Room to Expand

9 08 2012

Dear me, but that elven babe on the box looks bored.  She’s got a PhD in international law, you know.  She could’ve been a big shot at the UN, but alas, like most elven babes, she ends up modelling for low-end game marketing.  “What’s this Spellforce job involve?” she asks her agent excitedly.  “Er…steel bikini and loincloth.”  “Again?”  “Yeah, but you get a sword this time. It’s very empowering.”  Not quite the Security Council, though, is it?

Read the rest of this entry »

The Legacy of Rome

20 07 2012

My favourite exam question at university –

Stop making funny faces.

My favourite exam question at university came in my third year, on a module about the War of the Spanish Succession.  I can’t remember the precise wording, but it went something like this: ‘Was the campaign of 1704 the most challenging of the Duke of Marlborough’s career?’


Read the rest of this entry »

Off We Go Again

20 07 2012

End of the Line, For Now

28 09 2011

I have a feeling that, come next week, I won’t be able to keep this blog going. Not three times a week, anyway. The work placement I’m going on is only for a month, but that month is going to be taken up solely by eating, sleeping, and nine-to-fives. So, unless something really interesting comes up, blogging about digital obscurities is going to have to go on hold. Which means this post gets to go under the ‘excuses’ category. Yay!

Perhaps I’ll kick things off again once I get back at the end of October, or perhaps not. This whole thing has been an exciting project and I now have a good body of non-review based work to show off to anyone who wants to give me a job in gaming media. Eighty-nine posts in a little over six months isn’t too shabby, right? Although the less said about my traffic, the better…

Anyway, time for some narcissism. Here are a few of my favourite posts. Take another look, would you? Especially the bold ones. They are my favourite favourites. Really take another look at those, would you?

04/04/11 – ‘The Art of Multiplayer’: Can multiplayer ever be as emotionally engaging as solo game experiences?

25/04/11 – ‘The Death of Canon’: What happens when the story of a big RPG, played and experienced in different ways by thousands of different players, is solidified into a single established canon?

07/05/11 – ‘Review Supplement – Portal 2: Easily the most pretentious article I wrote in this stint, but also the most comprehensive Review Supplement as well.

01/06/11 – ‘Preservation’: Musing on how to preserve old games.

08/06/11 – ‘Wii U…Hmm…Nope, it’s Pun-Proof’: Musing on the then-recently announced Wii U. It still has a ridiculous name.

20/06/11-27/06/11 – ‘When In Rome (Take Game-Related Pics)’: Parts One, the extra bit in the middle, and Two. My screenshot/photo comparison between the Rome of Assassin’s Creed Brotherhood and the Rome of reality was easily the best thing I did on the blog, and the most popular since I publicised it on the Ubisoft forums. Hurray for 3,000% traffic increases!

04/07/11 – ‘Just Listen – My Favourite Game Music’: Pretty much self-explanatory. Five amazing tracks from five amazing games.

10/08/11 – ‘Face My Tiny Wizarding Wrath, You Dwarvish Punks’: A post on the brilliant madness that is Magicka. Wins the award for best blog title on my blog that I made. I must make myself a statuette. Or a medal.

15/08/11 – ‘Rawr! (That’s Draconic, By the Way)’: The big Skyrim preview, and why I hope it won’t be too much like Oblivion. This post has the term ‘ludonarrative dissonance’ in it. I love that term.

Right, that’s enough of the self-congratulatory backslapping. Ta very much for reading, all, it’s been really, very good fun.

Newsflash – The Old Republic is Big

23 09 2011

It’s late and I haven’t had time to write a decent-sized post for today, so here’s a picture of a Jawa with a rocket launcher.

Where was he hiding that?

Read the rest of this entry »

I Wish I Could Reload Reality…

21 09 2011

Let’s get the boring stuff out of the way quickly: after an extremely small-scale study (sample size: 42 people) by Nottingham Trent University into Game Transfer Phenomena, a headline in the Metro newspaper declared ‘Gamers can’t tell real world from fantasy’. The study looked at moments when gamers start thinking about real-world situations in terms of game mechanics. One subject thought about using Half Life 2‘s gravity gun to get something from the fridge without getting up, and another thought briefly about using World of Warcraft‘s /who command to locate a relative they’d lost in a crowd.

Read the rest of this entry »


19 09 2011

This is a most enjoyable headline: “Online gamers crack AIDS enzyme puzzle”. Now, I didn’t get this until after several reads of several articles, because I am a thick-skulled artsy type whose only knowledge of science comes in the form of dodgy chemistry jokes. I would tell you one now, but after racking my brains all the good ones argon.

Why, why did I just type that? Read the rest of this entry »

Why are Valve So Generous?

16 09 2011

First it was endless free Team Fortress 2 updates. Then it was Team Fortress 2 becoming free to play in the first place. Then there were the little things, like making the Portal 2 soundtrack available for nothing. People complain about Valve’s download platform, Steam, holding a massive share of the digital games market, but at least it’s made them so rich that they don’t even have to bother charging for what could be otherwise lucrative content.

So simple, but so clever.

Read the rest of this entry »

Review Supplement – Tropico 4

14 09 2011

Strange thing, this. When I was thinking about Tropico 4 for my review, the game I couldn’t help comparing it to was Assassin’s Creed: Brotherhood, because both of them go deep into to the heart of such important issues of liberty and freedom, exploring the deep questions with a scholarly eye. Or not. They’re actually both sequels that have been criticised for being too similar to their predecessors. In my view, however, ACB gets away with it, whereas Tropico 4 does not.


Read the rest of this entry »

Rawr! (That’s Draconic, By The Way)

12 09 2011

First things first: if you tried to access the link in my previous post and found it be broken, then be assured that it now works. Here it is again. You have no excuses! Right, someone mentioned a poxy little game called Skyrim today. What’s that about?


Read the rest of this entry »