Monthly Archives: July 2011

A Rose By Any Other Name 1

What Are We On About Today What I want to do today is to talk about genres and classification, and to do so primarily by evaluating two claims: the first, that Portal 2 is a puzzle game, and the second, that Dragon Age 2 is not an epic.  I intend to look at what these two sentences really mean, why they have been said, and what sort of attitudes are revealed in their utterance.  Hopefully, by the end of this article, we’ll have a better understanding of what a genre or classification is, and how and when it should be […]

Wars of Worldcraft 1

Usually my posts are entirely abstract, meant to entertain, inform, irritate or enlighten, but thus far I have avoided practical affairs. For the most part, video games are either enjoyed or they are not; an experience is gleaned, or it is not; but roleplaying games are something else entirely, for the player, certainly, but especially for the man or woman behind the metaphorical, and often literal, curtains. Today I am stepping into the role of the advice-giver, for I have discovered that perhaps I have some practical, serviceable wisdom to pass on in this arena. I became aware of this […]

On the Plurality of Worlds 3

Friend and longtime Ontological Geek reader/commenter Afh has written us a guest article on the subject of world-building, posted here for your enjoyment! One of the great things about the human imagination is that, as well as coming up with ideas for use in the real world or conjuring up fictional elements (such as a child’s imaginary friend), imagination can create an entire universe or world, straight out of whole cloth. This power is something I have always admired in others and cherished in myself.  Imagination renders us into gods, with universes blossoming from empty firmament to spread and grow […]

Going the Distance

In my original Additional Pylons, I introduced the idea of distance. I haven’t stopped refining my understanding of the concept since then, and so today I’m going to share some of my thoughts regarding its ramifications and investigate some incredible artistic possibilities that gaming’s naturally low level of distance opens up. To that end, I am going to begin by identifying an important function of art that is often simultaneously a signifier of quality art: the critique of structures and styles of thought, and the offering of a fundamentally different perspective. I am going to stand on the back of […]