Gaming the Dice: How Randomness Contributes to Game Experiences

[Originally posted on PopMatters] There’s a story to Risk and Settlers of Catan and Monopoly but not in the games themselves. Sure, there’s an identifiable setting that makes them more than flat pieces of cardboard—the unconquered world, the geological absurdity that is Catan island, Britain street(?)—and the point of these games is to become emotionally engaged … Continue reading Gaming the Dice: How Randomness Contributes to Game Experiences

The Shooter Can Do Anything

Pfft. Shooters are so lame. They’re all the same thing anymore. They’re all just the same game following the same gruff testosterone-poisoned manfridge from chest-high wall to chest-high wall committing a genocide against Hitler or Hitler-eque aliens. They aren’t nearly as original as your average RPG or point-and-click adventure game or platformer or action game … Continue reading The Shooter Can Do Anything

An Open Letter to Cliff Bleszinski Following the Release of Gears of War 3

[Originally posted on PopMatters] Mr. Bleszinski, First, congratulations on the conclusion of the Gears of War series. As someone who has shared more than a few toasts of rum and coke with the esteemed series, I can honestly say that it’s been a great run from start to finish. However, I was a little taken … Continue reading An Open Letter to Cliff Bleszinski Following the Release of Gears of War 3