Are videogames a medium? Ian Bogost thinks they are, but Michael Tomsen says that they aren’t. See how Bogost responds to Tomsen’s review of his latest book, How to Do Things with Videogames. I’m leaning more toward Bogost’s argument, but Tomsen’s critique has merit, as well. Distinctions between genres, kinds, or mediums tend to exude a smell of arbitrary when you think about them too hard. I’ll have to look into this more.
Michael R Brown, Puppet Masters: How Game Musicians Manipulate You.
I usually talk about the visual component of video games, but the aural component is extremely important, too. Music can make or break a game, and I’ve mentioned a few of my favorites: Bastion and SpaceChem. Brown interviews audio designers for Pulse and Dead Space 2 and they discuss what goes on behind-the-scenes.
Have you checked out Metagame? I can see this game starting very intense debates with my gamer friends. Which game was more successful? Minecraft or Mario? What game was more believable? Mortal Kombat or Grand Theft Auto? They plan on having decks available for purchase in December, and I definitely plan on acquiring one.
The World Cyber Games are coming up in the second week of December, and the Pan-American finals will be held from Nov. 4-6. If you haven’t watched eSports before, the WCG is definitely a good place to start. Personally, I’m following the League of Legends bracket. You can watch the finals for the USA bracket here and here. [Warning: Contains explicit gamer language.]
Jesper Juul posted about Chinese ping-pong playing robots and got me thinking about all the “fun” I had messing around with botting in Final Fantasy XI. Can I automate my character to fish for days on end so I don’t actually have to play the game I’m paying to play? Shortly thereafter I realized I needed to play something else.