First Person Podcast Episode 28

“I need more money!”, or The Extended Life of Games

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In this month’s podcast, Pierson, Rob, Betsy and Will discuss the trend towards “games as services” rather than one-off products. They also consider whether there is an increasing tendency towards specialized consumption of specific games. If we are playing a smaller number of games for longer periods of time, are these new developments in game consumption habits? How might changes in making, selling and distributing games be involved in the reasons we are playing specific games longer? Continue Reading

Stirring the Pot

Cooking, Compression and the Quotidian in Breath of the Wild

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I don’t much like cooking in The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild. I understand its aesthetical value—the imperative to scrounge together enough sustenance for basic survival, especially in the early game. However the more I played and more I discovered, the less novel it became, and the lofty rhetoric surrounding the game only made this dissatisfaction harder to swallow. “Get lost!”, “Turn off the HUD!”, “Figure it out yourself!” and contradictorily “It’s the first ‘real’ Zelda adventure, the other games were only legends, man” against “C’mon grandma break out the graph paper, it’s exactly like Zelda 1!” Continue Reading

How Zelda keeps us young

On traveling through changing media

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It was the late 1950s when a young Shigeru Miyamoto started discovering the bamboo forests and caves outside his home in the Kyoto countryside. Harnessing the sense of awe and excitement he felt on these trips, he produced the 1986 NES classic The Legend of Zelda, which would become one of the most popular video game franchises in history. The series’ origin story has become somewhat of a legend in itself, retold by fans and journalists alike (cf. Sheff, 1993). Continue Reading

Interview with Chris Klimas

Interactive Fiction, FMV games, and Hypertext

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Chris Klimas is the creator of Twine, the extremely popular and accessible interactive fiction development platform. Klimas is involved with the Interactive Fiction Technology Foundation, as well as Unmapped Path, a company that builds narrative experiences for mobile and desktop. We’re extremely grateful that Chris was able to spare some time to chat with us in January 2018. Continue Reading

The Fun is in the Dying

Difficult Games and Metagame Strategies

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The idea of games as “difficult” engagements has been popular in both our colloquial conversations around games, as well as some critical discussions. Much research has been conducted on the function of difficulty as an aspect of immersion and engagement, but less has focused on the particular ludic mechanics that define the difficulty of a play experience. It seems fair to say that some of the more visible games that fall into this category are FromSoftware’s action RPG ‘Souls’ series. Continue Reading

Playing/Healing

The Legend of Zelda Majora’s Mask and the Playable Memento Mori

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The Legend of Zelda: Majora’s Mask is a game preoccupied with grief, atonement and confronting death. The apocalyptic, cyclical framework of the narrative allows players to interact with characters who fear their own deaths. The medieval memento mori tradition is an aesthetic and (sometimes) narrative trope by which medieval writers, artists and songwriters came to terms with their own mortality often through a confrontation with a corpse. Continue Reading