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September 26th

September 26th, 2010 | Posted by Ben Abraham in This Week in Videogame Blogging:

This Week in Videogame Blogging, now in rapidfire-mode since there’s so much to get through:

Fraser Alison at Red Kings Dream writes about ‘A grammar of games’.

Tom Francis writing for PC Gamer informs us of some Spade related violence in Fallout 3’s Point Lookout DLC. That’s two weeks in a row someone’s mentioned Point Lookout. Elsewhere, Francis has been reflecting upon and what his efforts with programming game AI have taught him:

It’s easy to code what you want. But you don’t really know what you want until you’ve tried to explain it to a very, very stupid person. That was Socrates’ thing, in fact: he acted like an idiot to make people explain themselves to him on the most basic level, which usually revealed they didn’t truly understand their own beliefs. These days we have silicon hyperidiots to explain things to. They’re able to be much more stupid, many more times a second, than Socrates ever was. Coding is the Socratic method as an extreme sport.

Jim Rossingol writing for his own blog about games presenting us with a ‘Prosthetic Imagination’ – attach game to brain for some cyborg imagination.

Roger Travis breaks down Halo Reach for readers of his Living Epic blog, and explains the argument Reach presented to him through play.

Chris Dahlen has concluded his series on World Building on his Save the Robot blog, with a look at ‘The World to End All Worlds’:

World War II is a world, but it’s not strictly a “fictional” world. And yet it sets the stage for millions of works of fiction. All its complexities have been boiled down to a narrative as linear as the one in Avatar: The Last Airbender. All of these made-up worlds aspire to the same complexity, the same drama and the same importance as this single, several-year conflict.

At Pop Matters, LB Jeffries takes on the world building subject in ‘Filling in the Details in Video Games’ and Andy Johnson writes about ‘Tribal Spirituality in ‘Populous: The Beginning’.

Steve Gaynor closed his consistently excellent Fullbright workblog this week, going out with a bit of reflection on the success of the Minerva’s Den DLC for Bioshock 2 that he headed up.

Nels Anderson also spent some time reflecting on a game he worked on, in ‘Deathspank: Reflections of Justice’.

N’Gai Croal’s Edge Online column asks ‘Do You Speak Game?’ and reminds us of the value of the outsider’s perspective.

David Carlton at the Malvasia Bianca blog asks why Cow Clicker users are more likely to post game messages than other Facebook gamers, and concludes that it may be because those of us who play cow clicker for the puns are “weirdos”. Guilty as charged.

Michael Clarkson at Discount Thoughts writes at length about Mafia 2 and the absence of the sense of power he feels should be driving a mob story like this.

The Game Overthinker posts Episode 40: ‘Heavens to Metroid’.

Denis Farr writing for The Border House blog wrote a piece called “Metroid: Othering Samus”.

Kirk Hamilton goes to PAX for Paste Magazine.

Luke Rhodes of the Mad Architect blog is considering ‘Videogames and the doors of perception’, which talks about Aldous Huxley’s ‘the doors of perception’ and some of the writing of Tom Bissell on games.

At No Added Suggar, James Dilks writes about the widely praised conclusion to Red Dead Redemption in ‘Red Dead Redemption and the strange case of the game with the satisfying conclusion’.

The last word for the week can go to Sara Corbett of the NYTimes in a piece called ‘Learning by Playing: Video Games in the Classroom’:

And as the clock wound down and the students hollered and the steam radiator in the corner let out another long hiss, Doyle’s little blue self rounded a final corner, waited out a passing robot and charged into the goal at the end of the maze with less than two seconds to spare. This caused a microriot in the classroom. Cheers erupted. Fists pumped. A few kids lay back on the floor as if knocked out by the drama. Several made notes on their graph paper. Doyle leaned back in his chair. Had he taught anything? Had they learned anything? It depended, really, on how you wanted to think about teaching and learning.

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