Storytime with Jonathan Blow

, on July 23, 2016

Very good culmination and summation of the important points Blow has brought up over the years regarding games.

Some conceptual thoughts:

One major human behavior is having a question, being driven to find an answer, looking for an answer, finding one, and using this new information to understand a system. Often times we idolize the grand journey that an individual may take to answer one question over the course of a life. In reality this pattern occurs thousands of times a day and is super important for our survival; it’s called curiosity, and it should be celebrated.

Our brains exist to create patterns out of reality. When we are able to accurately predict and act upon those patterns, that represents mastery of a particular system, which we find incredibly rewarding. Games do exactly that; they set up fully functioning, logically rigorous, pleasingly constrained systems, that tantalize us with the possibility of knowing all that there is to know (most games even present clear steps how to reach that point); something we never get from reality. This is one reason I believe in time the majority of people will find games more satisfying than the original. Bonus points when we can look back and see our progression from ignorance to mastery.

In life it is normal to not fully understand systems, to stumble. In current times entertainment is generally expected to be a respite from normal life, and from stumbling. One could define “entertainment” as content that purposefully presents familiar and limited systems.

A joke is an intellectual surprise.

All art is a means of communication from the creator to a receiver. Games certainly are interesting in that they  have to build fully functioning and literally inhabitable worlds from nothing, though I wouldn’t call them unique in that regard. All creators may think they start with a blank slate, but none exist in a vacuum.


Mephistopheles

firewatch

The Katering Show is fun and different

The Wizard of Oz experiment.

Why there are 28 days in February (amazing how much amazing is all around us but we see past).

Firewatch has been smoldering for some time and hopefully will create a unique atmosphere.  The concept art is beautiful. The idea of working as a fire lookout is lovely and unfortunately, at this point, an anachronism.

We are all in the gutter, but some of us are looking at the stars.

– Lady Windermere syndrome

Harry Clarke illustration

Schwarzschild Black Hole


Gabe Newell Update

, , on December 19, 2014

A two part interview with Gabe Newell by Andrea Peterson for The Washington Post. Thought provoking and honest.


Working List

Child of Light is an upcoming game, soundtrack

Telescopic Text – Looking for a browser/browser addon to this effect some day

Article on record-setting caving

Vemeer as artificer

Parallax view – imagine being able to take and then view 3D images like this by tilting your phone around. A commenter from hackernews points out that instead of guessing the parallax and faking the extra data required when converting flat images to 3D, this additional information can come from the slightly varied perspectives generated by your hand shaking as you take the photo.

Half-Life speed run

How do CAT scans work? – The slices are different than you’d think

Foldscope (1) (2) – Very cool

Rent Splitter

April 27th tornado path

 


Gone Home

, on August 19, 2013

gone-home

I really enjoyed playing Gone Home. There are a multitude of subtle cues and silent mechanics which together create a wonderful marriage of game and story. One complaint is that the house is ugly.

After you play it, there is a lot of great stuff to read written about the game.


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