Why (and how) games are art


I sat down for an interview with the LA Times's Hero Complex to talk about my book In Real Life (I'm touring it now: Chicago tomorrow, then Vancouver, Seattle, Portland, Palo Alto, San Francisco, Warsaw, London...), and found myself giving a pretty good account of why games are art, and how the art of games works:

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If you don't agree to the new Wii U EULA, Nintendo will kill-switch it

When you bought your Wii U, it came with one set of terms-of-service; now they've changed, and if you don't accept the changes, your Wii seizes up and won't work. That's not exactly what we think of when we hear the word "agreement."

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Kickstarting Haphead, a science fiction web series about gamer culture

Haphead, the wonderful science fiction webseries about gamer culture that I wrote about in March, is kickstarting a budget for kick-ass post-production. It's from Jim Munroe, who made Ghosts With Shit Jobs.

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Anita Sarkeesian cancels Utah campus appearance after threats of a "Montreal-style massacre"

Sarkeesian was willing to go on with the show at Utah State University -- as she's done after all the other death threats that she's received as a speaker -- but wanted attendees checked for firearms. Ogden, UT cops refused, citing Utah's open-carry firearms law. At least one of the threats cited Gamergate.

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Apps bring new possibilities to board games

Matt M. Casey on Golem Arcana, one of the new offerings whose gameplay leaps from tabletop to tablet.

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Gamergate as a hate-group


Jennifer Allaway is a social scientist who studies diversity in games. In the wake of being targeted by Gamergate trolls, she has written an analysis of the movement as a hate group, showing that it satisfies the formal requirements for such.

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Booze flasks that look like NES cartridges


I bought one of these at New York Comic-Con this weekend -- it's a surprisingly good facsimile of an old NES cart; and the rubber stopper (rated to 10psi) performs better than it looks like it would. My only complaint is that it's a bit awkward to nip from directly, though it'd be fine with a straw.

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eBay: Huge collection of 80s-90s console videogames

$_57

On eBay: a massive collection of 5700 console games, 5700+ games, and custom shelves for it all. Buy it now for (gulp) $164,000.

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Castelvania casemod


Vadu Amka gave his old-school SNES a stunning Castelvania casemod makeover, with an attention to detail that demands our respect and admiration.

SNES Castlevania - Dracula's castle Edition (via Kotaku)

3D Zelda game gets 2D makeover

ZELDA

Ocarina of Time is lauded among the series' greats, but some find its early 3D graphics charmless. A fan project is remaking the game with chunky pixel art to give it that perfect old-school look. Borrowing art and audio from other entries in the Legend of Zelda set to augment their own work, they've already released a playable demo of the classic's first chapter. [via]

Actual ethical issues in video-games


Leigh Alexander has a partial list, from their use as military recruiting tools to Apple's censorship of games critical of the electronics industry's manufacturing ethics to actual paid-review sites to the naked pay-for-play of popular Youtube game-reviewers.

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Social Justice Warriors and the New Culture War

Laurie Penny, author of Unspeakable Things: Sex, Lies and Revolution explains “Social Justice Warriors” and why they’re winning.

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Open Field Echo Sounder - game app for blind kids

Bob Smolenski developed a game for blind kids to play outdoors. It's called Open Field Echo Sounder. He wrote about how he made it on Medium.

I used Adobe Air to program this app. After years of Flash animation and as3 programming I decided to put those skills into making cross-platform game apps. The biggest challenge was to translate the players movement using the data from the phone. iPhones have detailed direction finding. I use that to “shoot” out an audio ping. The program can sense a “hit test” either on the right, center or left side of the object. Android phones do not have any compass heading data. So I hacked a way around that. Implementing a breadcrumb trail to point the way.

The other programming challenge was to scale a field around the player’s longitude and latitude data. I found a bit of code that calculated your location between the four corners of a 960 x 640 screen.

Attack! Boss! Cheat Code! - A gamer’s alphabet

Video game players have their own jargon and much of it is foreign to non-gamers. My 11-year-old daughter, an ardent gamer, was familiar with more of the words in Attack! Boss! Cheat Code! (e.g., griefer, instance, mod, sandbox, unlockable) than I was, but we both appreciated Joey Spiotto’s cute and colorful illustrations that accompanied the terms. The book was written by Chris Barton, author of The Day-Glo Brothers, previously reviewed on Wink.

Attack! Boss! Cheat Code! by Chris Barton (Author), Joey Spiotto (Illustrator)

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Directors' commentary for "In Real Life"


On the Forbidden Planet blog, Jen Wang and I discuss the origin-story of In Real Life, our graphic novel, which comes out on Oct 14.

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