game, StarTopia (Flash required and RIP Muckyfoot, you will be missed), t'other day and discovered I'd lost my manual to it. Never fear, for Real Time Strategic Carnage had about, oh, a bazillion times more info about the game than did the manual that actually came with the game, which should come as no surprise to most gamers. RTSC has detailed information on a number of strategy games, old and new, and I recommend it to your notice wholeheartedly.
posted by WolfDaddy on Nov 9, 2003 - 3 comments

More cut-scenes at 11...back to you Jane!

“In a world being torn apart by international conflict, one thing is on everyone’s mind as they finish watching the nightly news: 'Man, this would make a great game.'”...um, yikes. Playing headline based games could put you in some uncomfortable shoes indeed. I've played wargames that made me really want to not be in a real one - maybe this needn't be as vile a concept at it seems at first blush. But maybe games can't give the nuanced, serious treatment of such topics as, say, movies such as Benini's "Life is Beautiful"
posted by freebird on Nov 8, 2003 - 14 comments

Can obsessive behaviours involving electronic community be considered an addiction, and the community itself an 'addictive substance?'

At the recent Digital Games Research Conference held at the University of Utrecht, Netherlands, Florence Chee and Richard Smith presented a paper on Everquest and its implications for addiction policy. Here's the full text and a decent summary here.
posted by Ufez Jones on Nov 7, 2003 - 5 comments

NOW SPELL REDUNDANT

Handheld Simulators for all your retro-gaming needs. Game & Watch a-plenty or here for a java version to get the flavour without the download. Get stuck into Merlin and finally show you are superior to his complex brain, or revert back even further and snuggle up to an old friend with a speech impediment.
posted by Frasermoo on Aug 19, 2003 - 7 comments

PacMan Ghosts In Space

Space Dudes! Space Dudes is fifty levels of shooting... PacMan ghosts? It's a Java game. Simple but I found it addictive.
posted by bargle on Aug 8, 2003 - 6 comments

They were just like the Beatles...

In their day, Trilobyte was at the height of the computer gaming world. Their first title, 7th Guest, made them an instant success, and their follow-ups, 11th Hour and Clandestiny, were equally well-received. But as the saying goes, the bigger they are, the harder they fall. Haunted Glory, from the GameSpot archives, documents the rise and fall of Trilobyte.
posted by ewagoner on Aug 7, 2003 - 18 comments

2-bit executives

Video Gaming: it's a Dumb, Dumb, Dumb, Dumb Industry.
posted by Pretty_Generic on Jun 13, 2003 - 12 comments

Neal Stephenson, Psychic

"Then we realized that somehow an insane god had taken control of our world and was out to kill us all." Subscribers of the multiplayer online game "Shadowbane" were in for a shock Tuesday evening when they realized the game system had been hacked, and the rules fundamentally altered, and not in a good way (unless you happen to like mayhem). While this ended up being a "no harm, no foul" scenario, as everything was eventually set right, it was breaking new ground in terms of the uses of hacking. In a world where characters in these games are sold via EBay, and nearly half a million people subscribe to Everquest, how long before legitimate (non "fun and games") version of what just happened occurs?
posted by jonson on Jun 1, 2003 - 17 comments

cheats

OMG! HAX!!
posted by srboisvert on May 18, 2003 - 19 comments

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