• "We made a commitment to real choreography. I basically drew a line in the sand and said, “If this interface is going to be great, and we're going to make a dance game that's gonna be transformative, you have to be able to dance 'Crank That' by Soulja Boy.” That’s the bar for a good interface."
  • "In recent years we've seen plenty of criticism (including mine) leveled at video games that rehash old ideas; games that rely on genre formulas; games that ape the language of film. Games, we're often told, need new ideas. Games need to grow up. Games should leverage their defining interactivity. Cutscenes are lazy. Let movies be movies. Players want to write their own stories. Games don't need authored narratives. Games don't need linear stories. Games don't need stories. All games should be fun. No they shouldn't.

    The problem with these reductive arguments is they fail to account for how art rails against boundaries; how artists inevitably seek to situate their work in the margins no one can own. Artists instinctively push back against "don't," "shouldn't," and "must." This is why we give them genius grants. It's also why we put them in prison. The real action is in the margins." Good stuff from Michael.

  • "It's true that Wyndham's preference is for no-nonsense, brisk, wry narrators, and the horrors that visit the books can seem like opportunities to show off good old British pluck. But the books are surprisingly unheroic, and often (notably in the cases of Kraken and Triffids) peculiarly open-ended. And if you look closely, you begin to see that there's something very uncosy, persistently unsettling, about these books, that continues to ask profound questions about the limits of our culture and the foundations of the post-war world."
  • "We’re happy to confirm the news today that the sale of the company is complete. We appreciate all of your support, comments and warm wishes in the preceding few weeks.

    Viacom and MTV Networks have been an amazing home for us over the past 4 years. It’s where we launched both Rock Band and Dance Central, worked with The Beatles, Green Day, AC/DC, The Who and thousands of other artists. We want to take a moment to thank everyone in that organization who helped make these awesome games possible.

    We’re excited to be returning to our roots as an independent and privately owned studio."

    Brilliant news.

  • "…the bullets biodegrade when they hit flesh, leaving nothing behind but a blog post." It is a little sad that, as ever, I'm the millionth person to write "I LOVE VALVE" on the internet, but seriously, as I keep saying: I love Valve so much. (I want my white earbuds).
  • Brilliant.
  • "But then, nobody’s expected to be able to sight-read the Pro guitar tracks. It’s meant for actual students of the guitar. And if you use the game’s slowed-down Practice mode, the game packs the potential to become a real tool for learning to play music." The notion that Harmonix were always a music company, who just happened to make games, becomes ever more true. Proper tab notation, proper strings on the Pro instruments? Well done.
  • "The dwarves hide in the shadows of the trees from the wandering light. The burning tea-light (adult player) moves through the dark forest and tries to find the small dwarves in their hiding places. If a dwarf is touched by the light, it is frozen and not allowed to move anymore. The other dwarves try to release it. To achieve this they must wait until the light has gone far enough so that one of them can join it in the shadow. All the dwarves try to unite under one tree while the candle tries to freeze the dwarves. Who will win, the light or the dwarves?" How the hell did I not know about this? Asymmetric boardgame for adult/children – one player, made of light, hunts down other players, hiding in shadow, shutting their eyes between turns. Magical.
  • "Augmented Shadow, by Joon Moon, 2010. used openframeworks. It's a tabletop interface on where artificial shadows of tangible objects displayed. You can play with the shadows lying on the boundary between the real, virtual, and fantasy." Now stop reading and watch. Beautiful, simple, engaging, playful and storyful all at once.
  • "I've developed a habit of delivering a drum solo at the beginning of every Rock Band track — just a little wailing away while the song cues up. It's a way of making the songs mine. You can't do that in The Beatles. Hit a drum pad before the song starts, and nothing happens, because that sound isn't on the original recording… More important, it's the game's way of making sure that you don't dare mess with perfection! I'm not a huge fan of that attitude. Past — and, technically, current — Rock Band games are about engaging with the music on an equal level. This game, though, is a ball-washing of the highest order. Maybe the Beatles are more deserving of such treatment than any other band, but I don't think any band deserves that treatment. Not now that I've seen the alternatives." Mitch Krpata on his problems with Rock Band: The Beatles.
  • "The Beatles: Rock Band is the total opposite [of Rock Band 2]. The "characters" are untouchable, and the tracks don't even toss you a freestyle section. Your only choices are to get the song right, or not. Sure, it's a cliché that most videogames make you save the world, but at least in those games, you know you're needed. I've never felt less important in a game than this one." Chris Dahlen makes an excellent point in the midst of his excellent (and otherwise uniformly positive) review of The Beatles: Rock Band for Pitchfork.