In talking about games, it can be surprisingly easy to forget that they don’t just appear from the sky. They’re made by human beings. And because they’re made by people, perhaps we should think about what it means to talk about games *as though* they’re made by people.
Release dates for video games are so common that we almost expect them as a matter of course. But release dates also create all of these other expectations that can lead to unhealthy behavior – such as a developer receiving death threats when they delay a game. I want to examine what a “release date” really is and how we should treat it, and how this knowledge can help lead to healthier relationships with the things we enjoy.
In this 100th essay special, I offer some brief reflections on the value of games media in its various forms.
With all sorts of successful streamers and YouTube channels, watching video games for entertainment is a major industry. And it’s no surprise that so many people want to get in on that, often in the hopes of being the next big success. But it’s useful to ask…why do people watch any of this stuff in the first place?
Do you need to finish a game to review it? This is a question that has been asked over and over again by fans and professionals alike. But it’s by stepping back and asking what the whole point of a review actually is that we get to a clearer understanding of the topic.
A sequel to last week’s essay on the psychology of violence in video games. This essay will examine how the use of violent rhetoric by gamers ends up being counterproductive, and thus should be halted and called out.
If you have any experience with video games, you’ve probably experienced violence in those games at least once. And if you have any experience with discussion about video games, you’ve probably experienced the claim that video games cause violence in some way. In a series of essays, I’ll be examining the role of violence in games, the research surrounding that violence, and what we should be doing about it all as people who are ultimately immersed in this violence.
In this short essay, I look at how games teach us how their mechanics work, and one way in which that teaching goes wrong: when the mechanics are too hard to understand because we aren’t given enough information.
Stories have a wonderful ability to allow us to explore complex moral topics without needing to engage in the direct harms that happen in those stories. Using the game Blasphemous, I wanted to explore the concept of guilt and how guilt figures into being a moral person according to the game’s themes.
Video games demand that we keep going and continually work to overcome the hurdles that confront us…but is that always a good thing? Using the game Undertale, I look at the theme of determination, and how the game portrays determination as a way of exploring the value of sticking to your goals and seeing them through.