8-Bit Terrariums by Jude Buffum
- The Bygone Bureau – Fear and Gaming: Being and Nothingness and “Minecraft”
I almost missed linking to one of these! It’s a good thing I caught myself: I recently told Bureau editor Kevin Nguyen by Tweet that if I missed one, he ought to phone the police, because I must be in trouble. I’m okay, guys! I have a free, 6-month subscription to OnStar!
Have you been reading all these? I keep telling you to. Mr. Gourlay’s approach to games is something I have heard called "experiential," which is a descriptive word that I like but barely understand how to pronounce aloud. I think I’m kidding? Maybe.
Even though I am not a mother, I have watched children play and have felt defensive and nurturing only until I got in on the game myself (at which point I will start shouting, "Boo-yah! No mercy! In your face! ...Sorry"). But there is something sharp and moving—so sharp that as a reader I don’t even see it coming until it’s too late for me—about Mr. Gourlay’s relationship with a game (_Minecraft_) as contrasted with his relationship with his 9-year-old daughter.
- BBC News – Polish game recreates communist shopping hell
A new educational board game simulates the stress of shopping—the long lines, the shortages—in 1980s communist Poland.
- Paste – Games: Features – On Videogame Criticism
A series of letters between Tom Bissell and Simon Ferrari. (via editor @kirkhamilton on Twitter)
- You Are Not So Smart – Deindividuation
On identities authentic and assumed, the difference between conformity and deindividuation, and the anonymous mob. (via @chmmr)
- CNN.com – ‘Sims’ creator: ‘Games are not the right medium to tell stories’
This is one of those things that make me ehhhhhhhhh, because Will Wright is an inarguable visionary and I know what he is saying and how it makes sense, but I just ehhhhhhhhhh.
Still it’s nice to see some discussion of "Bar Karma," Wright’s crowd-scripted TV serial on Current, and anyway we all should embrace conversations about narrativity versus sandboxing with the goal of eventually furthering the form or whatever.
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I get angry, but not that often. Or maybe I am angry a lot. But in my adult life I have always stepped lightly around my own opinions. That timorousness has helped maintain a lot of friendships that might otherwise not have lasted. My best childhood friend and I, for instance, have completely opposite, rabidly passionate beliefs. We have carefully cultivated a friendly and loving political distance. She and I understand the stakes. We know that, if we begin those conversations, we won’t stop, our feelings will be hurt, and no one will win. That is why she is my best friend. I have the same relationship with, you know, my mother.
Maybe nobody needs to know everything I’m thinking at any given moment, or how I feel about health reform or gun laws or Larry Elder (it’s complicated). Maybe there are some fiercely held opinions I’d do just as well to keep under my hat, just as I’d do well not to march up to a friendly acquaintance and scream “I hate you and everything you stand for.” No, I tiptoe, genuinely working hard to not alienate my fellow humankind. There’s no reason, ordinarily, for me to take up arms and get in your face and go THIS THIS THIS THIS THIS THIS.
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