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Oliver

Bathed in Atomic Fire

The idea of the apocalypse is a concept that is ingrained in the human imagination. Early human writings and religious texts centered around the concept of the end of the world. In more modern times, the concept of the apocalypse became less of an abstract idea, to be inflicted upon the world at some point…

Sets

Back before I came out to MSU I used to do game testing. The work was all done through a third party company, so I had the opportunity to play a number of different types of games from different developers and publishers. Often these games would be in a very unfinished state, lacking final animations…

Fragmented Games

Raising the Stakes was an interesting read, taking on a historical tone more than a modern exploration of esports for me. The structure and culture of the scene seems to have not changed all that much from its inception to where it is today. It has become more structured since it started, but the style…

Not Guitar Hero

The reading this week that I found most interesting was Bogost’s How to Do Things With Videogames. Early on there was a specific line that grabbed me. “In the year 1500, fifty years after the printing press was invented, we did not have old Europe plus the printing press. We had a different Europe. After…

My Name is DeNarran

“Hey Photon, how’s it going?” This greeting was not given online. This was in person as a friend of mine, Photon, aka Michael, was letting us into his house for an evening of gaming. Most players online go by a handle or tag when online. For the group I usually hang out with, our tags…

DayZ and Juul

What DayZ is advertized as, and what it actually is are two different things. On its Steam store page for the game it is described as “open-world survival horror hybrid-MMO game.” A mouthful, yes, but it fails to touch on the core engagement of DayZ. DayZ is, at its heart, a game about simulating human…

Pervasive Sexism

This week’s text, My Life as a Night Elf Priest, was like reading an account from a neighboring town. The names of the people and their activities might be different, but the general sentiments were spot on. I have lived and breathed this particular subculture since middle school, having been involved in multiple gaming groups…

Shotgun Camping

Halo has a distinct rhythm, a flow that acts as a hallmark of almost any match. It is a combination of movement, positioning, the act of engaging and disengaging and shooting. This flow is the core appeal of multiplayer Halo. Most players participate in this flow, this accepted method of playing. While subverting this flow…

First in Your Pocket

Millennial Monsters by Anne Allison examines the creation, rise and distribution of Japanese games, toys and culture starting just after WWII up through the present day. The text attempts to examine the causes for the rise in popularity of Japanese toys, media and culture by looking at the unique historical and cultural sources that gave…

All Pain is Not Equal

Jesper Juul, in his Art of Failure essay, talks about, well, failure in games and how it straddles the line between a motivating and demoralizing factor. Failure is required to exist in a game to present a challenge, without failure, there is no point in playing a game. On the other hand, as Juul points…