Blogging will be a little light for the next week.

30 10 2009

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If you’ve been wondering where I’ve been for the last few days, no, I’ve not been off snogging in a love nest with Sarah Palin — as enticing as that prospect is. I’ve been offered a position as Senior Editor with Nexon.com helping out with content and helping run the official Web sites for a whole bunch of great games. I’m really excited about it but before I begin my new position, I need to clear up all of my freelance and project work. That’s where I’ve been — neck deep in a couple of really big RPGs that I can’t talk about and preparing for Halloween and a whole bunch of other stuff too.

I’ll be back blogging near the end of next week, in the mean time, here’s a couple of links to my latest articles:

My review of the PSP version of Naruto Legends: Akatsuki Rising on GameSpot

My review of the PSP version of Obscure: The Aftermath on GameSpot

My latest “basket of kittens” guest post for L.A. Parent on sports games for kids

A really sexy picture of Catherine Bell designed to pull in traffic:

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See you in a few days!

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The Most Important Twitter Conversation Ever (for Gamers)

7 09 2009

(Update: Sigh. I should have known that a post with a picture of Catherine Bell would be incredibly highly trafficked. If you’re at all interested in videogames and game design, why not click on the essay HERE and take a look around. There might be some fun stuff!)

I just discovered this July 16th post on the personal blog of Soren Johnson, the designer of Civilization IV and one of my personal gaming gods. I know, shame on me for not checking his blog in a while because what Soren has is always worth reading. Still, if you haven’t seen it, check it out. It’s the transcript of an amazing Twitter conversation had by some of the leading lights in game design about a talk given by Denis Dyack at the Develop 2009 conference.

In the conference, Dyack said the following (Quoting from the Gamasutra story about the conference):

“Gameplay is not everything,” said Silicon Knights (Eternal Darkness) founder and president Denis Dyack. “If you look at the most popular games today, they are far more narrative-focused.”

“If games are to follow the trajectory of films, then the dominance of gameplay will diminish in place of an increased focus and importance on gaming’s stories and the ways in which they are told,” he added.

This apparently triggered a Tweet from Johnson to Dyack in which he asked:

SorenJohnson: Hey Denis, if you put the narrative in front of the gameplay, you are no longer making a game. You’re making a movie. http://bit.ly/193Qdz

This is what led to the conversation about the boundaries and importance of narrative and gameplay (the whole conversation is collected here) It’s a little confusing with a lot of crosstalk (This was a real time Twitter conversation after all) but it’s well worth reading through.

It’s also the subject of this week’s Angry Bear column. I may be a bit late to the conversation, but that doesn’t meant I can’t put my two cents in. This is the Internet after all. I’ll post and update when the new column is done.

(Yeah, I’m late. We spent the day at our friend’s house for a Labor Day BBQ. In penance, may I offer this awesome picture of the lovely Catherine Bell in a bikini.)

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