Category Archives: arcade

Baby’s First 3D Platformer

If being a parent and gamer has taught me anything, it’s how critically important it is to start working on those platformer skills early. It’s a shame I accidentally cut this off just as she was asking if Carter wanted to give it a try.

The Pre-emptive Machine-Vision Horror Trope Needs A Better Name

That’s a game called StarForge, a kind of minecrafty (but Notch-approved!) farm/build/survive game that looks pretty promising. Trading off the eight-bit charm of Minecraft for a lot of FPS aggro, it looks like a boots-on-the-ground, shovels-in-the-dirt revisiting of classics like Dune II or Command And Conquer. There’s a moment in there at about the thirty […]

“I ain’t in this for your revolution and I’m not in it for you, Princess.”

It’s an old joke, with that wonderful undercurrent of bigoted misogyny that so many old jokes have: some creepy old dude propositions young woman by asking if she’d sleep with him for a million dollars, which she concedes she would. He follows that up asking if she’d sleep with him for a nickel; she replies, […]

The Banality Of Angry

(Updated May 25, 2016, see below.) I asked some people on the intuberwebs about good iOS games for kids, and I was a little surprised to see Angry Birds come up. I’ve played through it; it bothered me quite a bit, and my knee-jerk reaction to the claim that it’s a kids game was scowling […]

It’s Hard To Overstate My Satisfaction

A while back, I sent some email to Valve suggesting they should make a shirt commemorating Portal 2’s “Bring Your Daughter To Work Day”. They did. I love Valve a little bit more all the time. So awesome. (Also, the date given – 08/05/85 – it is… very interesting.)

Shooting Holes In The Story

I don’t think I’m actually done this, so just pretend it’s a late draft. I might try to tighten it up later, but here you go; I hope you’re interested. Yeah, this is still about Portal 2, so bear with me. It’s not like Gears Of War deserves to be dissected like this, you know? […]

It’s The Little Details

I’m really interested in video games as narrative, and the possibilities virtual spaces open up to be examined through the lenses and terminologies of the various schools of literary criticism that are content to call anything that hits them in the eyes a text. There’s a lot of ground in that field to cover, and […]

To My Someday Daughter

Geordie Tate writes: “As you learn more, you’ll understand more, in the same way that a budding engineer might gradually grow to understand a complex blueprint. If your first instinct when you hear the word “feminist” is to say “those man-haters want equality, but they still want me to pay for everything, hurf durf!” then […]

This Is A Triumph

Some of you may be wondering why I’ve been grinning like an idiot since noon, so I’ll tell you. I had an idea today, and it seemed like a decent one so I emailed it to Gabe Newell. Sir – My daughter, who is all of two and a half years old, has asked me […]

Global Portaling System

This came to me the other day when a friend of mine was talking about some acquaintances of theirs who’d driven across Africa, including through the Sudan: some people in some places really, really need a GPS that talks to them like the Fact Sphere from Portal 2. “The situation you are in is very […]