In the Third Person: Against Player Authority

[Originally posted on PopMatters] At a certain point, video game developers and critics seem to have agreed that all video game storytelling must include the player. There’s a familiar chorus to this discussion: “games must unite the player and the protagonist,” “the player’s decisions must dictate the flow of the narrative,” and “the world must … Continue reading In the Third Person: Against Player Authority

Challenge is Conflict: How Difficulty Makes Game Narratives Work

[Originally posted on Medium Difficulty] [This piece was written as a part of Critical Distance‘s January 2013 Blogs of the Round Table feature] Back when Twilight Princess was first released, my girlfriend—who has liberated Hyrule almost as many times as it’s needed it—had only one complaint: it was too easy. The puzzles were well enough designed … Continue reading Challenge is Conflict: How Difficulty Makes Game Narratives Work

Cable TV of Thrones: Why Game of Thrones Does Not Work as a Game

[Originally posted on PopMatters] After two seasons on the air, Game of Thrones has captured the hearts of everyone on the internet. The books may have been popular, but it was HBO’s series that made it into the phenomenon that it is. Since the adaptation hit the airwaves it has been ripe for gamification. Games … Continue reading Cable TV of Thrones: Why Game of Thrones Does Not Work as a Game