30 Excellent Pixel Art Tutorials For Pixel Lovers

Kentucky Route Zero's Musical Centerpiece and the Power of Choice

overthinkingvideogames:


On music.

"When I speak of poetry I am not thinking of it as a genre. Poetry is an awareness of the world, a particular way of relating to reality. So poetry becomes a philosophy to guide a man throughout his life…. [With poetry, one] is capable of going beyond the limitations of coherent logic, and conveying the deep complexity and truth of the impalpable connections and hidden phenomena of life."

Andrei Tarkovsky, Sculpting in Time, translated by Kitty Hunter-Blair (1987)

(Source: ardora, via cyborges)

"Play is often talked about as if it were a relief from serious learning. But for children play is serious learning. Play is really the work of childhood."

Fred Rogers (via peachmelbaesunpostre)

(via elmerseason)

You Are Mountain - Ian Bogost - The Atlantic

Interview with young man about his 3D printed prosthetic hand

mostlysignssomeportents:

Joris writes, “E-nable is a community of people working together to design and 3D print prosthetic hands.”

Read more…

WIP

WIP

Sow/Reap

Sow/Reap

On formalism — Medium

This basic distrust of the opaque pervades game culture [see footnote 1]. In broad pop-cultural terms, games are expected ideally to be fun/digestible/gratifying, but if that’s not possible then they should at least be meaningful (i.e. if I can’t play it like a game, I should at least be able to read it like a book). The problem with this attitude is that it doesn’t leave game critics particularly well-equipped to engage with works that don’t hold up to analytical scrutiny. This isn’t to say that Mountain should not be regarded analytically — this just probably isn’t the best way to read it.

"

What about our fans? Are they privileged? Let me tell you about Anders. He was one of two male love interests in Dragon Age II, and the only one of the two that would actually make his intentions known to the player without the player expressing interest first. If you were nice to him, he would make a pass at you, and you could turn him down, and that would be the end of it. And some fans REALLY did not like that.

Some of them asked for a gay toggle; because in a game where there’s mature themes, slavery, death, and none of which we offer toggles for, encountering a gay character? OOH, beyond the pale. They didn’t want to be exposed to homosexuality.

And this one fan on our forums posted that he felt too much attention had been spent on women and gays and not enough on straight male gamers. For all of whom he personally spoke, of course. ‘It’s ridiculous that I even have to use a term like Straight Male Gamers, when in the past I would only have to say fans.’ The purpose of the romances in Dragon Age II was to give each type of fan an equal content. Two romances whether you’re male or female, straight or gay.

How upsetting for this particular Straight Male Gamer to realize he wasn’t being catered to. This was not equality to him, but an imbalance; an imbalance of the natural order. He did not want equality, he’s not interested in equality. To him, from his perspective, equality means he’s getting less. Less options? Actually, no, the number of options we had in that game was actually the same number of options that he would have received earlier. What was his issue was the idea that there was attention being spent on other groups, which SHOULD have rightly gone to him.

Do ALL straight male gamers feel exactly the same as he does? Absolutely not. In the thread where this came up in fact, there was quite a few guys who came in and identified themselves as straight male gamers and said ‘I actually don’t have an issue with that, as long as I receive an experience I enjoy, I think other people should be able to enjoy that too.’ But if you think that Straight Male Gamer Dude is an outlier among our fanbase, you were not paying attention.

This is Anita Sarkeesian, she’s the author of the Feminist Frequency, a blog which examines tropes in the depiction of women in popular culture. You’ve probably all heard about this, it’s a matter of public record, she announced a Kickstarter to start a web series to look at the tropes in video games and she was subjected to a campaign of vicious abuse and harassment by male gamers. Why? Well, because she represents to these guys the loss of their coveted place in the gaming audience. Never mind that well all know Goddamn well that they’re still at the top of the totem pole. What they see themselves losing is sole proprietorship over their domain. That’s what it is.

Everything that is changing about the gaming industry to accommodate these players, to them, is diluting the purity of gaming which has belonged solely to them. That’s what this is all about. And here’s the thing, I’m pretty certain that our industry fears the scrutiny of those guys way more than the scrutiny of everyone else. Because those are the guys that scream at the top of their lungs, they spend their time on every internet forum, they spend their time making Metacritic reviews. Infuriate them, and you become a target. It’s so much easier to say “Well, that’s what our fans are like. There’s nothing we can do.” And that’s bullshit.

They didn’t set the tone, did they? We set the tone. What we put out there, what we permit, whether it’s on our forums, whether it’s on Xbox Live, the things that we permit we are in effect condoning. What happened to Anita, we the industry, are partly responsible for. We’re in part to blame. And if the idea of moral responsibility doesn’t phase you, consider the idea that the time will probably soon come that this will also amount to legal responsibility.

"

BioWare EA Writer David Gaider speaking on sexism and sexuality in video games. (via lolitsgabe)

also known as “Why I Love And Support BioWare Games”

(via optimisticduelist)

Bioware ain’t perfect, but good gosh it does give me the warm fuzzies when one of their crew knocks it out of the park.

(via northstarfan)

(via elmerseason)

A plea for openness

notgames:

Now that there’s so much willingness, technology and skill to create beautiful virtual worlds, it’s disappointing how many videogames cling to obstacle-based designs. As if players have to earn the privilege to explore by passing an irrelevant test. Now is the time to open up this…

12 Fundamentals Of Writing "The Other" (And The Self)

medievalpoc:

jameslatimerwrites:

beyondvictoriana:

One of the best articles I’ve read on the subject. I want to hand this out at every art & diversity panel I speak on. Seriously.

Great, if daunting, list. Takes a while to get over number 2, but you have to.

The bit that I’m struggling with is number 12. If the answer is “no”, does that mean I shouldn’t write at all? Nobody, let alone me, wants a whitewashed story, so if I don’t feel I can do justice to the other then the remaining option seems no story at all. I mean, I haven’t any right to write, but I like to.

So I guess I’ll just have to try my best.

From the great Hiromi Goto’s WisCon 38 Guest of Honor speech, which I had the honor of witnessing in person:

It matters who and what is being focused upon in fiction. It matters who is creating a fictional account of these tellings. I don’t think the “burden of representation” rests upon the shoulders of those who are positioned as under-represented. If this were the case we would fall into an essentialist trap that will serve no one well. However, I’m okay with saying that it is my hope that white writers who are interested in writing about cultures and subjectivities outside of their own consider very carefully:

1) how many writers from the culture you wish to represent have been published in your country writing in the same language you will use (i.e. English) to write the story,

2) why do you think you’re the best person to write this story?

3) who will benefit if you write this story?

4) why are you writing this story?

5) who is your intended audience?

6) if the people/culture you are selecting to write about has not had enough time, historically and structurally, to tell their story first, on their own terms, should you be occupying this space?

Silence. In the space where your voice would have rang out with its distinct articulation. The moment you silence yourself a gap opens up, and someone else who may have no qualms in occupying that space, will leap in to speak out on their own terms. If you’re a writer (a dreamer) from a people, a community, a history that has been long-marginalized, silenced or misrepresented, we so desperately need to hear your story in your voice, in your own grammar of perception and articulation….

Also consider Diversity Cross Check, a resource blog for authors trying to write outside their own experiences.

Gamasutra - Can joy be more 'adult' than violence?

"The lyric essay is all-telling, all the time. A snippet of image here, a stray bit of dialog there, nested in the telling: the logic of the traditional story reversed. It purposefully avoids a steady progression towards meaning, a predictable arc of exposition, climax, revelation, and denouement, preferring instead allusive, anecdotal, and abstract swipes at an opaque theme. In their introduction to the Fall 1997 issue of The Seneca Review, Deborah Tall and John D’Agata christened and defined the lyric essay. It “forsake[s] narrative line, discursive logic, and the art of persuasion in favor of idiosyncratic meditation…It might move by association, leaping from one path of thought to another by way of imagery or connotation, advancing by juxtaposition or sidewinding poetic logic. Generally it is short, concise and punchy like a prose poem. But it may meander, making use of other genres when they serve its purpose: recombinant, it samples the techniques of fiction, drama, journalism, song, and film.” It is, in other words, a mash-up: borrowing from all, beholden to none. It likes to betray the genres from which it borrows, making wily little jabs at their most dearly held conventions. It mocks creative nonfiction in its manipulation of facts: sometimes reinventing them for the sake of “art,” sometimes subverting their claim to objective truth by repeating or removing them from context. It mocks fiction in using these untruths, these distorted or altered facts, not as story but as dry, lyrically stylized information ."

Narrative of Fragments – The New Inquiry (via notational)

(via notational)

GDC Vault - Designing for Mystery in Kentucky Route Zero