This week I've been working through some of my bundle of Freedom. The games in it are, in a word, fire. There are the games I expected to be good like The Witness. Then there are the ones I remember vaguely hearing about years ago, like VVVVVV. I start to play them and I realize, whoa, this is good! Hey everyone, did you know how good this was? Yes says everyone. They look at me as if I asked if they knew about sushi, and said they really ought to try it.
How technology gets us hooked
This article isn't entirely about games, but the part that is stands out in an already great bit of writing. Learn about designing electronic addiction both benign and harmful from Candy Crush to Tetris to Mario.
'Zelda: Breath of the Wild' Is Curing Me Of An Addiction I Didn't Know I Had
It was really easy to read about Zelda this week. I think Paul Tassi does a good job expressing why Breath of the Wild isn't quite like other open world games. Before reading this, I hadn't thought about just how much we are trained by games to think of increasing numbers and shiny virtual objects as the real rewards of playing.
There’s No Reason for 'No Russian' to Exist in ‘Modern Warfare 2’
As a way to gin up controversy and therefore create free marketing, this level worked. Smith makes the case that that's all it did, serving no other purpose than to just say "by the way, the bad guy is bad."
Slouching toward relevant video games
In my very first post I said Brie Code's "Video Games Are Boring" was one of the best pieces of games writing I read last year. She made the case that many people would be interested video games if they were challenging in a way that didn't involve just being attacked and fighting back. In this follow up, Code talks about how game developers have missed this group of people so far, and how they can design to attract them.
For Hidden Folks Designer Adriaan de Jongh, Games Are About People
This last piece dovetails perfectly with Brie Code's above. Adriaan de Jongh specializes in games that make you laugh and dance and interact with others.