Electron Dance

Electron Dance Highlights

1Oct/199

Discussion: ELIZA[0]

Welcome to the September newsletter (sign up if you want to read it):

The developer’s best asset is the player, as prestige text adventure purveyor Infocom suggested in their advertising back in the 1980s. “OUR STORIES LACK IMAGINATION,” they proudly proclaimed. “Because Infocom's interactive fiction is designed to run on your imagination.”

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31Aug/1919

Discussion: Into the Green

Welcome to the August newsletter (sign up if you want to read it):

But not every day could be spent exploring the City of London, so some days were spent meandering through local parks. However, our new companions had not been trained in the art of walking-fu and needed a concrete goal for any adventure. Fortunately, they had already solved this problem and brought it with them on the plane.

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1Aug/1927

Discussion: Mythbusting

Welcome to the July newsletter (sign up if you want to read it):

Today, it is usually the open world game that generates urban legends. However, it’s difficult to know whether player reports are made in good faith or made up for clicks and likes, much like those schoolfriends who used to boast about crazy videogame happenings which never actually happened. There’s a page full of GTA: San Andreas myths from Bigfoot to UFOs.

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30Jun/1916

Discussion: Insert Coin

Welcome to the June newsletter (sign up if you want to read it):

Once I had paid tribute to the digital god, the machine would respond with the magical phrase CREDITS 01. The attract mode was likely to continue playing - but the machine was aware of my presence now. It was waiting.

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2Jun/198

Discussion: Monument

Welcome to the tad late May newsletter (sign up if you want to read it):

I can’t bring myself to say goodbye, even though I know it’s over. I could play again but that wouldn’t be the same experience at all. The install is no longer just the mountain of bytes that comprise code and visuals and sound but personal investment.

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30Apr/1919

Discussion: Sunk Cost

Welcome to the April newsletter (sign up if you want to read it):

What drives you to finish? Is it the FOMO, the concern that something important is right around the corner? Is it the importance of completing a game and leaving no loose ends? Is it the feeling of achievement, of climbing that hill to the top?

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17Apr/1917

Discussion: Hytale It Out Of Here

Welcome to the late late late March newsletter (sign up if you want to read it):

The Hytale trailer from December now has 47 million views. I’ve shown it to my children and their reactions were halfway between the Keanu Reeves ‘whoa’ and the Stargate ‘what a rush’. If you haven’t seen it, you’ll quickly get the idea if I tell you a bunch of react videos are called ‘Minecraft 2 announced!?!!???!!??!!!!!?!??!’

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4Mar/1920

Discussion: Hypocrisy

From something I call February's newsletter (sign up if you want to read it):

Hi, I’m the Into the Black guy. I ask why people want achievements and shiny things to reward exploration in games. It’s all BALONEY. Rewards kill the JOY. They invite DISAPPOINTMENT. I will keep on using CAPITAL LETTERS to distract you from my hypocrisy.

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1Feb/1928

Discussion: The Influence

From, er, January's newsletter (sign up if you want to read it):

And I can’t help but suspect that something like this happens in game worlds; the more real they become, the more people find it unacceptable that a rocket launcher won’t blow up a wooden door. We are diverted from abstract or symbolic representation towards the mental models we use in real life. Doors are for opening and rocket launchers are for obliterating wooden ones.

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31Dec/1818

Discussion: Tabletop Christmas

From this month's newsletter (sign up if you want to read it):

Following my wife's example, I decided to use Christmas as camouflage - I bought three board games I was interested in and pretended they were presents for everyone else.

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