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…]

Centers and Peripheries of Games Criticism

Last week, Rami Ismail made a brief but important call for a bit of aware­ness con­cerning the status of Eng­lish as the lingua franca in (the major part of) the games industry. I had been gath­ering thoughts on a dis­cus­sion of the role of lan­guage in games cri­ti­cism, spe­cific­ally, for a while, so I figured now would be a good time to make things a bit more con­crete. I had written a para­graph calling for aware­ness of lin­guistic diversity in games last summer, but didn’t really take the argu­ment any­where, so let me build on what I wrote there. […Read more…]