January 13th, 2015
Super Planet Crash is a solar system simulator game that just proved what an asshole I'd be if I was in charge of the universe. There I was with my 10-planet system, chugging along nicely past the 300-year mark and I got bored and added a brown dwarf to the inner solar system.
Oh well, how many Earth-sized planets does a solar system need, really? Besides, just think how much more of the universe the inhabitants of Planet 10 will see this way (until the atmosphere freezes as they wander the interstellar depths.)
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July 16th, 2014
Monument Valley is the prettiest computer game I've seen in quite some time: lovely Escher-style visuals and attractive animation. It's a puzzle game, albeit not a hugely difficult one.
Playing Monument Valley on an iPad has been a thoroughly engrossing experience. I hope it gets some extra levels, because ten just isn't enough.
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May 13th, 2014
I'm thinking that Re-Thinking the Game of Monopoly makes it rather less of a fun game for all the family. Which is the point, I suppose:
While it's true our culture proclaims the rich as our greatest heroes, the method of financial gain in Monopoly is not a system that allows for any creativity. Roll the dice, buy a property, pay rent, pass go, and collect $200. Repeat.
Simple models have long been used to help understand complex ideas. With a few small changes Monopoly can be a space where we can play at being in control of the economic system. All it takes is a few new rules.
Rule Change #1: The Banker
In the original rules the role of the banker is simply a chore–the board game equivalent of taking out the trash. But in real life the banker is no passive entity. The banker is the center of the universe. […]
[Via Waxy.org Links]
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January 31st, 2014
The Super Bowl, in which the machine bleeds to death:
Over the course of the season, I've discovered lots of different ways to hack Madden NFL 25 into a thing that no longer resembles football as we know it. I've played around with rules, injury settings, all manner of player ratings, player dimensions, and anything else the game's developers have made available to us.
This time is special, though, because I'm pulling out every single one of the stops at the same time. No other scenario I've built in Madden has been so abjectly cruel or unfair; no other scenario has even been close. […]
The GIFs, the GIFs…
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January 4th, 2014
Paper Pong is a very strange, yet oddly appealing idea – a Choose Your Own Adventure-style implementation, on paper, of a very old video game. It almost seems like cheating to play a version of the book online…
As Sarah Werner observes in her musings on the alleged "death" of the "book":
I spent a lot of time as a kid playing Pong at home, so perhaps that's why I enjoy this book so much. But I love it, too, for its ridiculousness. It's a paper replication of a video game! Why would you do that? Why write lines of code to create a game of Pong that you then remediate in paper form? I don't know that there's a good reason to do that, other than you can. And, actually, that's a decent reason, one that drives more than a few novels.
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January 21st, 2008
Could it be that eleven short months from now it'll be Jeremy Paxman starring in the Marks & Spencer Xmas ad?
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November 23rd, 2007
Steven Poole has made a PDF copy of Trigger Happy, his book on "the inner life of video games" available as a free download under a Creative Commons license.
Trigger Happy is a book about the aesthetics of videogames â€” what they share with cinema, the history of painting, or literature; and what makes them different, in terms of form, psychology and semiotics.
I haven't read Trigger Happy yet, but I've enjoyed what I've read of Poole's work at Unspeak so I'm expecting an intelligent, nuanced look at the subject.
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November 11th, 2007
Nintendo Wii Rejected Game Concepts.
(How exactly would you win at Hari-Kiri? Would you accumulate style points for the neatness of your work? Would you risk losing points the longer it took for your character bleed out after the killing stroke?)
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October 3rd, 2007
Coming sooner than you'd think: The Halocaust.
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September 7th, 2007
The author of this review of BioShock is pleasingly unimpressed at all the hype, and entertaining with it.
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