Symposium: Twine, September 3, 2015

Twine Logo

It’s hard to talk about Twine and its growing community without also discussing its product: hyperlinks. Presented as a tool for creating interactive fiction, its output, HTML, is often derailed for not being a “game,” or not qualifying for definitions that might place the works by those who use Twine as part of a greater game developer community. As one of the easiest tools to use in terms of requiring little to no programming language knowledge, Twine, its output, and its community are often at the center of wide-ranging discourses around what qualifications, if any, make something a “game” and who, in turn, gets to make things that might be games.

This week, along with discussing the tool itself, we will examine the major debates around Twine, how the interface of “merely clicking on links” (as some of its detractors proclaim) contributes to both its ease of development and contributes to what some of its louder critics see as products that are not now nor will ever be games.

We’ll meet on Skype this Thursday, September 3, 2015 at 9:30pm EDT / 6:30pm PDT. Hope to see you there!

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Gaming Session: Minecraft, August 27, 2015


Minecraft this week: Thursday, August 27th at 9:30pm EDT / 6:30pm PDT.  Usual server, voice chat over Skype.

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Symposium: Shadow of the Colossus, August 6, 2015

Shadow-of-the-Colossus-QuadratusWe were planning to talk about both Ico and Shadow of the Colossus last month, but we spent all of our time on Ico; so we’ll talk about Shadow of the Colossus this month.

We’re meeting an hour earlier than normal: 8:30pm EDT / 5:30pm PDT.  Voice chat on Skype, as always.


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Gaming Session: Minecraft, July 30, 2015

pats-tracks-at-other-endMinecraft this week; the usual time (9:30pm EDT / 6:30pm PDT), Thursday, July 30.


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Symposium: Ico and Shadow of the Colossus, July 2, 2015


This month, we’ll talk about Ico and Shadow of the Colossus.  How do we feel about them, a decade and two console generations later? What have later games learned from them? What do we wish later games would learn from them?

We’ll meet on Skype this Thursday, July 2nd at 9:30pm EDT / 6:30pm PDT.

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Gaming Session: Minecraft, June 25, 2015

golem-wandering-aroundIt’s Minecraft this week: Thursday at 9:30pm EDT / 6:30pm PDT.


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Symposium: Hotline Miami, June 4

2567864-hotlinemiami102This month’s Symposium, hosted by Patrick Holleman, is on the game Hotline Miami. Quoting Pat:

One of the first things that designers discovered about videogames was that failure makes the game more engaging. With checkpoints and quicksaves, game failures have been atomized to the point where failure simply becomes a step in the player’s iterative process of solving the problems a game presents. With that in mind, we’re going to look at a game that takes it to the ultimate extreme: Hotline Miami. This is a game where the player will fail (and suffer a gory death) hundreds if not thousands of times on the way to completion. While plenty of games have examined the disregard for human life and suffering that action games often employ, few of them use failure way Hotline Miami does. In this game, those thousands of deaths (of both players and enemies) actually give us, as players, a supra-lingual sense of what kind of person the protagonist really is.

I recommend that everyone try to complete the game as far as the hospital level, which I think is the emotional climax of the game.

We’ll meet this Thursday at 9:30pm EDT / 6:30pm PDT; voice chat over Skype.



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