Big releases continue to drive the discussion this week, with Modern Warfare 2
's virtual terrorism, raising questions of social responsibility in simulation, the narrative efficacy of bombast, and the role of games in society. On the other hand, Dragon Age
raises questions of which genre and gameplay conventions have become the forgotten banana at the bottom of the backpack, carried forward on accident, unknowing of the mess you're causing… Continue
Added by Erik Hanson on November 17, 2009 at 10:30pm —
Reachin' out, touchin' faith.
The internet's really outdone itself this past week. I tallied roughly double the number of interesting articles to read through come Saturday (at least 140, I believe). Although this week's edition of Context Clues highlights a large number of those posts, not all of them made it in. (Sorry!) If you'd like to dig a bit deeper into my rabbit-hole life, you can catch some these links and more, you can find the shorter list at the… Continue
Added by Erik Hanson on November 10, 2009 at 7:00pm —
One of the most important parts of the mission of VGHVI is to get our members playing video games together, to have something to talk about in our signature interdisciplinary way and, well, just to have a lot of fun. Over the past year or so we've done that on a pretty much weekly basis, and it's been really wonderful. We've played every kind of multiplayer game there is, from Castle Crashers
. Frankly, when I think of these Thursday nights, what comes instantly to… Continue
Added by Roger Travis on November 7, 2009 at 4:13pm —
This past week was certainly an exciting one. You may be aware that there are folks out there who still dismiss games as being the same mainly lighthearted distractions that once populated the first video arcades. Seems to me that the mere fact that games cause controversy beyond "Pac-Man Fever" is a solid indication that games have moved forward from the days of Centipede
. Growing up isn't just about growing pains, though. At some point, trying to wear the same… Continue
Added by Erik Hanson on November 3, 2009 at 9:00am —
I've started archiving clips of all the articles I link here via a public Evernote notebook
I've also started trying to collaborate with Ben Abraham (Critical Distance and SLRC) on pulling clips and feeds together. If you'd like to be part of that work (because you like helping, want to see how the sausage is made, of would like to see more clips and links--perhaps for your own link-outs), don't hesitate… Continue
Added by Erik Hanson on October 28, 2009 at 4:30pm —
Day late and a penny wiser on this one, to perform ungodly genetic experiments with cliches.
And the reasons? There are no reasons. Who needs reasons when ... oh right. I have a reason.
Yeah, I was doing work.
And yes, I own that shirt
. Why don't you? Do you not also require pecuniary… Continue
Added by Erik Hanson on October 27, 2009 at 5:00pm —
Welcome back! Here's what you may have missed, recently, on The Internet
Heads up: I've taken out the "pop" in these links, so they won't automatically open in a new tab or page anymore. If you have a strong opinion on the matter, please let me know. Meanwhile, let's cross our fingers and hope that these 40-something links all work properly.
The Game Of Love
We'd best be careful with all this love talk, lest Hallmark catch wind and stick us with another… Continue
Added by Erik Hanson on October 19, 2009 at 7:50pm —
I decided to give myself Columbus Day off here at Context Clues, in honor of the Scandinavians who found Canada years beforehand and decided they didn't really want it (though Minnesota later suited them just fine). I hope you don't mind the backwards ethnic pride. Anyway, the idea has always been to have Context Clues posted at the beginning of the work week. This week, it's starting late. Apologies.
Also, I was busy spinning my wheels all weekend for silly reasons like "paychecks,"… Continue
Added by Erik Hanson on October 13, 2009 at 1:27pm —
I have a confession. I've been playing Europa Universalis III
instead of reading more blogs. I'm not terribly repentant, though, so you'd better get used to this potentially diminished level of awesome (still pretty great, if you ask me) coverage of the ol' middle circle.
The thought occurs to me that not everyone knows what "middle circle" refers to. I wanted to link to the relevant post, but it seems that "middle circle" in Google is mostly results in links about middle… Continue
Added by Erik Hanson on October 5, 2009 at 12:00pm —
Front and center for the completely biased, self-serving announcement of the Proceedings of the Video Games and Human Values Initiative. [Insert massive media blitz here.]
Justin Keverne leads off the Proceedings of the Video Games And Human Values Initiative with an analysis of freedom and control
in Assassin's Creed
. Roger Travis explains how he hopes the Proceedings of the VGHVI (the… Continue
Added by Erik Hanson on September 28, 2009 at 2:48pm —
VGHVI is pleased to publish its first proceeding, Justin Keverne's "Game within a game: freedom and control in Assassin's Creed
." This article, here
, is the pilot of what we hope will be a new approach to scholarly publication in the interdisciplinary discourse on video games. Readers are invited and encouraged not only to discuss the article, but also to provide the benefits that traditionally have been in the… Continue
Added by Roger Travis on September 22, 2009 at 10:30am —
Welcome to Context Clues, where no blog post is an island. Seems sort of a thin week. You could blame me for not spending as much time reaching further into the seedy, uncharted depths (beyond this place, there be Dragon Age
"romance"), or you could blame yourself for not creating or disseminating more thoughtful writing. Either way, I enjoyed playing Space Hulk
without you. Alternate heading schemes for this week included "Successes, Struggles, & Semantics," "Forward,… Continue
Added by Erik Hanson on September 21, 2009 at 12:00pm —
Criticism & Culture
Nick Lalone (Before Game Design) compares the cultures surrounding games now to the culture of the first video games
. Scott Juster (Experience Points) responds to a PAX panel's attempt to map a way forward for games treating serious issues. Scott makes a clear argument that… Continue
Added by Erik Hanson on September 14, 2009 at 12:00pm —
It was a busy week, hopefully capped, for many of us, by a relaxing and long weekend. Now, let's get down to mechanics, dynamics and both games and events involving adults wearing costumes.
Gamasutra features a post by Expert Blogger David Rosen in which David creates topographical maps of potential solutions
to game problems. The post shows how games can… Continue
Added by Erik Hanson on September 8, 2009 at 8:00am —
Times are changing here on the floor at GenreCon 2009. I'm seeing predictions of sea change and relishing in the irony of still-diverging definitions of "ontology." I apologize, however, that I did not manage to bring a camera for cosplay pics. Nor have I assembled a "Top 10 Ubiquities of GenreCon" list.
Following Comics--No, I mean that in a good way.
James Portnow (Gamasutra Features) sees the current overabundance of talent in the games industry as a portent of a… Continue
Added by Erik Hanson on August 31, 2009 at 3:00pm —
L.B. Jeffries says
, "Video game criticism is tricky because everyone is talking about the same things but they are either using concepts that have become ubiquitous like the magic circle or attempting to reinvent the wheel." That's the same central problem that we're trying to ameliorate here on Context Clues, and that… Continue
Added by Erik Hanson on August 24, 2009 at 2:00pm —
I decided on a new, spiffy title! Hang on to your style guides, because this blog just got an exciting new jolt of identity! I've also switched my RSS subscription from Kotaku to Kotaku AU (which sometimes has extra, tasty bits of thought)--so my apologies if you're linked to an upside-down version of an article or two. The URLs from each site don't translate easily.
In other news, I spent one day at GenCon and bought the entire place. I have a weakness for neat game mechanics and… Continue
Added by Erik Hanson on August 17, 2009 at 2:00pm —
Did that mid-summer lull I was promised finally hit, or have I just been skimming more than usual?
Pardon the dust this week as I both attempt to remember how the internet works and try to find a way to streamline the production process. I'm considering hiring an intern. I pay mostly in hostile judgments and derogatory remarks.
Frank Forrestall (Gamasutra Blogs) looks over the past decade of games and sees flickers of spirituality that he associates with more mature art… Continue
Added by Erik Hanson on August 10, 2009 at 4:34pm —
Running a bit short. Feel free to mark this incomplete.
Pacing: The Thick & Chunky One
Daniel "StolenName" Purvis (Graffiti Gamer) notes one similarity between literature and games: The audience has ultimate control of the work's pace
What's the difference between Source mods Age Of Chivalry
and Pirates, Vikings, Knights II
? According to Fraser McMillan (Resolution),… Continue
Added by Erik Hanson on July 27, 2009 at 11:30am —
I'm getting married in two days, and for the next week will be significantly less online than is my custom. With this in mind, I'll try and post an abbreviated version of this week's notes, but won't be back in swing until August 10.
While I'm gone, feel free to post links to good writing that you notice, or to your own work that you'd like to share.
In the meantime, there are some similar (though less comprehensive and more broadly focused) weekly reviews and… Continue
Added by Erik Hanson on July 23, 2009 at 2:37pm —