Monday, June 13, 2011

E3 Roundup, Tellin' it like it is

"Microsoft’s conference engaged a simpering sycophantic baby audience in a soylent green haze. As with last year’s E3, Microsoft are continuing to attempt to convince a load of simple minded idiots to STAND UP and MOVE, both two of my least favourite things."

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Amazing Fallout 3 History Article

"Fallout 3 offers much to swoon over. In hindsight though, the most memorable moments from my game play are not slow-motion replays of exploding super mutant heads. Most of the in-game moments that have stuck with me involve interactions with, Apple II-ish green-screened in-game terminals. Computers that have apparently been running since before the nuclear holocaust.

"What strikes me about these logs is the layers of authenticity they provide for the kinds of thinking that historians and archeologists use to produce histories. As players unearth and develop a sense of what happened in this world from these kinds of records they do so in strikingly similar ways to historians and archeologists.
"For example: 
Dealing with gaps: There is no complete record. The game requires players to extrapolate from disparate and scant sources. This in part creates the mystery that drives the history game (both for fallout players and for real life historians.)

The documents are full of relevant and irrelevant information: The documents contain all kinds of potentially relevant and irrelevant technical information. Players need to be able to tell what does and doesn’t matter in the morass of materials they come across.

Relevance of the information is connected to what you want to know: The above documents include information about personal reactions, about strategic decision making, about attempts to get into the Vaults. Depending on what you are interested in you will need to pay attention to different parts of the documents."

This has me thinking about why I always said I enjoyed comics so much, because I like to fill in the spaces between the panels.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

The Psychology of Shooters

"Why shooting feels so good." by Jamie Madigan of Penny Arcade fame.

Try this experiment: go outside and find some wild animal babies, like wolves and/or toddlers. Got them? Great. Now, watch them play. Many animals, including humans, engage in play fighting where they only pretend to savage each other. In real fights even victors can get hurt, so any risk-free practice is valuable. Of course, no psychologist will tell you that dragon-punching Zangief is going to help you when some bully comes out swinging-but there's a parallel to play fighting in another part of our imagination that can have real benefits.