Since I'm always on the lookout for game studies related material, here is a new, interesting journal: Well Played.
The Well Played Journal is a forum for in-depth close readings of video games that parse out the various meanings to be found in the experience of playing a game. It is a reviewed journal open to submissions that will be released on a regular basis with high-quality essays.
Contributors are encouraged to analyze sequences in a game in detail in order to illustrate and interpret how the various components of a game can come together to create a fulfilling playing experience unique to this medium. Through contributors, the journal will provide a variety of perspectives on the value of games.
The journal is released under a CreativeCommons License, so grab it while it's hot! [found via jesperjuul.net]
‘I realised that the skills I had developed in the virtual world were useless in the real world. I wanted to make them useful,’ says the 27-year-old [Lee Wei Chen].
So, as any self-respecting 27-year-old design student would, he clamped a game onto a washing machine, as Design Week reports.
The machine looks like an arcade style video console – but the bottom half of the unit is a washing machine, with the components’ circuitry linked together. Therefore, the washing cycle is dependent on the success of the person playing the game, meaning that if they struggle, extra coins are needed to make sure the washing cycle is completed.
While the idea might seem halfway funny at first, it becomes clear that Chen obviously doesn't have to wash clothes himself:
Despite the genius behind the idea, it seems Chen is still far from becoming a domestic god, remaining blissfully unaware of the nuances of actually washing clothes.
‘I don’t even know how to choose the programme,’ he says.
Well yeah – why would you redesign something that can be left alone most of the time as it does its work so that you have to stand right beside it the whole time?
Redesign something boring that actually requires attendance during its process – now that would make a lot more sense.
Once again shows that just slamming a game onto everything to make it "fun" (a.k.a. "gamification") is not such a sure-fire recipe as some people would want you to believe.
[found via BoingBoing]
Since we will have to program a multiplayer game this semester, this presentation (PDF) by Raph Koster could come in handy: Social Mechanics: The Engines Behind Everything Multiplayer.
He held the presentation at the GDC, and it collects different game mechanics present in multiplayer games. Guess we could inspire ourselves with that.