Showing posts tagged gaming
Currently playing Company of Heroes, which I got in the THQ Humble Bundle. It’s a departure for me, but addictively fun. The chatter of my little GIs cracks me up. I heard there were far more mixed reviews for CoH2, but this one will occupy me for some time.
I just finished this mission, St. Fromond. It took me maybe 6 tries to get all the side objectives and the medal. I was defending St. Fromond in my sleep. Finally got them all tonight.

Currently playing Company of Heroes, which I got in the THQ Humble Bundle. It’s a departure for me, but addictively fun. The chatter of my little GIs cracks me up. I heard there were far more mixed reviews for CoH2, but this one will occupy me for some time.

I just finished this mission, St. Fromond. It took me maybe 6 tries to get all the side objectives and the medal. I was defending St. Fromond in my sleep. Finally got them all tonight.

The Art of Memory by Frances Yates looks at the ancient and medieval method of memorization through visual imagery.  Prior to the invention of printing and where paper wasn’t widely available, scholars had to commit large treatises to memory.  They did so via a method outlined in Rhetorica ad Herennium in the 90s B.C., widely used in the ancient world and in medieval Europe, of picking a physical place and assigning things or words to different sections.  Say you visualize a large house and use it to remember a talk you have to give.  The introduction would be mentally “parked” in the foyer, the first chapter in a drawing room, then you could move up the stairs to your high point, and finally go out to an outer balcony for the resolution.
As I read about this method, I can’t help comparing it to gaming levels.  The Herennium said that your memory house could be real or imaginary.  It counsels that you should make your memory places novel, either very beautiful or grotesque, in order to ensure they come alive in your mind.  What else does a really engaging gaming level do but this?  I’m not sure this could be applied today, though I guess you could use a favorite game level as a mnemonic device.  What I find interesting to consider is that Yates says that prior to printing, people must have had a very vivid sense of physical space, otherwise this method couldn’t have worked.  Maybe the experience of moving through a game level- of experiencing and learning through vivid physical spaces- is exercising a skill that was ingrained to smart people in the past.

The Art of Memory by Frances Yates looks at the ancient and medieval method of memorization through visual imagery.  Prior to the invention of printing and where paper wasn’t widely available, scholars had to commit large treatises to memory.  They did so via a method outlined in Rhetorica ad Herennium in the 90s B.C., widely used in the ancient world and in medieval Europe, of picking a physical place and assigning things or words to different sections.  Say you visualize a large house and use it to remember a talk you have to give.  The introduction would be mentally “parked” in the foyer, the first chapter in a drawing room, then you could move up the stairs to your high point, and finally go out to an outer balcony for the resolution.

As I read about this method, I can’t help comparing it to gaming levels.  The Herennium said that your memory house could be real or imaginary.  It counsels that you should make your memory places novel, either very beautiful or grotesque, in order to ensure they come alive in your mind.  What else does a really engaging gaming level do but this?  I’m not sure this could be applied today, though I guess you could use a favorite game level as a mnemonic device.  What I find interesting to consider is that Yates says that prior to printing, people must have had a very vivid sense of physical space, otherwise this method couldn’t have worked.  Maybe the experience of moving through a game level- of experiencing and learning through vivid physical spaces- is exercising a skill that was ingrained to smart people in the past.

Played 89 times

the-rageaholic:

An absolutely fascinating interview with the founder of Looking Glass Studios (System Shock, Thief, Ultimate: Underworld), the great Paul Neurath

He speaks very candidly about the rise and fall of the company and the current state of the industry in general, lending context and focus to the present gaming brown study and the imminent crash that I firmly believe has already begun.

This guy is tremendously important to the industry. An absolute titan. His original IP, Space Rogue, was essentially the blueprint for Wing Commander, and by association the entirety of the space flight sim genre. His company’s take on the dungeon crawler - Ultimate: Underworld - served as inspiration for Elder Scrolls, and by association the entirety of the ‘sandbox RPG’ genre. System Shock’s unique melding of sci-fi, role-playing and stealth served as the blueprint for the almighty Deus Ex. And of course, we all know about the far-reaching influence of Thief: The Dark Project on the stealth genre. 

It’s a long podcast, but absolutely riveting from beginning to end. I highly recommend you give it a listen, rageaholics. 

(This is the final part in an entire series of interviews regarding Looking Glass Studios and its output. If you want to know more about the creation of exceptional games like Thief, Terra Nova and System Shock, click here)

Godspeed,
-RazörFist

(Reblogged from the-rageaholic)

Dear Esther, an indie game based on a Half Life 2 mod.  Set on a post-apocalyptic island in the Hebrides, it uses exploration to unlock an abstract story.  The environments are fantastic.  A unique game experience, heightened for me because I played it in the middle of the night while up with insomnia.

The developers are currently making Amnesia: A Machine for Pigs, and a spiritual successor to Dear Esther called Everybody’s Gone to Rapture.

How Stealth Creates Moral Choices

guilelessmonk:Most games can’t really question the morality of killing. Mario never questions if killing Goomba is okay and Resident Evil doesn’t question the morality of killing zombies. Bioshock brings up moral questions, but those are limited to the little sisters and not the hoards of people you mow down to protect them…

Agreed with everything you say, though I think Dishonored could have done better in its characterization of antagonists.  Writing a good protagonist is hard, but writing a good antagonist even more difficult.  It did the first very well and the second not so well.  Big spoilers below. 

Read More

(Reblogged from guilelessmonk)
The serious reader reads in order to enter into worlds that he could not enter into otherwise, and expand himself and grow and find new parts of himself. That requires active reading, where you have to bring all these resources of memory, language, and organizational ability in your mind into the book and make the book yourself. The writer gives you a kit, and in your mind you make the book up. You can’t do that with movies or television.

Cecelia Holland, Locus June 2005

This reminds me of the post I made here, suggesting that certain video games can do this, too, whereas other media cannot.  In your mind you make the story.  The games and books that facilitate it are pure magic.

(Source: locusmag.com)

I’m wondering if other people play video games like I do.

I invest a lot of creative and emotional energy into a game I love.  When I’m caught up in one, it’s like I live partly in that world while mostly in my mundane, paper-pushing existence.

The only other medium that does this for me is books.  It may seem like an odd juxtaposition to be an avid reader and a gamer, if you don’t know that video games can be literary.  There is something to certain games- not all of them, but some- that flips the same brain switches as a captivating novel.

Ring a bell for anyone else?

It’s been a poor, poor five years for fiction in the video game industry… There should be more historical realistic worlds out there. And too bad there are not; I was expecting there to be 20 games like this.

Viktor Antonov, visual artist behind Dishonored, speaking to Eurogamer

I don’t know that I agree with him, having started to play video games about five years ago and primarily motivated by the storytelling.  But I’m super hyped that this is the motivation behind Dishonored.  There is more good stuff in the interview.  All of these Dishonored guys speak so eloquently about games, and not in a bunch of marketing bullshit clichés.

The game Dishonored has been on my radar for a while, but now I’m getting incautiously ramped up about it.  The unusual look, the gameplay, and the intriguing story all appeal.  I like small details I’ve heard about it, such as that Arkane Studios puts care into its PC versions, and they are allowing an adustable field-of-view which is important for those of us that get motion sickness from first person games.

What really grabbed me, however, was the main character, Corvo.  He was the bodyguard of the empress, and her lover, now accused of her murder.  A mysterious man comes to him in prison and gives him the chance to seek revenge.  In the gameplay trailer just shown at E3, a little girl leads him to what appears to be a vision of the empress’ death.  The final scenes are of the little girl sitting in her room reading a book.  My guess is that this is the empress’ daughter, maybe Corvo’s daughter, and that he will be able to save her from the bad guys.

He’s not your typical tough guy macho male hero.  Our first glimpses of him are quite vulnerable.  I’m a sucker for a good male lead.  Hope this game does not disappoint.  Releases on October 9th.

P.S. Look at those female guard uniforms!  How cool are they?

Witcher 2 EE is here!  All the new content is free for those who already own the game, and they are also giving a free backup on GoG.com no matter where you originally bought it.  May CD Projekt Red’s tribe increase.

Here’s Foltest being his brash self.  I like him.  As Northern kings go, he at least had a heart in him.

(Reblogged from )