Monthly Archives: August 2011

Tensions in Bastion 1

About two weeks ago, I finally managed to sit down and play through Bastion, an excellent indie action RPG developed by seven-person studio Supergiant Games that was released in mid-July. It’s an excellent game, and if you haven’t already played it, you should. It’s now available on both Xbox Live and Steam for about $15, and is definitely worth the price.  It’s certainly not perfect, but nothing ever is, and it is definitely good enough that it can be recommended wholly without disclaimers or qualification.  Fundamentally, it’s very good, and you should play it.  It’s almost certainly better than what […]


Trenched Warfare 11

Happy birthday, Ontological Geek! In honor of our first year (feels weird to say “our” in this context, since I started writing in January), I’m going to turn to that traditional celebratory activity: war. War film has been hugely popular since the beginnings of the medium, and that style has definitely influenced the first-person shooter genre in video games. A great deal (half or more, I’d reckon) of first-person shooter games feature a war of some sort; only the rare shooter, such as the non-side-scrolling Metroid games, feature a story that has a sole protagonist up against an unorganized, non-military […]

The Ontological Geek is One Year Old: The Annual Report, 2010-2011 2

See the title! One year ago today, I posted the first post on the Ontological Geek, to an audience of my wife and a few of my friends.  Today, I post this anniversarial (not a word) update with a few lessons under my belt and a year’s worth of articles and comments posted on the Internet for all to see and, hopefully, enjoy. First, I wanted to make sure to thank Matt Schanuel for writing the Additional Pylons column for the last eight months or so, as well as Jarrod Hammond, Tom Coberly, and Afh for writing guest articles. I […]

The Sandbox 2

The Philosopher-Geek has already written a very good post on the meaningful game, and that might be important to read before you step into this one, because I’m going to investigate two specific traits that he lists in that post. The specific traits I am interested in discussing are: 1. The Meaningful Game does not allow the player’s choices or possible actions to derail the game or contradict its characters, and 2. The Meaningful Game does not contain side-quests. These two points are most commonly bungled in games that reflect the “sandbox,” “free-roaming,” or “open-world” style of design, and so […]

Questioning the Jimquisition 3

I am hesitant to give him the traffic, but I suppose you should watch this video, since that’s what this article is about.  It is not really safe for work, though, so do bear that in mind: I generally try not to pick fights here, but the ideas expressed in this video caused me to raise an eyebrow and strongly consider tearing out my hair, and I believe they might be deserving of some attention.  Further, I do think that I have some things to say that are worth listening to. Now, I’m not sure, exactly, just how serious Jim […]