“What’s Making Them Run Away?”: The Nintendo DS and the Casual Revolution

Jesper Juul argues in A Casual Revolution that “The stereotype of a casual player is the inverted image of the hardcore player: this player has a preference for positive and pleasant fictions, has played few video games, is willing to commit little time and few resources toward playing video games, and dislikes difficult games” (8). Juul goes on to relate modern casual video games to arcade games from the 1980s, such as Pac-Man, and ultimately posits that the Nintendo Wii played the biggest role in ushering in this casual ‘reinvention’ of gaming that exists today (2). Steven E. Jones and … Continue reading “What’s Making Them Run Away?”: The Nintendo DS and the Casual Revolution

BEDTIME

BEDTIME is an interactive video experience that seeks to imitate bedtime rituals and our experiences with digital tools and media at large during restful periods. Taking up concepts from the digital humanities, the project asks its participants to consider the relationship between digital activities, distraction, and the necessity of sleep that is so often delayed by our engagements with the digital. The relationship between screen time and bedtime is constantly examined by scientists, but extended engagement with the digital is unavoidable for many professionals, students, and the population in general. By taking a light-heartened and aesthetic approach to the activities undertaken before falling asleep, the viewer of BEDTIME … Continue reading BEDTIME

Malandia – An Exploration of Permanence, Consequence and Player Agency in Interactive Narrative Games

Malandia is a text-based interactive narrative that aims to explore ideas related to contemporary game theory. Before you read on, please play the game and then return to read more. (Disclaimer: This game requires an active internet connection. This game is best played with sound turned on.)   Malandia was conceived as a hands on exploration of contemporary issues related to game theory. In How to Do Things with Videogames, Ian Bogost writes “we can understand the relevance of a medium by looking at the variety of things it does” (3). In this case, he is making reference to exploring specific productions of a medium before passing judgement … Continue reading Malandia – An Exploration of Permanence, Consequence and Player Agency in Interactive Narrative Games

Having it the Player’s Way: (Sub)Way and the Illusion of Narrative Choice

https://itch.io/embed/63269?dark=true NOTE: (Sub)Way can be found at these links if the above embed is not working/down: http://www.philome.la/Daniel_Rosen/subway https://danielrosen.itch.io/subway In making (Sub)Way I learned a fairly important lesson about the way I perceive game design and the narrative possibility space of interactive fiction. Namely, that the smoke-and-mirrors effect of choice-based narrative design is not only necessary to making a game narrative function effectively in terms of interpreting player involvement, but that it is an inherent positive trait of interactive narratives. Games and narratives have a complicated relationship, particularly when it comes to authorial control over the narrative and the decisions made within it. The issue being there … Continue reading Having it the Player’s Way: (Sub)Way and the Illusion of Narrative Choice

Games as Electronic Literature: Storytelling in Video Games Dear Esther and The Stanley Parable

The relationship between stories and games is a central concern for ludologists, as made evident in the collection of essays entitled First Person: New Media as Story Performance and Game. Contention exists regarding the function and relevance of narrative in games, as several scholars claim games are under-theorized (Eskelinen 36). While digital games do not need to tell stories to be deemed worthy of analysis, many games are comprised of narrative aspects, thus blurring boundaries between forms, and can be studied as electronic literature (Jenkins 119). The technology of the digital game allows for innovative and interactive ways of utilizing narration, incorporating elements that are unavailable … Continue reading Games as Electronic Literature: Storytelling in Video Games Dear Esther and The Stanley Parable

Game-Player Interactions: Dualism of Motives and SIPI

       In her book Super Better, Jane McGonigal looks at the ways in which a game player can improve his or her own quality of life with a profound but simple change in perspective. McGonigal presents preconceived understandings about life and happiness, but in a new environment and with different tools. She looks at the effects of video game playing on the human condition, and how these effects diverge between two majors groups of people: those who want to play and those who need to play. Specifically, in chapter four, “You Can Make the Leap from Games to Gameful,” McGonigal describes how ones moves … Continue reading Game-Player Interactions: Dualism of Motives and SIPI

On the Landing: A Hypertext Narrative about Insomnia, Anxiety and Self-Care

Warning: There is a flashing image in this game that might be a hazard to those who are prone to epileptic seizures. In future versions of the game this image will only be a short intro. On the Landing on itch.io On the Landing started out as a short story I wrote for a creative writing class. It was chiefly concerned with how an individual dealing with anxiety finds their anxiety magnified when faced with indecision. As it is a short story that is set at night, I recently began exploring indecision and anxiety as it is related to insomnia. The piece is somewhat personal (hence … Continue reading On the Landing: A Hypertext Narrative about Insomnia, Anxiety and Self-Care