Sep 172012
A Challenge

Name your favorite Civil War videogame. All right, I’ll give you something easier. Name any Civil War videogame. Today is the 150th anniversary of the Battle of Sharpsburg, or the Battle of Antietam Creek; the name typically depends on where the speaker was born. It was the single bloodiest day in American military history, one on which more than 23,000 Americans were killed or wounded. Despite the advent of the machine gun, napalm, and aerial bombardment, no single day cost more American lives than this minor strategic Union victory. Thousands died in an indecisive and incompetently prosecuted battle, and almost [Read more…]

Jun 092011

Fundamentally, the bodyguards’ mission differed from that of the U.S. military, noted Hammes. “The contractor was hired to protect the principal. He had no stake in pacifying the country. Therefore, they often ran Iraqis off the roads, reconned by fire, and generally treated locals as expendable.” Yet Iraqis saw them as acting under American authority. “You have loosed an unaccountable, deadly force into their society, and they have no recourse.” — Thomas Ricks, Fiasco The annual Electronic Entertainment Expo continues, producing a deluge of coverage and critique as journalists and bloggers debate the merits of this hotly-anticipated sequel and that [Read more…]

Sep 222010

Mafia II borrows so much from GoodFellas that 2K Czech probably ought to give Scorcese and Pileggi co-writing credits. Direct references to the film appear in a couple of specific scenes, but the real influence is more fundamental. GoodFellas depicts the mafia as a group of buddies, and Mafia II is built around the same idea. Although family matters motivate the game’s protagonist, Vito, when it’s convenient for the plot, the real impetus for his journey through the Empire Bay underworld comes from his friends. Unfortunately, the game’s vision of mafia life falls apart because of its ill-considered adherence to [Read more…]

Apr 202009

In the April Blogs of the Round Table, Corvus asks us to design a game about a social issue we personally find troubling. There have been several stellar entries already, which you should check out from the main hall or using the pull-down menu at the end. Be aware that the subject matter of some of these games is fairly disturbing and may not be appropriate for all readers. My own design is rated E, because it is a light little planting sim I’ll call Garden of Eden, which is a metaphor about sustainability and resource consumption. The Design In [Read more…]