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Links 1 through 10 of 1003 by Tom Armitage tagged games

Commander Keen was 20 yesterday. I first played it in... 1991, maybe? Fairly contemporanouesly with release. The scrolling is still marvellous to behold; the pogo stick amusingly tuned, and the game a reminder of Carmack's ability to blend remarkable tech with fun core mechanics.

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"Street Fighter is about everything games are about – all you’ve learned about positioning and strategy, every reaction tightened by every sudden twitch of your trigger fingers, every educated guess made at your opponent’s next move – all played out in a simple two-dimensional box where you test everything you’ve ever known about videogames. Street Fighter IV is the same old game of two-dimensional space control, strategy, and flat-out mind reading but it took whopping great polygons in an old-fashioned game to take a 2D fighter back to the masses." This is all true.

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"To apply the same point to videogames, ‘we’ are exceptionally good at the analytic mode and extremely poor at the rhetorical persuasion. As a cohort, we’re remarkably analytical. There are not many writers, bloggers, critics, etc of videogames who are either committed to the persuasive communication of the veracity of their feelings, moods, and strange hunches about videogames, but there sure is a lot of people willing to point out the textual or dramaturgical features of XYZ latest game." This, many, many times over. It's one reason I tire of so much wordy criticism at the moment: it is exhaustive, but lacks direction. (This, for me, was the gap between my first years at university and my final year: finding the courage to make my own arguments, rather than just synthesizing everything around me).

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Christian Nutt interviews Jesse Schell Lots of really interesting stuff in here - to be returned to, I think.

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Puzzle-game, knocked up last week by Increpare, based on kettling.

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Valve's publications page, with PDFs of papers/talks they've done. Lots of good stuff here.

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"...the game of chess is much more than the set of instructions needed to move the pieces on the board: the players’ intellectual and emotional interaction during a game is also the system of chess. The media hubbub surrounding Kasparov’s loss to Deep Blue: that is chess. The southwest corner of Washington Square Park where New York City players wager, talk trash, and square off across stone tables: that is chess too." So much good stuff in this essay from Frank Lantz and Eric Zimmerman

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In which Laura Parker looks at what "mainstream" games can learn from the type of success indie titles such as Limbo have had, with contributions from Nels Anderson, Manveer Heir, and - would you believe it - me. It's a really nice feature; I hope Laura can get more of this sort of stuff published on Gamespot, because it deserves a bigger audience than being buried on the staff blog.

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"Raise a glass of something, then, to celebrate how Harmonix lived, not how they died. It was a magnificent run, filled with some of the greatest games ever made. I don't think any other gaming company ever made so much sheer fun in such a short span of time." I desperately hope there's a happy end to this, somehow.

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Kars on games, cities, and biology. Lovely. And: he's exploring game-design for *pigs*, which makes me impossibly excited.

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