So I got booted off Google+ because they said I should use my real name, which is just pants because I wasn’t representing the real family man and hard worker Joel Goodwin, I was representing my fictional superhero alter-ego HM. I guess even Professor Genki would get kicked out of Google+. Anyway, it spurred me onto Facebook. You can go there and like Electron Dance if RSS or Twitter don’t get your loins a-blazing.
Anyway this time we’ve got seven links, three games and two videos.
“Petards, Hoisting, Etc.” by Greg Knauss, 7 December 2009. Greg is one of my favourite writers of all time. Here he admits that, despite growing up on video games, as a parent he feels the urge to keep his children away from games.
For a long time, we resisted video games, too, which is nothing but hypocrisy on my part. I shamelessly begged my parents for an Atari VCS when I was young and it took more than a year to wear them down to jittery, twitchy nubs, but I did it. And then I played the crap out of it. Did you know that the bomber’s expression changes when you get to 10,000 points in “Kaboom!”?
“Power Corrupts: Tale of an RTS Tyrant” by Chris Spann, Arcadian Rhythms, 14 October. This is brilliant: what a game of Tropico can tell you about the age of austerity.
Of course my citizens started to resent me; I’d resent me too if I did that to me. The problem was, though, I was only doing it to try to help them: the more money I recouped from them, the more I could spend on new ways of making them money, better healthcare, new entertainment… but the stupid little peasant bastards didn’t fucking understand, and I found myself shouting this loudly at my laptop.
And it was at this point I realised: I had become David Cameron.
“Waves In Waves” by Rob Fearon, Mersey Remakes, October 17. Finding myself hooked on Rob’s articles. I could link dozens of things from his site. Here he talks about developing challenges for Rob Hale’s Waves.
“They’re too difficult”
Oh yeah, well. So are you. You’re too difficult. Your mum is too difficult and so is your cat. But not my cat, my cat is brilliant. And easy. Yeah.
“Jupiter’s Folly: An Experiential Review” by Shaun C. Green, Arcadian Rhythms, November 1. So who would have guessed that Jupiter’s Folly is similar to Neptune’s Pride?
It’s a prerequisite that almost inevitably leads to up to half of the players in any given match dropping out a few days in, with luckily-positioned opponents able to gobble up their territory and quickly establish themselves as a dominant force.
“NYC: Travels With My Parents” by AJ, Arcadian Rhythms, November 4. Oddly affecting and honest piece with Jason Rohrer’s Passage at its heart.
My dad is rapidly becoming more of a curmudgeon; the same grumbly old man I see myself turning into, baffled by the way in which simple button presses in the digital age can change things so significantly and instantly. My mother is still excited by technology (she has an iPad) and its intangibility delights rather than confounds. In this way, my parents have always been opposites and that’s how they’ve made their relationship work. They complement each other’s moods. Most of the time.
“Fate of the World: Tipping Point Review“, Gnome’s Lair, November 8. Although this isn’t a complete takedown, it’s nice to see someone challenging the details of a complex simulation. How could a game simulating the entire world possibly be accurate? Is such a game teaching complex truths or loaded truths?
Problem is that such a profoundly political game cannot simply be judged as a mere piece of entertainment software. It should and will have to face political and scientific criticism and -happily- what with me being a geographer, there are a ton of things I disagree with.
I’m also going to be at Code Ken 2011, Canary Wharf next week, if that means anything to you.
Aaaaaand I can’t believe I’m linking this. Magnum’s Pleasure Hunt. It sounds like the worst slice of advergaming that exists this side of the Hellmouth but it’s kinda cute. Someone will probably tell me it’s been done before, with substantially less cliché.
And the third game entrant this time is a game about loneliness and despair. When you lose – oh and you will lose – it’s unexpectedly brutal. Love from Bontegames.
More at A Softer World.