Video Games Are Better Without Stories

[..] [G]ames are the aesthetic form of everyday objects. Of ordinary life. Take a ball and a field: you get soccer. Take property-based wealth and the Depression: you get Monopoly. Take patterns of four contiguous squares and gravity: you get Tetris. Take ray tracing and reverse it to track projectiles: you get Doom. Games show players the unseen uses of ordinary materials.

[…] The true accomplishment of What Remains of Edith Finch is that it invites players to abandon the dream of interactive storytelling at last. […] To dream of the Holodeck is just to dream a complicated dream of the novel. If there is a future of games, let alone a future in which they discover their potential as a defining medium of an era, it will be one in which games abandon the dream of becoming narrative media and pursue the one they are already so good at: taking the tidy, ordinary world apart and putting it back together again in surprising, ghastly new ways.

Video Games Are Better Without Stories – Ian Bogost

Maniac Mansion Design Notes

A early mock-up of the Maniac Mansion UI, which would influence many later Lucasfilm adventure games.

A map of the mansion, interestingly the limited disk space of 320k played a big role in the mansion size and layout.

Source: Grumpy Gamer – Maniac Mansion Design Notes

EVE, offline: how do you archive a universe? | The Verge

The difficulty of capturing ephemeral moments is felt deeply in video game archival work. „Preserving Virtual Worlds,“ a landmark paper and project in the field, uses the example of virtual candlelight vigils held in Asheron’s Call and Everquest after the September 11th attacks. One version of a single-player game can stay more or less the same over the years, but these moments were as fleeting as their real-world counterparts — and unlike those, there are no physical relics left behind. If EVE Online somehow manages to keep running into the next century, it won’t be the same game it was in 2013. Even going back 10 years is a struggle: in the early days, Ólafsson says, CCP had to overwrite older data to keep from running out of server space. Today, the company keeps a huge archive, of which MoMA currently has only a fragment.

EVE, offline: how do you archive a universe? | Adi Robertson, The Verge

Journal of Games Criticism

Journal of Games Criticism

We take video games as our impetus and our enterprise. With multidisciplinarity and interdisciplinarity as our tools, we look to the past of video gaming in order to orchestrate and build its future. Looking to rhetoric, media studies, and cultural studies, many apparatuses of analysis are present, but they all must be brought into these media and reborn.

Lights and Shadows in Graphics – Computerphile – YouTube


Lights and Shadows in Graphics – Computerphile – YouTube

GDC Vault

GDC Vault

Game Developer, an in-depth monthly magazine for exposing ‚the art and business of video games‘, was published by UBM Tech (which also runs Game Developers Conference and Gamasutra.com) from 1994 to 2013. Following the magazine’s closure in July 2013, we’ve compiled an archive and made them freely available here for all to enjoy.

IllumiRoom Projects Images Beyond Your TV for an Immersive Gaming Experience – YouTube

IllumiRoom is a proof-of-concept Microsoft Research project designed to push the boundary of living room immersive entertainment by blending our virtual and physical worlds with projected visualizations. The effects in the video are rendered in real time and are captured live — not special effects added in post processing.

IllumiRoom Projects Images Beyond Your TV for an Immersive Gaming Experience – YouTube.

playing the revolution (1080p) 8 BIT GENERATION – YouTube

playing the revolution (1080p) 8 BIT GENERATION – YouTube.

Principles of Virtual Sensation

What is the “feel” of a game? Every gamer knows it and can easily recall the sensation, the kinesthetic feeling, of controlling some virtual avatar or agent. It’s what causes you to lean left and right as you play, swinging your controller wildly as you try to get Mario to move just a little faster. It’s the feeling of masterfully controlling some object outside your body, making it an extension of your will and instinct. This “virtual sensation” is in many ways the essence of videogames, one of the most compelling, captivating, and interesting emergent properties of human-computer interaction.

Steve Swink – Principles of Virtual Sensation.

Sunday Links for 2009-07-05

Sunday links for 2009-07-05: