Category Archives: Game Design

Raising Acts and Taking Names

I have pretty good selection of old SNES titles I can reach for when I need to nostalgically kill a few hours—the Donkey Kong Country trilogy, Zelda: A Link to the Past, Yoshi’s Island. Final Fantasy II & III if I’m looking to kill half a year.  Games you’ve likely played, or at least are […]

Jane McGonigal’s Epic Brain

I have a crush on Jane McGonigal’s brain.  According to Jane in her talk on Ignite, she recovered from a traumatic brain injury by making it a game, becoming Jane McGonigal: Concussion-Slayer.  Jane McGonigal’s brain is resilient.   She believes and argues very convincingly that game players can solve real world problems like curing cancer and […]

What you’ve achieved; what you’ve chosen

When Microsoft announced platform wide achievements for the Xbox 360, it was a masterstroke. You’d get additional rewards for performing specific feats in every game on the platform, you’d be awarded points aggregating into a total gamer score, and best of all, you’d be able to see if your number was bigger than your friend’s […]

Bissell’s Extra Lives

A key step in the development of any art form is the parallel development of a viable school of criticism of that form. A sophisticated audience produces a connoisseurship that in turn establishes the standards by which new work can be judged. Video games, not to give ammunition to the Roger Ebert school, have yet […]

Killing the Flytrap

I was eight years old when I got my hands on a copy of Infocom’s Leather Goddesses of Phobos. I had no idea what it was.  Luckily, neither did my parents.  It must have seemed like harmless fun to them (“A text-based adventure? Interactive fiction? Just like a Choose Your Own Adventure—he loves those!”).  Had […]

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