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January 2011

Better Storytelling Through Loss of Self

In case you haven’t already read the introduction to this week’s column, in which I discuss how role-playing games can be considered art, it’s here. You may find it useful. Also useful is the first column, in which I describe the term “distance.” I’ll be throwing it around quite a …

Freedom and Failure in BioShock

Welcome to Rapture Today, I want to analyze two interrelated themes found in 2007′s first-person-shooter BioShock.  BioShock is hands-down one of the best games (and certainly one of the best FPSs) of the last four or five years, and if you have not already experienced it, I would suggest remedying …

Make a Craft Check

This week, the column focuses on role-playing games, or, more specifically, role -playing games that aren’t video games. If you’re not familiar with the distinction, then allow me to break it down for you. Role-playing games are, in the truest sense, games like Dungeons & Dragons. They are story games …

Narrative in Multiplayer

First of all, I’d like to thank Bill for making that fine distinction between art and entertainment yesterday, and taking care of a lot of grunt-work for this week’s column. I couldn’t have planned it better. And so, fair reader, it may help you to read that post if you …

On Breasts and Biceps

First of all, an article on IGN on a traditional problem in video games criticism, here. As a quick TL/DR summary: basically it’s another look at the oft-discussed fact that women are often treated as sexual objects in games.  Kolan mentions a few examples he thinks of as particularly egregious, …

Introducing "Distance"

As Bill has mentioned, I’m now writing for the Ontological Geek! I’m excited to be here, and unwilling to mince time, so let’s leap right into the meat of my first contribution: a discussion of avatar and player. Oh, and as usual, spoilers are nigh. Two Very Different Games Since …