Gaming under the microscope
December 21, 2009 1:05 PM   Subscribe

Jamin Brophy-Warren wrote various features for the Wall Street Journal until he found a niche. This fall he left WSJ and devoted himself full-time to gaming, drafting insightful analysis of games and the technology propelling them forward . Last week, he authored an interesting piece on free flash games with crummy graphics and no story for Slate's gaming club.
posted by jefficator (11 comments total) 9 users marked this as a favorite
It seems interesting, but there's just not enough depth. If the pieces were two or three times longer, I think he could be a lot more interesting.
posted by nasreddin at 1:18 PM on December 21, 2009

Only had a chance to glance through this so far, but anyone interested in further discussion of one the best games this year, Canabalt, should really read the Rock, Paper, Shotgun's The Games of Christmas retrospective about the game.

Glad to see Brophy-Warren shares my love for this little piece of gaming that stood out in sharp contrast to the admittedly excellent fare of blockbusters this year. (Uncharted 2 still gets my vote, even though I loved the more quirky titles like Demon's Souls and flower...)
posted by slimepuppy at 1:36 PM on December 21, 2009

Canabalt is one of the best games of the year? For a one-button game, it certainly has a lot of style, but I'm a little dumbfounded over the constant crowing of games journalists over this briefly entertaining bit of Flash. Not saying it's bad, at all, but I'm still scratching my head at all the attention it's been paid.
posted by notmydesk at 1:54 PM on December 21, 2009

Canabalt was posted here, incidentally.
posted by enn at 1:58 PM on December 21, 2009

Canabalt wasn't even the best iPhone game this year. That goes to Flight Control.
posted by yeti at 2:30 PM on December 21, 2009

Jamin interviewed me for a feature for the WSJ a couple years ago, hell of a nice guy.
posted by signalnine at 3:00 PM on December 21, 2009

I don't really get it either. Canabalt's moderately amusing and has a real sense of style, both of which are pluses, but I don't think it'd even be in my top 20 of the year. Maybe gaming journalists just love it because it's a game they've actually finished, for once.

My game of the year is Batman: Arkham Asylum, by the by. But I don't have a PS3 yet and so haven't played Uncharted 2 yet.
posted by Errant at 3:12 PM on December 21, 2009

GotY: Borderlands
posted by empath at 3:40 PM on December 21, 2009

I'm afraid I have to second the lack-of-depth problem that nasreddin noted above. The linked pieces are very much in line with other articles in games journalism, only shorter, and didn't stand out to me in terms of either style or substance. (And that fact is especially disappointing considering the author is clearly someone who is thinking about games with some depth, having bothered to read at least one of the numerous academic works on games -- he cites Jesper Juul in the last article linked.)
posted by voltairemodern at 3:47 PM on December 21, 2009

Kieron Gillen he ain't.
posted by Pope Guilty at 5:23 PM on December 21, 2009

I think Canabalt is not so much a "best" game as a good example of the new breed of really simple iterative games.
posted by dhartung at 11:19 PM on December 21, 2009

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