Playerbases: The Lifeblood of Online Gaming

Whenever a game is shared between two or more people over the internet, it is usually hosted on a server. The server will collect information from all parties, send information back, and generally allow you all to play together with minimal delay. Usually, when a game is released with online play, the developers will dedicate…

Revisiting the Past (“You Had to Be There”)

After reading the brief piece, “You Had to Be There” and thinking about all the video game related experiences with which I could relate that same thought, I realized just how much my gaming experiences are all about “being there” well after it has happened. Whether it is through replaying old NES and SNES games…

The Appeal of Simulation

In Ian Bogost’s “Video Games are Better Without Characters,” he states that games can be “non-fictions about complex systems bigger than ourselves” when referring to the realization he came to when playing SimCity for the first time. He notes that although no one would consider it a good idea to make someone mayor simply because…

You Are The Game

Among the most popular games I often play with friends are any of the various JackBox games. For those unacquainted with these games, they are a series of party games that you and your friends play by submitting answers via your phone. The main game is installed on a computer, the computer communicates with the…

The Social Game

After seeing the class’s reactions to live Never Alone game play, I thought back to the Professor’s comments on their rules for when their kids play video games, with the primary one being that they need someone else there as well. The experience of having someone else nearby, sharing the narrative of the game, as…

Art Tropes and Expectations

If I asked you to imagine what a brick block looks like in a videogame, chances are you might think of something like this.    If I asked you to imagine a dirt block, you might think of something like this.  If I asked you to list some level themes, you might think of sky, arctic, underground,…

Harder by Choice

While most people use their interfaces to facilitate interactions with the game, there exist a few who purposefully do the opposite. In much the same way people choose to turn their difficulty up to the hardest setting, there are some who take it a step further by making the very controls themselves harder to use.…

Third Party Interfaces

As in most forms of competition, the equipment you have access to in video games says something about you.  Your equipment can say something about your skill, commitment to the game, or your social status. As I grew up, the last of these was especially prominent. Family visits and gaming with cousins always had one…

Porting Across Platforms

A few of the most common staples in modern gaming are the port, re-release, and remaster. Normally, these types of games are released years after the original and marketed as an opportunity to experience (or re-experience) some of gaming’s most standout moments on modern platforms (i.e. Tomb Raider on iOS/Android). They may be a direct…

Early Access Success: Jalopy

Today, my news feed updated me with something I hadn’t really expected. Jalopy, an indie game I have been following for years now, was finally going to come out of “Steam Early Access” and release its 1.0 build. For those unfamiliar the concept, Early Access is a category of games available on Steam that are…