Indie Devs vs New Games Journalism [Feedback Loop]

July 18 Comments Off on Indie Devs vs New Games Journalism [Feedback Loop] Category: Feed, Games, Nightmare Mode

The last year has seen the rise of the independent developer as hero. Does this growing consideration of the developer challenge an eight-year-running trend in game journalism?

The explosion of commercially accessible independent games on platforms like Steam or XBLA have introduced us to a new successful and far more accessible generation of game developers. These new indie game dev stars have induced a change in the approach of some game reviewers. A change brought to the forefront in Walter Garrett Mitchell’s piece on The Escapist, “Alfred Hitchcock Would Make Good Games.”

Mitchell’s focus on the developer is entirely unlike the experience-focused New Games Journalism style proposed in 2004 by Kieron Gillen. That experiential style has more recently been popularized by Zero Punctuation, the rest of The Escapist, @Play, and a variety of other reviews that approached games based on how they played, instead of how people created them.

Our Games Are Not Depressing Enough [Feedback Loop]

July 04 Comments Off on Our Games Are Not Depressing Enough [Feedback Loop] Category: Feed, Games, Nightmare Mode

An excess of violence has become a point of criticism for video games. The real problem isn’t the violence, but how games want us to feel about our stylized murder sprees.

In recent interviews David Cage and Warren Spector both addressed the need for games to be more emotive and less violent. However, it shouldn’t be an binary situation. Violent games could be a path to better art, if we deal with the violence in the correct way.

In Edge magazine, Cage’s interview centered around the recent E3 demo Kara. The demo by Quantic Dream showed a game character presenting subtleties of emotion only approcahable by the last Quantic Dream tech demo, ‘The Casting’.

While next-generation technology is not required for good games, Quantic’s demo shows the potential to create characters with greater emotional depth, a characteristic that does more to make them realistic than all the pixel resolution in the world.

Feedback Loop: Long Live the Shooter, the Shooter is Dead

June 13 Comments Off on Feedback Loop: Long Live the Shooter, the Shooter is Dead Category: Feed, Games, Nightmare Mode

The dispatches from E3 seem to indicate that the shooter remains the same. How long can its dominance last? What comes next?

Is it High Noon for shooters? In his latest post on Brainy Gamer, Michael Abbott seems to think so. He compares the current generation of shooter games to Westerns in 1959, the last year before they started to disappear.

Feedback Loop: How Halo Could Improve Democracy Forever

May 30 Comments Off on Feedback Loop: How Halo Could Improve Democracy Forever Category: Feed, Games, Nightmare Mode

It turns out that the characters we play and the stories they’re in can change our patterns of behavior and our attitude towards others. Armed with better stories, game developers can change the world.

Imagine the latest Halo game with an all new DLC. As Master Chief during election season, it’s your civic duty to get to a voting booth, no matter how many Grunts get in your way. This could be the near future if game writers decide to embrace the responsibilities that come along with the latest research from Tiltfactor’s Geoff Kaufman.

Kaufman’s recent study, published in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, examines the phenomenon of ‘experience-taking.’ The principle is that certain types of fiction, specifically those where the participant can take on the identity of the protagonist, push the participant to merge the character with their selves, “feeling the emotions, thoughts, beliefs and internal responses of one of the characters as if they were their own.”

One particular part of the study shows promise to provide a solution to the political conflict arising from Halo 4’s scheduled release date.

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