Category: Longform

Long reads that are also long writes.

July 23, 2014

Medium, Message

Brendan Vance has a lot of very interesting things to say, starting with

I develop videogames for a living, but I spent last year really hating videogames. I questioned how it was I could consume 60 hours of ‘content’ for Assassin’s Creed 3 yet feel utterly unsatisfied by my act of consumption. I questioned what it was I had consumed, other than my own time. I questioned what it was I sought from the game in the first place. I questioned the nature of the ‘content’ it claimed to offer me; privately I began to suspect it might not even exist.

July 15, 2014

Literary Tutorial

A Game as Literary Tutorial: Dungeons & Dragons Has Influenced a Generation of Writers Writer Junot Díaz in the New York Times says “We welfare kids could travel, have adventures, succeed, be powerful, triumph, fail and be in ways that would have been impossible in the larger real world. For nerds like us, D&D hit like an extra horizon,” he added. The game functioned as “a sort of storytelling apprenticeship.”

Escape from Endor? One of the Ewok movies. I was an extra. I actually was hunting Ewoks.

Steve continues, "The other thing that was really innovative in Maniac Mansion was the fact that you were controlling three different characters and switching back and forth, which was something I'd never seen before."

"That was an insane thing to try to do," says Ron.

"And it was great," says Steve.

Pete Langston jokes, "It's something that Grand Theft Auto has only now discovered."

USGamer interviews a bunch of Lucasarts guys about the good 'ole days.

June 5, 2014

“the pièce de resistance is the Fix-It Felix Jr.”

Arcadia: A Love Story

We make our way down the hall and he ceremoniously opens the door. It is a portal into the past. The first thing I see is a Donkey Kong cabinet, but then my eyes are drawn to a row of pristine gumball machines that look just like the ones at the Yellow Balloon where I got my first haircut on Ventura Boulevard in 1984.

Everyone who enters this room, Kooluris tells me, has the same reaction: They tell him about the part of their childhood it reminds them of.

May 29, 2014

Great Thing History

...In civilization you're not playing as Gandhi, George Washington, or Catherine the Great, you're playing as the state. An ageless construct interested only in its own growth, power, and self preservation that's as divorced from the people that make it up as you are from the cells that make you up.
-Errant Signal presents an ultra-dense 15min on "what Civilization says about us".

May 27, 2014

Go is to Chess as Poetry is to Double-Entry Accounting.

The Mystery of Go, the Ancient Game That Computers Still Can’t Win

The challenge is daunting. In 1994, machines took the checkers crown, when a program called Chinook beat the top human. Then, three years later, they topped the chess world, IBM’s Deep Blue supercomputer besting world champion Garry Kasparov. Now, computers match or surpass top humans in a wide variety of games: Othello, Scrabble, backgammon, poker, even Jeopardy. But not Go. It’s the one classic game where wetware still dominates hardware.
[more inside]

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