• "One succeeds because it leverages the player's motivated, explorative, self-driven experience; the other fails because it relies on a hackneyed, disjointed "epic" plotting (told in 3 separate plot-lines via cutscenes) with incongruous settings and 2-dimensional characters. One succeeds because its formal systems directly feed the player's connection to the world and characters; the other fails because its formal systems bear no discernible relationship to the stories the game wants to tell." This is strong stuff from Michael; I am increasingly fed up of the focus on (poorly-told) stories in games.
  • "Know that there are no "accidents" in this game design. Everything you notice about the game, and every subtle interaction that you experience, is intentionally packed with meaning." (Gravitation, still, being my favourite of Rohrer's games, I think).
  • "Crucially, Goodrich entreats the public to note the following: "this change should not directly affect gamers, as it does not fundamentally alter the gameplay." This one statement should cause considerable distress, as it suggests a troubling conclusion about Medal of Honor as a work of public speech.<br />
    <br />
    To wit: it suggests that the Taliban never had any meaningful representation in the game anyway. If a historically, culturally, and geographically specific enemy can simply be recast in the generic cloth of "opposition," then why was it was called "Taliban" in the first place?<br />
    <br />
    And if the Afghan war in which the new Medal of Honor is set was one explicitly meant to drive the Taliban from their strongholds in Afghanistan, why should it matter that the game is set in that nation in the present day at all? In short, how was this Medal of Honor title meant to be a game about this war in particular?" This is a marvellous, critical piece of writing from Bogost.
  • Nice post on Awk basics – most of which I knew, but the examples are still great, especially those involving variables. The links out to the Hacker News and Reddit threads are also full of good stuff.
  • "Nolan’s cities are iconless places. The Hong Kong sequence in The Dark Knight omits the harbour, the HSBC and Bank of China buildings, and that city’s famous apartment buildings, instead focussing on vertiginous aerial view of the masses of anonymous buildings in Central. Cobb and Mal’s ideal city four dreams deep in Inception is an infinity of curtain walled downtown, ordinary in the extreme and all the more unsettling because of it. In any case it will be interesting to see where Nolan takes Gotham city in its third outing, likely deeper into the fantastic generic." Interesting take on Christopher Nolan's nowhere-cities. Worth also noting that whilst Cobb and Ariadne build cities, Arthur's dreams tend towards interzones – airports and hotels. There's something on the Interzone and its relationship to that film to be said, too.
  • Straightforward guide to making bots work with OAuth.
  • "You could say that it’s tidal, but with the television schedules, rather than the moon."