Archive for the ‘Video Games’ Category

The dungeon mapper’s lament

In the olden days, mapping a dungeon meant breaking out a stack of graph paper and painstakingly documenting each 10×10′ block. This was true both for paper-and-pencil Dungeons and Dragons games and for early computer RPGs—today most computer games provide in-game maps that track your exploration progress, but back in the First Age you had […]

That’s impossible! Oh, wait, never mind.

There must be a specialized term (hopefully a ten-syllable German one) to refer to this phenomenon of video gaming: You spend hours trying in vain to get past a difficult spot in a video game, dying and reloading countless times, and finally quit in frustration—swearing by the Implementors that the game is simply impossible and […]

…in love and war

I know it’s Valentine’s Day, but that doesn’t mean you have to have a Valentine’s Day sale: Spotted at Gamersgate. Those look like cool games, so by all means, go ahead; but if you find them romantic then maybe you should do some thinking. by

“We’ll have to destroy them ship-to-ship. Get the crews to their fighters.”

I like library used-book shops, because you never know what you’ll find in them. Usually they’re little more than a closet full of James Patterson novels selling for $.25 each. But the library shop in my parents’ hometown is a good one where my family has made many an unusual discovery over the years….

Punch Out!! retrospective

Linking without commentary to an Onion article is probably not a characteristic of brilliant blogging. But I enjoyed this Onion article too much not to do my part to spread it around the web: New Mike Tyson Documentary Features Exclusive Interviews With Super Macho Man, King Hippo. From the article: “Tyson was the toughest fighter […]

Sudden death and the Super Mario Bros.

Here it is, the most frustrating Super Mario Bros. level ever. I can’t stop laughing–it’s sadistic level design at its best. Every time the player (who must have the patience of a saint) gets past one hurdle, he’s rewarded with sudden and unavoidable death from another angle. It actually reminds me of one of the […]

Best. games. ever?

OK, maybe not the best games, but the most important games. A panel of game industry luminaries has put together a list of the ten most important games of all time. The games are: Spacewar! (1962), Star Raiders (1979), Zork (1980), Tetris (1985), SimCity (1989), Super Mario Bros. 3 (1990), Civilization I/II (1991), Doom (1993), […]

Violence and bloodshed and videogames, oh my

Good and thorough thoughts on video games and real-life violence over at the Empires of Steel developer’s diary. (A week or two ago, I was privileged to discuss this very topic with Mr. EoS Developer over a cup of coffee.) He’s tracked down some statistics about murder and other violent crime rates since Doom and […]

It's a mad, mad, mad, mad war

I haven’t really been following Gears of War at all, except to occasionally notice that it looks pretty nifty. But I have to applaud this this GoW trailer, which juxtaposes the game’s bleak setting with the haunting version of “Mad World” I first heard on the Donnie Darko soundtrack. Classy. by

You'll never beat me: games with show-stopping bugs

There are games that seem impossible to beat, and games that really are impossible to beat. That’s the story with the recent Bubble Bobble Revolution, which includes a game-halting bug. Apparently the big boss battle in Level 30 isn’t much of a battle at all because the boss never appears, meaning that the game just […]