The Universe Rolls 20’s

I wrote my most recent article on the value of chance in video games (“Gaming the Dice: How Randomness Contributes to Game Experiences”. PopMatters. Jun 11 2013) based, mostly, on Expeditions Conquistador. In Expeditions Conquistador (God, what an awful title) I chose to play the game on the Ironman setting. With Ironman activated, the player … Continue reading The Universe Rolls 20’s

To Explore or Conquer: Colonialism in Expeditions Conquistador

[Originally posted on PopMatters] When characters in Expeditions Conquistador talk about savages and slaves, they aren’t talking about monsters, androids, aliens, elves, mages, demi-humans, mutants or zombies like other games that approach colonial themes. Expeditions Conquistador is talking about actual people that were actually dehumanized, kidnapped, and forced to work themselves to death. And the game … Continue reading To Explore or Conquer: Colonialism in Expeditions Conquistador

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