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]
When there is actually something happening it the Swiss games' scene, it should be noted. Even more so when the game is
- available for free
- based on a clever idea
- and released without much fanfare.
Well, here comes the fanfare.
Roman Schmid (likely known to you as @bummzack on Twitter) created a Tetris clone for two, playable on your iPad, named Block Duel. It's not just your normal 1v1 game you know from the GameBoy version. You play on the same screen, one player with white blocks, the other with black ones – and whatever your opponent drops on his side becomes a hole from your perspective. It is, in short, a clever play on negative space – but what else could you expect from a person well thought in the arts of graphic design?
Apparently a common choice, as proven on various occasions (okay, okay, on two couples I know of). ↩
... is, apparently, something Tale of Tales are rather good at. Robert Yang has a neat timeline of the current events. And it is not the first time they make people angry.
Of course, you can debate the value of their provocations, you can debate their contribution to game culture –
Tale of Tales is important and interesting... but also kind of not. Their conception of video games seems really narrow, perhaps out of necessity in order to target it effectively in their crazy dogmatic manifestos.
– the thing is: there is a discussion about what games are and what not. People might consider them to be wrong. But people might also consider Blizzard to be wrong, inasmuch as they pretty much only polish up the games they did ten years ago.1
No matter how aggravating/boring this argument may seem: It is important that it is discussed. Every game designer that plays a Tale of Tales game will either see how games could be made as well – or she or he will realise how games are not to be designed. Either way: everybody learns.
Here’s to the crazy ones, so to speak.
The round pegs in the square holes.
The ones who see things differently.
They’re not fond of rules.
Just an example, I am not trying to flame anyone here. Not much, anyway. ↩
Yes, I know I should be now checking my mail (which, as I already know, will contain some business regarding this blog, which in turn will involve you, my dear readers1), but I just have to post this, because it now follows me for some days, and I find the idea both awesome and a bit intimidating.
So, there is this guy, Kelly Sutton, who got rid of most of his possessions, to "live out of the hard drive", as BBC put it:
About a year ago, I came to the conclusion that the most logical thing to be done was to rid myself of all (or most) of my possessions. After meticulously itemizing all of my stuff, I put almost all of it up for sale on a site I built in a weekend, Cult of Less. Yesterday, the BBC News ran an article about myself and a few other folks replacing their physical media with their digital analogs. There are many implications of selling everything, some great and some not so great.2
Well, after my own claims of "home is where my broadband internet connection is", getting rid of most of the physical stuff would be the next step, indeed.
The greatest thing gained from Cult of Less has been an unprecedented amount of physical freedom. A willingness to drop your stationary physical possessions and move is the greatest freedom I have found in this project. Sure, you could get by without a bed, furniture and a few other essentials, but you will be miserable. No one wants to sleep on a floor if they can help it.
A minor yet pleasurable consequence has been interacting with people from around the world.