Monday, June 15, 2015

Gaming Round-Up: June 15, 2015

Game Master

2013 image created for Interface Zero 2.0: Full Metal Cyberpunk

Anna Anthropy of Offworld suggests that game design can learn a lot from the simple playfulness of children’s books.  For the record, I would play the hell out of a Curious Geoge video game.

Developer Rob Fearon voices his concerns with modern bundling and frequent Steam sales, practices he argues moves copies in the short term but fails to build a meaningful audience.

A fan takes a look at the downturn of Sonic the Hedgehog, and presents some ideas on how to breathe new life into the franchise.

Gamasutra's Emily Short explains why she is obsessed with conversation models.

The Guardian's Rich Stanton raves over Metal Gear Solid V intelligently.

Jody Macgregor of ZedGames analyzes Akira Yamaoka’s compositions for the Silent Hill series.  The piece really makes you stop to consider how crucial Yamaoka's contribution was to the Silent Hill experience.

Mimi Ito of BoingBoing explains Why Minecraft Rewrites the Playbook for Learning

At Offworld, Leigh Alexander writes about the home as an increasingly common videogame setting.

On the topic of racial representation in modern games, Austin Walker of Giant Bomb explains that any criticism of a game such as The Witcher 3 must take into account both its setting’s history and its present social politics.  FemHype joins the conversation by recommending games featuring non-white protagonists.

Simon Parkin was in the New Yorker of all places again this past week talking about how games make you work, attempting to explain our fascination with labor simulators.  Every time I see a video game article in the New Yorker, I have a surreal moment of disassociation in which I wonder whether my personal interests became crusty without me realizing it or if the New Yorker is just desperate to remain relevant.

Tiny Design is a Tumblr that offers "an in-depth look at the smaller bits of game design."

Vice's Javy Gwaltney makes the case not for less violence, but simply for more realistic consequences for violence in games, an argument I can get behind.

At Videogame Heart, Grayson Davis breaks down of the emotional stakes of getting "salty." Though the slang precedes video games by decades, its particular inflection in the competitive game scene is very interesting.

Walker goes on to consider the impact of critics on the games they discuss.  You'd think the answer would simply be that they improve future games, but the truth lies somewhere in the realm of game theory.

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