Monthly Archives: February 2011

Just a Few Reviews

Hey there! So, I’ve been absurdly busy this week; a new job, classes picking up in pace, and crises arriving and lingering. It’s now come down to Saturday, though, and to be honest, I don’t have the capacity right now to really do justice to the concept I wanted to talk about. However, I did just get Gamefly, and so I figured that I would review the games that I get in from a narrative perspective. So essentially, I’ll be evaluating whether they tell a quality story, whether that story has good pacing, whether their characters are believable or interesting, […]

On Trailers, Zombies and Extra Credits 2

On Trailers So, first of all, if you haven’t already watched the trailer in question, here it is: This trailer has been going the rounds and being watched by bajillions of people, and getting lots of praise like “the best trailer for a video game ever made.”  Professional Internet People have spent a great deal of time discussing the ramifications of this trailer: Does it mean that Dead Island will transcend the usual zombie game disregard for actual characters and emotional reality?  Are video games finally maturing as a medium? Some people accuse the trailer of simply being a cheap […]

To Thine Own Self Be True

The Idea What I want to talk about today is the concept of “scope” and discuss two major areas where scope can become a problem in video games. On Scope Like any good philosopher, the first thing I need to do is define my terms.  By, “scope,” I mean, generally, the sorts of things the game is trying to do, and what kind of game it is trying to be.  Is it trying to be a gigantic epic telling a massive story of love and loss and war?  Is it trying to be a small, character-driven piece showing you what […]

We Can Be Heroes

This week, I’ll be examining the heroic narrative and it’s close, close relationship to video gaming! I’ll start by defining what I mean by heroic narrative, and then have a short discussion on what its propensity in the world of gaming means for games as art. A Narrative Undaunted Now, I should make a distinction here between the hero narrative as a form and heroism as a concept. Though many games conform to the hero narrative, the characters in those games may not necessarily be all that heroic. Heroic activities are unified by this trait: the hero figure rescues another, […]

Art as Games: Valve’s Louvre 1

When Valve announced that they had been collaborating with the Musée du Louvre to produce a new title utilizing their venerable Source engine to produce the world’s first first-person virtual museum, the gaming world was stunned that such a product would be developed without any announcement until right before its release. Much confusion was generated as people guessed wildly at how an engine primarily used to develop FPS titles could be used to produce what sounded like a glorified visual encyclopedia. The discussion grew even louder when Valve announced that it would be a multiplayer title, even though no details […]

No Escape

Distance is going to be an important theme in this article, and so I’d suggest reading the article in which I introduce the concept, located here. Low levels of distance contribute to any narrative experience in video games, but it is absolutely essential to a horror game. Because of the nature and aims of a horror game, it is very easy to identify games that fail to lessen distance. Such games can be played without experiencing fear, usually because of failure to properly immerse the player in the avatar character. This means that, in order for a horror game to […]