Toxic Help

The ability to watch people play games on the internet has given us the opportunity to forge all sorts of communities. But in engaging with these communities there lie several problems, and one of them is the urge to be “helpful.” In this essay I explore how the desire to help others can be counterproductive, and some ways in which we can address these problems so that both players and viewers can have a more enjoyable experience.

Authenticity in Gaming

Games demand a lot of our time and energy. And with the other demands in our life – and the sheer number of games out there – it is normal for a lot of players to get help in figuring out how to play and complete games. In this essay I explore the use of guides and the concept of “authenticity” when approaching video games, and how the use of guides fits more largely into how we engage with video games as a medium.

On Storytelling: Online Games and the Holding Pattern

With the latest Destiny 2 expansion, this seemed like a good time to step back and look at some issues relating to storytelling in online games. When a game is designed around players continually repeating content endlessly, how does that impact the narrative that players are told?

On Storytelling: Meta Gaming

When you play a game, you’re always controlling a character. You know that, but how often does any player really think about that fact? In what ways could a story remind a player of that fact? In this essay I explore how video game narratives can incorporate a player’s interactions in a form of meta-storytelling that can go beyond the constraints of mere plot.