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Title: - Video Game Theory and Criticism  •  Size: 56557

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Friday 03-Mar
  • EA's "Black" opens like a film. So why doesn't it feel like one? (16)

  • Thursday 02-Mar
  • Considering Gravity (7)

  • Monday 13-Feb
  • The Medium Is Not The Message (21)

  • Thursday 19-Jan
  • All Your Readers Belong To Us (10)

  • Friday 13-Jan
  • Censorless Violence (12)

  • Tuesday 10-Jan
  • Disneyfied (Disney Fried?) (20)

  • Friday 30-Dec
  • The Escape from Xmas (14)
  • Videogames: Closing the Annoying Gap (24)

  • Tuesday 15-Nov
  • Gerbils (19)

  • Thursday 13-Oct
  • Suddenly Serious about Games (12)

  •    My Busy Weekend Email Article To a Friend View Printable Version
    Tuesday, October 04 2005 @ 11:52 PM UTC
    Contributed by: David

    Every once in a while, cool game-related things happen in Denver:

    Post a comment


       America's Army Email Article To a Friend View Printable Version
    Tuesday, September 20 2005 @ 05:11 PM UTC
    Contributed by: David

    Have you checked out the The Escapist yet?

    "Cool stuff," he says as he casually mentions his latest story in this glossy online game magazine. This time I take on explaining the America's Army game.

    Most Recent Post: 08/27 11:03PM by Anonymous


       Digital Doldrums Email Article To a Friend View Printable Version
    Saturday, August 27 2005 @ 08:09 PM UTC
    Contributed by: David

    The summer is over. Back to work.

    Every year I find that I all but stop playing games through the summer months. My mix of leisure switches over to seasonal activities like drinking beer, barbequing and hanging outdoors. The games can wait.

    But this year it was something else, too. I realized that the world of games feels a bit stagnant. In part, I’m sure, this is due to the usual lull that comes before a new wave of console launches. With the 360 due in a couple of months, the focus on games has shifted from the present to the future. I’ve been though this hardware cycling enough that I don’t get too excited about it any more. In fact, the industry’s flailing of focus will probably be death of the business. Sooner or later fans get tired of always being told, “Just wait till you see the next thing.”

    It’s exciting for a while but eventually it’s like playing the lottery--- the fun of thinking about the future either gets boring or becomes a destructive addiction.

    So, that’s part of it.

    Still, I don’t want to lay the whole issue at the feet of the gaming industry. Not when my bigger disappointment, I think, is how I’ve been feeling about game studies.

    read more (655 words)

    Most Recent Post: 08/27 09:49PM by Anonymous


       The Escapist Email Article To a Friend View Printable Version
    Thursday, August 04 2005 @ 02:10 AM UTC
    Contributed by: David

    Summer vacation is not a thing, it is a state of mind.

    As I slowly come back to the intellectual life of videogame studies from my self-imposed mental vacation of beer drinking and late night carousing, I realize that I've been remiss in posting about really cool things like The Escapist.

    This new online mag is a nobel experiment in journalism that aspires to raise the bar of game writing in the vein of Harpers or the New Yorker. At the very least, they aim to bring us something a little different.

    Anyway, this might all seem a little self-serving, so I'll just admit it: This week my article about fantasy and real life as a mirror of the most excellent game Second Life ran in the article, "Architecture and Vice."

    Check out the mag. It's online and it's free.

    Most Recent Post: 08/28 08:33AM by Anonymous


       The Dieting Game Email Article To a Friend View Printable Version
    Wednesday, July 13 2005 @ 09:52 PM UTC
    Contributed by: David

    If you read this site on a regular basis, you know that I think most definitions of games are either a bit crude or, more likely, just over-thought and over-wrought. So, I like to try and show examples to prove my point.

    The latest exhibit is this.

    Is dieting a game?

    It has rules and an objective. It’s naturally competitive; you spend a lot of time on a diet stacking yourself up against other people.

    To extend the example, look at Jesper Juul’s quite interesting definition of “game”:

    • Rules: Check. Calories, caloric intake, burn rate, etc.
    • Variable, quantifiable outcome: Check. Pick a weight and weigh yourself.
    • Value assigned to possible outcomes: Check. I will look sexy when I reach this weight.
    • Player effort: Check. Obviously.
    • Player attached to outcome: Check.
    • Negotiable consequences: Check. I get to eat a Big Mac for every 10 pounds I loose.
    Not to pick on this definition, but I just wanted to show how easy it is.

    So the question is: Does it matter that dieting is a game? Or do we need a definition that excludes dieting?

    Most Recent Post: 08/26 02:38AM by Anonymous


       Defining Games: Screensavers and Chess Email Article To a Friend View Printable Version
    Thursday, June 09 2005 @ 06:01 PM UTC
    Contributed by: David

    Like every other games researcher, I’ve had to come up with some useful definition, or at least a general notion, of what a game is. Unlike many others, I’ve dispensed with a lot of the obvious stuff to get to what I find to be most essential.

    In my definition, gone are victory conditions or even explicit goals. I’ve discarded conflict and competition and, perhaps most surprising, even interaction.

    I’ve boiled and sifted, reduced and sorted until I came up with a definition that I think works:

    Games are algorithmic entertainment.

    read more (676 words)

    Most Recent Post: 08/28 04:47PM by Anonymous


       Nintendo Versus Everyone: The Business of Business Email Article To a Friend View Printable Version
    Tuesday, May 31 2005 @ 10:34 PM UTC
    Contributed by: David

    Videogames are big business. We like to make that point clear when talking about games. The fact that entertainment software generates a lot of money helps us justify our interest and even our play.

    Strangely, journalistic reporting and academic discourse on the subject of business trails almost every other aspect of game thinking. You’re as likely to find good Neo-Marxist feminist game criticism as you are in depth analysis of the medium as a business.

    We see plenty of reporting and regurgitation of marketing hype. And we could subsist on an endless diet of wild speculation. But we rarely get the kind of business analysis that we need.

    This gap was painfully obvious to me post-E3. Because while everyone was busily laying bets on the horse race between Sony and Microsoft for the dominance of the next generation of gaming, Nintendo was quietly disregarded on the side.

    Business-wise, this was weird. Because as far as I can tell, Nintendo is the business story to watch. And strangely enough, you don’t have to try very hard to see why. I can only conclude that most of us are not looking at all.

    read more (2676 words)

    Most Recent Post: 08/25 06:16PM by Anonymous


       Eye-Popping E3 Fun: 2005 Email Article To a Friend View Printable Version
    Monday, May 23 2005 @ 07:49 PM UTC
    Contributed by: David

    For your viewing pleasure, a gallery of snaps from this year's E3.

    View E3 Pictures

    Most Recent Post: 08/28 06:34AM by Anonymous


       E3 2005 Email Article To a Friend View Printable Version
    Monday, May 16 2005 @ 01:31 AM UTC
    Contributed by: David

    General NewsThis will be my 9th E3.

    This certainly doesn't make me an expert on videogames, but it does give me a certain insight on E3 itself.

    Like the rest of the media horde, this year I'm anxious to see what we'll find out about the next generation of hardware. I'll enjoy boozing and schmoozing and meeting new and interesting people and collecting their business cards.

    In too many respects, E3 remains the blackhole of the game industry. It's gravity is such that weeks before it starts, disappears into its cavernous maw as you schedule and sort and try to figure out what to see. And you spend weeks after sorting out what you've collected and returning to a normal state of rest and repose. What actually happens during the event is transmitted out as hyperbole, hype and tainted observation. E3 is the perfect marketing event.

    If you want to know what I make of this year's event, for better or for worse, you can follow it on the Denver Post Blog site.

    Most Recent Post: 09/01 03:44AM by Anonymous


       Difficult Questions about Videogames is FREE! Email Article To a Friend View Printable Version
    Wednesday, April 27 2005 @ 10:01 AM UTC
    Contributed by: videokid

    PublicBeta Answers Difficult Questions…

    PublicBeta are proud to announced the launch of their new ‘look’ site, to celebrate this development PublicBeta are offering their first videogame book publication Difficult Questions About Videogames FREE for a limited time only via, this offer is active now.

    Iain Simons and James Newman have been asking difficult questions over the last eight months, questions such as, ‘what is a videogame?’ and ‘How can you tell if a videogame is Rubbish?’, 969 responses from the games industry, academia, and else where.

    ‘So – be good to yourself. Order this book and have some fun thinking about games’ - Difficult (but fun) Questions about Videogames

    Publisher: Suppose Partners (
    Genre: Popular Culture
    Release: 15th November 2004
    RRP: £14.95

    read more (186 words)

    Most Recent Post: 08/27 11:06PM by Anonymous


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