I’ve been contributing to this blog for over a year now. I intend to continue contributing, but I’ve also been wanting to write about other things.
Despite the fact that I write about video games a lot, most of my gaming involves rolling dice around a table. I came late to table-top RPGs, and it wasn’t until after Gaines’ Star Wars campaign that I decided that I, too, could DM. I’ve been doing it ever since.
I’ve focused on video games here in order to preserve the blog’s theme, but I’ve decided to branch out and start actively writing about table-top RPGs. As such, I’ve started a new blog, I Search for Traps, where I’ll be writing about ongoing campaigns in which I’m currently involved, my experiences with various RPG systems, and just various RPG nonsense.
Take a look and stick around if you enjoy!
I’ve made no secret in the past that I love space sims and that I’m on the lookout for the next Starflight. I’ve tried many games, but none really filled in that particular gap in my heart. Until recently.
I’ve been playing a lot of Elite: Dangerous, which is the next iteration of the venerable Elite series of space sims/traders. Until now I’d more or less passed over it in favor of other series such as Wing Commander. However, in my wait for Star Citizen to be completed, I’ve come across Elite: Dangerous.
Posted in Criticism, Erik Bigras
Tagged 400 Billion Stars, Elite, Elite: Dangerous, Milky Way, Open World, Sandbox, Space Sim, Space Trader. Simulation, Starflight, Wing Commander
Brendan Keogh wrote a wonderful article for Reverse Shot on the visual workings of FIFA ’14 and it’s really cool. As someone who plays a ton of different sports games, I’m always excited to see new critical engagements with the genre. I would also suggest you look at Abe Stein’s review of this year’s Madden, which is one of my favorite game reviews that came out in the past year (and one that came at a time when compartmentalization of media was particularly important).
Contrary to Gaines, I’m not a big competitive online FPS player. In fact, I’m quite frankly horrible at them. However, there’s a few games in the genre that I’ve lately enjoyed; the first one was Heroes & Generals, but lately it’s been Verdun 1914-1918.
Both games are still in development and still have a ways to go before seeing a final release. However, they both contain elements that makes it so that even someone as unskilled as I am at FPSs can still find both games enjoyable.
Posted in Criticism, Erik Bigras
Tagged Battle of Verdun, Cooperation, First World War, Game Mechanics, Heroes & Generals, Online FPS, Roles, Squad-Based, time, Verdun 1914-1918, World War 1
I’ve been guilty of not posting enough on the site. In the hopes of changing that, I’ll be starting a new feature called “What I’m Playing Now,” which will be exactly what it sounds to be.
Rather than long, elaborate critical pieces, “What I’m Playing Now” will be short, focused reflections about a particular game or set of games I’m currently enjoying, be they video games, board games, or tabletop RPGs.
To start it off, I’ll be talking about a short video game that I’m playing: This War of Mine.
Immersion has long been held in popular thought as one of the defining characteristics of video games (Keogh, 2013). A good game, to many, is one where they can lose themselves within the game and its narrative. Such escapist understandings of video games often are projected by mainstream news media, for whom video games represent a departure from the ‘real’ world.
This division between real and virtual can be understood as the cornerstone by which immersion is possible. Within this particular understanding, immersion “comes from devices that isolate the senses sufficiently to make a person feel transported to another place” (Boellstorff, 2008, p. 20).
As such, this particular approach, which is popular within such disciplines as cognitive psychology and mainstream computer science, is able to create elaborate simulations of the physical world through innovative uses of information and communication technologies. Because it is predicated on a notion of the physical space as the space of reality and meaning, this approach fares poorly when it comes to understanding how virtual spaces can generate powerful semiotic relationships that go beyond the physical/virtual dichotomy.