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Welcome to Abstracting Games!

A blog devoted to looking at games a little more closely.

Peruse essays on the intersection of gaming and philosophical inquiry.

Latest from the Blog

Getting Defensive

Combat in video games generally has some kind of flow to it. That flow is different from game to game, but as we play through we start to get a sense for whether a game is quickly or slowly paced. But useful in thinking about a game’s flow is how defensive systems encourage or discourage certain player behaviors.

Villainy and the System

In video games, evil is generally represented by a specific villain. We focus what is wrong with the world on a “final boss” that simply needs to be defeated by the hero. But this focus on villains means we miss the impact of systems on our lives. What would it mean, then, for evil to be represented through systems in video games, rather than through a mere villain?

Difficulty and Legitimate Play

In talking about games, especially difficult games, we can run into the concept of “legitimate play.” This is the idea that only specific types of interactions with games are valid, and any experience that does not fit within those interactions can be disregarded or ridiculed. But in this essay I want to examine in more detail why this concept is wrong, and how we should be more careful in distinguishing what we mean by “the right way” to play games.

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