Author Archives: Steve Gillham

Symposium, June 6th: Oikospiel (Book I)

What is surrealism in video games? Is it the subversion of expository traditions through ludic conventions? Is it the perversion of ludic conventions for expository effect? Is it a five-act dog opera? We’ll discuss the meaning of Oikospiel, the means … Continue reading

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Symposium – January 3rd, 2019: Into the Breach

It was nearly half a decade ago when we played Subset Games’ first release, FTL, and discussed its capacity for player-created narrative. The intervening years have seen a great deal of change, especially with regards to the prevalence of procedural … Continue reading

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Symposium, August 2nd: Earthbound and Faith in Video Games

One of the earliest pieces of “serious” games criticism that I can remember reading on the internet was a sprawl of text from Tim Rogers about Earthbound, a role-playing game released for the Super Nintendo in 1995. Pinballing wildly from … Continue reading

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Symposium, February 1st: Universal Paperclips (and Incremental Games)

Everything. Everything in its right place. The system has a task. A task and a purpose. For incremental games like Universal Paperclips, that task and that purpose becomes our own as we become both the rules of the system and … Continue reading

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Symposium, September 7th: Breath of the Wild

As its name might suggest, mythology has always served as the foundation for The Legend of Zelda. Throughout its history, its songs of champions found many forms across the Hyrulean ages, from the sunken legacy of Wind Waker to the … Continue reading

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Symposium, February 5th: Darkest Dungeon

Our past explorations of procedural generation have confronted the tensions between design of the unknown and its representation. For Spelunky to live, death had to lose its way in the winding tunnels, while the more procedural whims of King of … Continue reading

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Let’s Try This Symposium Again, October 13th: Super Mario Maker and The Beginner’s Guide

A Skype outage sabotaged our attempt to have this discussion last week, so let’s take another swing at it on Thursday. Here are the notes for the original discussion: https://vghvi.org/2016/10/02/symposium-october-6th-super-mario-maker-and-the-beginners-guide/

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