Walking the Planes 3: Pluralities

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The third art­icle in my series Wal­king the Planes has just been pub­lished over at The Onto­logical Geek. It’s about the Plane­scape set­ting and how its em­pha­sis on diver­sity and plu­ra­lity has affec­ted me, both in dis­cover­ing the set­ting as a teen, and now­adays. I’m not really sure yet what the next epi­sode is going to be about, as I have mul­tiple half-finished ideas boun­cing around in my head. You’ll have to wait and see! […Read more…]

An Ode to Objects

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Over on The Onto­lo­gical Geek, I’ve written a small column about the little things that can make games come alive to me. I love it when designers take some time to put in some details, even if they aren’t essen­tial or func­tional in the ‘core’ of the game. […Read more…]

Sanctifying Games

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This April was a religion-themed month over at video­game blog The Onto­lo­gical Geek. I wrote the final arti­cle in the series, and mused a little on how con­cepts of reli­gion, God, and par­ticu­larly The Holy, can be in­cor­po­rated into video­games. For per­haps ob­vious rea­sons, it’s easy for games to tackle and re­pre­sent the more mun­dane sides of reli­gion and faith, but they seem to struggle some­what when it comes to mat­ters more tran­scen­dent. In “Sanc­ti­fying Games”, I try to ex­plore why that might be. […Read more…]

What It’s Like to Play Planescape: Torment

Video­games can some­times be a very arcane medium, and it can often be dif­fi­cult to com­pre­hend what they’re all about for people who never or seldom play them. Of course enter­tain­ment is often the main ‘use’ of a video game, but many of them have elab­orate themes and stories, and the way in which video games deliver those nar­rat­ives and themes is often unique to the medium. Today my own piece on Plan­es­cape: Tor­ment was pub­lished, and I try to explain how the game uses explor­a­tion and con­ver­sa­tion to allow you to recon­struct the protagonist’s tor­tured past. […Read more…]