Monday, June 1, 2015

Gaming Round-Up: June 1, 2015

BioShock Illustration

News:  27 million watch video game tournament - matching NCAA final audience

Andy Kelly asks the completely legitimate question Why the Hell Is a Farming Simulator at the Top of the UK Video Game Chart?

At Gamasutra, Katherine Cross compares the systemization of morality in the D&D and Pathfinder tabletop games with that of Bioware games.

Ernest Cline has managed to turn his ’80s nostalgia into an entirely different book from Ready Player One. Read the first chapter of Armada!

G. Christopher Williams calls making games play fast the equivalent of trashy movies.

Gita Jackson takes to Offworld to critique the vast, unplayable history of video games, noting that our failure to preserve "extends beyond just the games themselves and into our collective database of knowledge, criticism and practices within our field."

i09 picks 8 Terrible Games That People Inexplicably Have Nostalgia For

Joel Goodwin of Electron Dance offers this video on the Minecraft Industrial Revolution - the irresistible pull players feel to make its beautiful natural worlds into mechanized, strip-mined, efficiently exploited wastelands.

Kim Foale criticizes games' tendency to gloss over problematic aspects of history.

Naomi Clark of Deadpixel writes about a lack of taste in games, and what it does to games and gamers:
"These are the impoverished gardens that have been grown by the best practices of games as a consumer entertainment industry: put money, time and effort in, get these emotions out. At worst, it stultifies the creation of games into a mechanical exercise, optimizing the efficiency of dopamine production via the stimulation of human brains in the same way that an industrial process would evaluate the quantity of ore extracted and transported from a mine. At best, we can talk about preferences, but we fall short of tastes. Preferences hover in the realm of “what works for you?” Mileage may vary, but you can find an effective treatment, the level of challenge and decision-making stimulus that activates the neural pathways you’re aching for."
Nathan Ditum of Kotaku on the difference between The Witcher and Earthsea and their treatment of magic.  If you're an Ursula LeGuin fan, you'll find it interesting.

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