A Digital Diorama

I’m sure many Dutch people will feel a spark of recog­ni­tion when I say that De Eftel­ing was my favour­ite theme park as a kid. What set the place apart from most of the oth­ers in the Neth­er­lands at the time (and argu­ably still) is its con­sist­ent fairytale-inspired atmo­sphere.* *The Eftel­ing nos­tal­gia is not without racist […Read more…]

Back to where we began in Quake

In which I ram­ble a tiny bit about Quake’s sym­bolic world and its mom­my issues, along with a tenu­ous com­pari­son to Dark Souls. […Read more…]

Games within games (within games)

In this piece, I wanted to briefly dis­cuss some ways in which play­ers cre­ate sub­games in video­games, and what they say about the nature of vari­ous types of play and game spaces. I’ll start with a dis­cussion of ap­proa­ches to ‘ghost’ and paci­fist play­styles in stealth games, and how these play­styles have become in­cor­po­rated or re-appro­priated in the rules of vari­ous host games. After­wards, I’ll dis­cuss how role­playing in multi­player video­games is prac­tically always a sub­game enac­ted out­side of the digi­tally arbi­trated game rules. Finally, just to mess with you, I’ll at­tempt to stretch my own model by talk­ing about parti­cular sub­games I’ve tried to play within the role­playing sub­game. […Read more…]

Walking the Planes 2: A History of the Planes in Dungeons & Dragons

This one took a bit longer to write, but finally the second art­icle in my planar series is out, in which I give an over­view of the planes in the his­tory of Dun­geons & Dragons. Next time, I’ll be diving into Plan­es­cape prop­erly for the first time. […Read more…]

Let’s Play Whale’s Voyage

I’ve star­ted a Let’s Play of the 1993 sci-fi role­play­ing game Whale’s Voy­age over on my You­Tube chan­nel. I’ll col­lect the epis­odes on this page. Check back soon for new instal­ments, and/or sub­scribe to my You­Tube chan­nel to be noti­fied when the new epis­odes come online. Also, feel free to leave any com­ments here or on twit­ter. Hope you enjoy! […Read more…]

Walking the Planes 1: Introduction

As prom­ised, my series about Plan­es­cape and the Planes in Dun­geons & Dragons kicked off this month. The first in­stalment is only an intro­ductory piece, in which I set out my ideas for the future of the series. Hope­fully it will whet your interest; check back here or on The Onto­logical Geek soon for the second piece! […Read more…]

A Guest Beyond the Final Frontier

For The Onto­lo­gical Geek, I wrote a short piece on dif­fer­ent ways games can rep­res­ent space explor­a­tion. I take a look at Star Con­trol 2, Mir­ror­Moon EP, Noc­tis, and Space Engine, and try to explain why the last two make me feel most at ease. […Read more…]

Sound, Space, and Play: an interview with Jessica Curry

I recently inter­viewed com­poser Jes­sica Curry of video­game stu­dio The Chinese Room about her music, its rela­tion to (vir­tual) spaces, and her cur­rent work on the upcom­ing game Everybody’s Gone to the Rap­ture. Check out the inter­view over at Even­ing of Light. […Read more…]