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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

Being Underpowered

Being underpowered in a video game is a strange problem. On the one hand, it provides an extra challenge for those who want it. On the other hand, it can be annoying if you don’t know you’re underpowered. In this essay I explore how games both can and need to carefully communicate these concepts to players so that they can better choose how they play.

On Storytelling: Conspiracies

Conspiracies are a fairly common tool to come across in stories. They help build a sense of intrigue and drama in otherwise cut and dry narratives. But conspiracies as a tool for writing are subject to a lot of problems that we normally don’t think about. In this essay I explore how conspiracies work as a way to examine good and bad practices for using conspiracies in storytelling.

Crafting Horror

Horror games have long had a problem with the “horror” component. The reliance on a very particular form of horror – the jumpscare – has been the primary mechanic for spooking players. In this essay I examine some aspects for how a different form of horror – a form of tension or dread – can be evoked within a player instead.

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