Posts Tagged With: Featured Article

Bioware games chronicle how one person unites disparate personalities and turns them into an unstoppable force. Dragon Age II is the epitome of that idea, a family saga ruled by people and not events. It’s been the RPG model for NPCs to show the player the way, guiding them from one quest to another. That tendency finds its best realization to date, and it’s all because of the characters and what they have at stake.

The Family History: Part One

When the meta experience of Spec Ops begins to shift away from supporting this black-on-white reasoning as the cause of the game’s conflict, it presents quite the gut punch; Good Guys and Bad Guys both begin to lose value as simple definitions.

How Many Americans?

In March 1914 the bespec­ta­cled schol­ar Bronislaw Malinowski was put down by a greasy tug boat on the sands of Mailu Island in Papua New Guinea. Standing awk­ward­ly for a while on the too-hot earth, he described him­self as feel­ing – for a moment – a sense of deep dis­com­fort and revul­sion. Straightening his tie, the cot­ton of his shirt stick­ing in patch­es to his skin, Malinowski made his way from the rolling break­ers to a group of women stand­ing at the edge of a for­est clear­ing. He was there to live among them, a “par­tic­i­pant observ­er” whose role – as an anthro­pol­o­gist – was to […]

Malinowski’s Beach: Notes on Play as Anthropology

The arrival of a long-awaited ship can sig­ni­fy the ful­fill­ment of a great many promis­es: the return of an expe­di­tion, a trade mis­sion, or of loved ones. The incom­ing ves­sel bridges the vast divide of the ocean, if only momen­tar­i­ly. A moment full of poten­tial. That poten­tial is full of uncer­tain­ty. We think we have an idea of how events will play out, but we are not sure of any­thing in life. We have to make do with that limit to our con­trol, how­ev­er much we may dis­like or fear it. On August 11, A Ship Sailed into Port, a recent game by Cameron Kunzelman, is about […]

When My Ship Comes In