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Title: - Video Game Theory and Criticism  •  Size: 56386

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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)

  •    Learning About Learning Email Article To a Friend View Printable Version
    Monday, January 24 2005 @ 10:42 PM UTC
    Contributed by: David

    “If you think about it, you see a Darwinian sort of thing going on here. If a game, for whatever reason, has good principles of learning built into its design—that is, if it facilitates learning in good ways—then it gets played and can sell a lot of copies, if it is otherwise good as well.”

    “What Video Games Have to Teach Us About Learning and Literacy” James Paul Gee

    I like Gee's book. I think he has a lot of interesting and useful things to say about the experience of playing games and how those experiences translate to something outside of the game itself.

    That to the side, this quote strikes me as odd, or at least a good summary of one of my biggest gripes with the notion of serious games. Namely, I'm not sure anyone has really done a good job of explaining, much less proving, the connection between games and learning.

    read more (184 words)

    Most Recent Post: 08/25 04:36PM by Anonymous


       Videogames Are Software Email Article To a Friend View Printable Version
    Tuesday, January 18 2005 @ 07:04 PM UTC
    Contributed by: David

    The NPD Group just released its report on 2004 videogames sales.

    My conclusion from much of the data dicussed: The videogame industry wants to be an entertainment industry, but it still works like a software industry.

    I think the numbers speak for themselves.

    read more (365 words)

    Most Recent Post: 08/28 04:24PM by Anonymous


       Just Two Genres Email Article To a Friend View Printable Version
    Tuesday, January 04 2005 @ 06:42 PM UTC
    Contributed by: David

    “Finally, we have come to believe that the most significant challenge for cyberspace developers is to come to grips with the problems of world creation and management. While we have only made the first inroads onto these problems, a few things have become clear. The most important of these is that managing a cyberspace world is not like managing the world inside a single-user application or even a conventional online service. Instead, it is more like governing an actual nation. Cyberspace architects will benefit from study of the principles of sociology and economics as much as from the principles of computer science. We advocate an agoric, evolutionary approach to world building rather than a centralized, socialistic one.“

    --“The Lessons of Lucasfilm's Habitat”, Chip Morningstar and F. Randall Farmer

    read more (262 words)

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


       Creating a History Through SquareEnix Email Article To a Friend View Printable Version
    Tuesday, December 14 2004 @ 06:44 AM UTC
    Contributed by: matt_censner

    David Thomas stated in his article 'Creating a Past for Games' that, "without history, games may have no real future" (2002). I am not about to refute this statement--but I will examine what he has overlooked and explore creating a history through Square Enix.

    read more (599 words)

    Most Recent Post: 08/28 05:26AM by Anonymous


       Retro Gaming Abstracts Deadline Email Article To a Friend View Printable Version
    Tuesday, December 07 2004 @ 03:54 PM UTC
    Contributed by: David

    It's almost Christmas, so that means the submission deadline is rapidly approaching for Ludologica Retro, Volume 1: Vintage Arcade (1971- 1984) Edited by Ian Bogost & Matteo Bittanti.

    Ian and Matteo are among the most articulate and passionate voices in gaming. So, this collection promises to come up with something special.

    Have something interesting to say about the golden age of arcade gaming? Get those abstracts in!

    Most Recent Post: 08/27 03:08AM by Anonymous


       Critical Videogame Theory Email Article To a Friend View Printable Version
    Thursday, December 02 2004 @ 12:04 AM UTC
    Contributed by: David

    Once again, I will be teaching a course at the University of Colorado at Denver on videogames. The course, "Critical Videogame Theory" is an aesthetics course taught in the art department. At the core, the course grapples with the question, "What makes one game better than another?"

    Because this is an online course, it is open to pretty much anyone with an Internet connection.

    An older version of the course syllabus is available in the File Download section of this site (see nav bar above). Likewise, you can find out a little more about the current version and view an amusing little video about the class here.

    Most Recent Post: 08/27 08:17AM by Anonymous


       10 Worst Violent Videogames: A little context Email Article To a Friend View Printable Version
    Tuesday, November 23 2004 @ 10:23 PM UTC
    Contributed by: David

    I wrote the following article for the Denver Post Online site. I'm reposting it here because I think the context it offers is important to share with the game community at large

    The word you are looking for is “context”

    ‘Tis the season to be jolly, plan family get togethers, buy gifts and fret about videogame violence.

    You don’t need me to repeat the claims of the Interfaith Center on Corporate Responsibility. They’ve made them available to the public and pushed them in the press.

    But in case you are in a hurry and don’t want to download the streaming audio or read the complete set of comments, let me summarize:

    • Videogame violence is bad for children
    • Retailers sell violent games to children
    • The ESRB system of game ratings is flawed:
      • Game publishers pressure the ESRB to go easy on the ratings and might even just lie about the content
      • Retailers sell games rated M for mature to kids under the age of 17
      • Parents don’t know what the ratings mean anyway
    So, to help clarify the situation, the ICCR has published it list of the “10 Worst Violent Video Games”:
    1. Doom 3
    2. Grand Theft Auto: “San Andreas
    3. Gunslinger Girls 2
    4. Half Life 2
    5. Halo 2
    6. Hitman: Blood Money
    7. Manhunt
    8. Mortal Combat
    9. Postal 2
    10. Shadow Heart
    (They also listed the America's Army game as a bonus 11th addition to the list)

    Today, I joined a 60-minute press call sponsored by the ICCR. And I even asked some questions. Let me provide some of the important missing context.

    read more (968 words)

    Most Recent Post: 09/01 03:42AM by Anonymous


       Observations on Halo 2 Email Article To a Friend View Printable Version
    Thursday, November 18 2004 @ 05:41 PM UTC
    Contributed by: David

    I just finished “Halo 2”

    In the world of gaming nerds, or at least Halo nerds, I know that’s not big news. In fact, it might indicate a pathetic lack of devotion to the series.

    Personally, I’d rather it look at it as a success. As a journalist, I don’t get a chance to finish as many games as I’d like to. As an older gamer, I’m simply proud of having plowed through the whole game on “normal” difficultly. I know this doesn’t mean much to the average thumb jock. But to me, it’s like hitting a home run, even if it is in slow pitch softball.

    But more than anything, finishing the single player campaign mode gives me the platform for make some comments about the game. What I learned from playing “Halo 2” to completion is:

    1. ”Halo 2” wont change how games are made, but it might change how games are marketed.
    2. Ludology drowns out narrative (And dying over and over doing the same stuff is never any fun)
    3. ”Halo 2” is a only a little better than “Halo “because of hardware constraints
    4. In some respects the “Halo 2” hype was good and in some respects it was bad.

    If you want the details, read on. There are not any “spoilers” in this discussion, unless you find intellectual twiddling with a game to be sort of buzzkill. But, if nothing else, I promise not to reveal any of the “Halo 2” “secrets”.

    read more (1244 words)

    Most Recent Post: 08/27 12:02AM by Anonymous


       Jack the Jerk Email Article To a Friend View Printable Version
    Thursday, November 11 2004 @ 09:18 PM UTC
    Contributed by: David

    My friend and crosstown newspaper rival Brain Crecente sent an amusing interchange he had with legal beagle and anti-game crusader Jack Thompson.

    I realized that Jack's probably pretty tired of dealing with frothing game fans. But his cynical lack of professionalism is surprising.

    I suppose I shouldn't be too surprised. He's shown he cares little for his issue beyond sticking it to the game industry.

    Most Recent Post: 09/01 03:47AM by Anonymous


       What Women Want Email Article To a Friend View Printable Version
    Tuesday, November 09 2004 @ 03:28 PM UTC
    Contributed by: David

    Jess Bates is a Washington mom, artist and self-professed nerd with an interest in, among other things, videogames.

    She’s also got some choice words on the “women in games” discussion.

    Jess posted a thoughtful and clear-headed perspective on the “women in games” issue. I was particularly impressed with how her essay ties together some of the common notions of what makes women gamers different (biology and cultural taste) while discarding others (women should love games the way they are).

    Her essay offers further context and some rebuttal to many of the ideas I returned with from the Women’s Game Conference.

    Most Recent Post: 08/27 01:14PM by Anonymous


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