Sunday, August 24, 2014

The Not-So-Secret Secret World



I think one the greatest events in any gamer's life is that magical moment when he knows that he has discovered an original game universe, one that he intuitively knows he will be exploring and enjoying for a great many years to come.  Such moments are unfortunately uncommon.  Gaming is no different than other media, be it books, television, or movies: works of true genius are exceedingly rare, so such magical movements are few and far between.  For me, I've only had two such gaming moments: when I first discovered the fantastically grim military science fiction setting that is Warhammer 40K,and now that I have belatedly discovered the wonderful Shadowrun universe (thanks to Harebrained Schemes fantastic PC translation).

When I first heard about the Shadowrun setting I was not all that interested because it seemed like such a weird mash-up of differing genres....

Monday, August 4, 2014

Keeping It Simple: Digital Card Games



As I just blogged about, I am getting increasingly fatigued by modern gaming.  Everything is "hurry, hurry, hurry!"  Or, if not that, it is often about "second life" experiences.  That is, it is about deep experiences where the player can invest hundreds and hundreds of hours immersing himself in a virtual world almost as tangible as his material reality (games like Skyrim and Eve Online, come to mind).  Now, I am a fan of such experiences - in fact, I think such games are what is best about modern gaming - but it can get all so tiring after awhile.  Sometimes I just want to be able to sit down and quickly and easily invest myself into a game.  You know, sort of like with a board game where you read the rules, set up the board, and off you go!  No muss, no fuss.

Usually Chess is my go-to game in this regard.  Despite its 21st Century online trappings, it remains first and foremost a classical board game in style and temperament.  Indeed, it's these very same hoary characteristics that have proven so irresistible to me over the years.  But as I suffer from "poor little rich girl" syndrome (but I suppose it would be with a 'guy' in there instead!) I can't help but to occasionally turn my back on this pearl and cast about for something new and different, something that not only has the endless stratagems of Chess, but also the inviting "pull up a chair and join in" gameplay as well.

And that is how I found myself in the world of digital card games.

Sunday, August 3, 2014

Cliff Harris: The Infantilisation of Gaming Journalism



As is plainly stated in this blog's "Mission Statement", I have been endeavoring to show that gaming isn't kid stuff anymore - if it ever was.  Gaming has matured as a hobby quite nicely, as a matter of fact.  Today, we gamers have access to all sorts of mature games, from hardcore military simulators like the Arma franchise, to thoughtful political sims like Positech Games' Democracy 3.   But if that is so, why is the industry as a whole being treated in such a juvenile manner by its own video game journalists and other industry insiders?

That is the question be asked by Positech's own Cliff Harris in a recent posting on his developer blog....