Pokemon Go & post-pandemic mobility expectations

I haven’t played Pokemon Go since the early days of its release. It was nearly impossible to avoid the buzz surrounding the game’s launch. And as I wrote back in July 2016, the hype around the game was infectious and the game itself offered an exciting new way of interacting with public spaces in your … Continue reading Pokemon Go & post-pandemic mobility expectations

Watch_Dogs: Legion, part 1: Open Worlds

I love the Watch_Dogs franchise. Or rather, I want to love it. I certainly love the overall concept. The distinguishing features of the series incorporate some of my favorite elements from video games in general, as well as more particular niche interests. For one thing, the games  are set in contemporary urban open worlds that … Continue reading Watch_Dogs: Legion, part 1: Open Worlds

The unreal urbanism of Pokémon Go

Earlier this month the mobile-app game Pokémon Go was released in the U.S., and the game has been ubiquitous ever since. Aside from being a sudden pop culture phenomenon, the game's success poses some significant implications. First of all, this is clearly a breakthrough moment for augmented reality. Pokémon Go is not the first augmented reality game, … Continue reading The unreal urbanism of Pokémon Go

McLuhan Monday: Print and Islam, mobile gaming medium theory, McLuhan’s relevance, and more

In an article for Haaretz reflecting on last week's terror attacks in Paris, Michael Handelzalts invokes McLuhan's infamous aphorism in relation to the emergence of print culture in the Islamic world: So, in the Muslim world, books and literacy became generally accessible (instead of being accessible only to the educated male and the wealthy) about a … Continue reading McLuhan Monday: Print and Islam, mobile gaming medium theory, McLuhan’s relevance, and more

Ender’s Game analyzed, the Stanley Parable explored, Political Economy of zombies, semiotics of Twitter, much more

It's been a long time since the last update (what happened to October?), so this post is extra long in an attempt to catch up. I haven't seen the new Ender's Game movie, but this review by abbeyotis at Cyborgology calls the film "a lean and contemporary plunge into questions of morality mediated by technology": … Continue reading Ender’s Game analyzed, the Stanley Parable explored, Political Economy of zombies, semiotics of Twitter, much more

Manifesto for a Ludic Century, ludonarrative dissonance in GTA, games and mindf*cks, and more

Kotaku recently posted a "manifesto" by game designer Eric Zimmerman declaring that the 21st century will be defined by games: Systems, play, design: these are not just aspects of the Ludic Century, they are also elements of gaming literacy. Literacy is about creating and understanding meaning, which allows people to write (create) and read (understand). … Continue reading Manifesto for a Ludic Century, ludonarrative dissonance in GTA, games and mindf*cks, and more

Inside Korea’s gaming culture, virtual worlds and economic modeling, Hollywood’s Summer of Doom continues, and more

I've long been fascinated by the gaming culture in South Korea, and Tom Massey has written a great feature piece for Eurogamer titled Seoul Caliber: Inside Korea's Gaming Culture. From this westerner's perspective, having never visited Korea, the article reads almost more like cyberpunk fiction than games journalism: Not quite as ubiquitous, but still extremely common, are PC Bangs: … Continue reading Inside Korea’s gaming culture, virtual worlds and economic modeling, Hollywood’s Summer of Doom continues, and more

Bogost on Facebook feudalism, narrative possibilites in games, the gamification of sex

Media theorist and ludologist Ian Bogost recently penned some thoughts on Facebook's development platform (referred to as "Facebook's bleak new feudalism" in the title of Kotaku's repost of the original piece): The short truth is this: Facebook doesn't care if developers can use the platform easily or at all. In fact, it doesn't seem to … Continue reading Bogost on Facebook feudalism, narrative possibilites in games, the gamification of sex

Multiple angles on gamification

This week my fiancée told me about an app she had recently installed on her phone. As she excitedly described it, users of the app can "check in" at a retail store (it sounded like your location is verified through GPS) and you receive points for doing so, presumably to redeem for store purchases but … Continue reading Multiple angles on gamification

Epic EVE battle, Critical games criticism, indie developer self-publishing

I've never played EVE Online, and I don't even really understand how it works, but I find it fascinating. Last week saw the biggest battle in the game's history. This breakdown from The Verge is headlined like a real-life dispatch from the frontier of mankind's space-faring endeavors: Largest space battle in history claims 2,900 ships, … Continue reading Epic EVE battle, Critical games criticism, indie developer self-publishing