June 4th

This week we take a look at how we shape our personal worlds, and how games are shaped by us. Not just from a design standpoint, but by the way we explore our worlds and how that world informs the games we play, consider, and contextualize. Lot of interesting thoughts here, all worth considering.

Worlds Inside

The things we do in our world also affect our games. We provide a context to games that they may not have at time of creation, or could not have had if not for our hands.

The Capsule Tower stands today as a landmark for urban explorers and squatters, a derelict relic of a bygone vision of the future, suspended in the amber of bureaucratic blindsight. How apt then, that the rise and fall into dilapidation of Kurokawa’s Tower would serve as an inadvertent analog for the cultural rise and intellectual stagnation of cyberpunk…

Under the Hood

A brief look at the invisible efforts that happen in order to make a finished game.

Most media have a predetermined, linear, progress. Even when the writer tries to hide this under a complex narrative, there’s only one way to go from beginning to end. Under this aspect, games are a completely different medium: writing a game means dealing with mutations, branching narratives, and is a sort of chaos theory applied to storytelling.

Worlds Outside

The contexts we bring to games can change them specifically for us, in ways that may not be apparent without the knowledge we go in with.

There is freedom and art within limits, and much to explore in the territory of constrained power. Andromeda would have been better served by delving into that, rather than serving up another cliched guns-blazing conqueror fantasy.

Muddling the Medium

The gaming medium isn’t itself immutable, and sometimes it’s nice to see the scenery changed for us.

In this way, esports have a theatrical aspect that is like the story aspects of professional wrestling match mixed up with a meta-story of incredible physical and mental prowess.

Mortality

In the end, lives can end. Sometimes, that alone is meaningful enough to be worth recognizing.

The music rises in tempo, a dull flash over the target and the number killed rises up from the ruined city. These numbers will often reach into the tens of millions. The world’s metropolises will be reduced to wastelands bathed in sickly yellow green radiation. Hit a continent enough, and it will glow with sickly radiation. This is, apparently, what “victory” in nuclear war looks like.

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