When Games Matter: Civilians in War Games

When Games Matter is a weekly exploration by Drew Dixon of meaningful moments in games. Operating under the assumption that games do in fact matter, Drew seeks to highlight those moments that have much to say about who we are and the world we live in.In the next two months, two of the videogame industry's biggest players will release new war games--Battlefield 3 and Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3. In light of these games, Michael Thomson has written an excellent article for Slate exploring the … [Read more...]

When Games Matter: Choice and Boss Battles in Deus Ex: Human Revolution

When Games Matter is a weekly exploration by Drew Dixon of meaningful moments in games. Operating under the assumption that games do in fact matter, Drew seeks to highlight those moments that have much to say about who we are and the world we live in.Deus Ex: Human Revolution is a game about choices. You choose how to accomplish missions as each provides multiple paths. You choose whether to use lethal or nonlethal force with the enemies you encounter. You choose how to interact with those … [Read more...]

When Games Matter: Human Revolution and Flawed Design

When Games Matter is a weekly exploration by Drew Dixon of meaningful moments in games. Operating under the assumption that games do in fact matter, Drew seeks to highlight those moments that have much to say about who we are and the world we live in.Deus Ex: Human Revolution came out a week ago. Its a game that by all accounts I should love. I am a huge fan of the original Splinter Cell Trilogy as well as most of Bioware and Bethesda's roleplaying games. DX:HR promised to combine the best of b … [Read more...]

Virtual Scapegoats: Getting to the Truth About Videogame Violence

Between the Supreme Court's ruling  against California's proposed ban on the sale of violent videogames and the recent rampage in Oslo where it was revealed that shooter, Anders Behring Breivik played videogames there has been much discussion about the dangers and benefits of videogames. While the Supreme Court decision in California had games journalists rejoicing to see their medium constitutionally recognized , theOslo shooting found journalists searching for the elusive connection between act … [Read more...]

When Games Matter: Trauma, Art, and Learning Empathy

When Games Matter is a weekly exploration by Drew Dixon of meaningful moments in games. Operating under the assumption that games do in fact matter, Drew seeks to highlight those moments that have much to say about who we are and the world we live in.While Roger Ebert was responsible for stirring the videogaming blogosphere into an uproar on the issue, "Cave Paintings," an article by the editors of N+1 Magazine is well regarded as the most persuasive argument against recognizing videogames … [Read more...]

When Games Matter: Video Game Violence and Its Frequent Lack of Self Awareness

When Games Matter is a weekly exploration by Drew Dixon of meaningful moments in games. Operating under the assumption that games do in fact matter, Drew seeks to highlight those moments that have much to say about who we are and the world we live in.I wrote a column this week titled "The Wasted Potential of Videogame Violence" for Relevant Magazine. Videogames are unique in that the provide us with the opportunity to adopt a sense of agency over the world, our character, and the progression … [Read more...]

Interview: El Shaddai's Daring Origins

When I heard that a video game based on the Dead Sea Scrolls was being made, I thought I was surely mistaken. Yet today marks the release of Ignition Games' newest project, El Shaddai: Ascension of the Metatron (You can read a review by our editor-in-chief, Richard Clark over at Kill Screen). The Hebrew word "El Shaddai" literally means "God Almighty" and is a common title for God in the Old Testament. The game does not try to hide its cosmic storyline. El Shaddai tells the story of the Book of … [Read more...]

When Games Matter: Bastion, History, and Learning from Our Mistakes

When Games Matter is a weekly exploration by Drew Dixon of meaningful moments in games. Operating under the assumption that games do in fact matter, Drew seeks to highlight those moments that have much to say about who we are and the world we live in.SPOILER ALERT: if you are planning to play Bastion and have not done so yet, you may not want to read any further.If you could undo the greatest mistakes of your past would you? The answer seems obvious--who wouldn't want to undo their biggest … [Read more...]

When Games Matter: The Imaginative World of Insanely Twisted Shadow Planet

When Games Matter is a weekly exploration by Drew Dixon of meaningful moments in games. Operating under the assumption that games do in fact matter, Drew seeks to highlight those moments that have much to say about who we are and the world we live in."An imagination is a terrible thing to waste." That's not a direct quote but I remember my mother saying something similar to me quite often growing up. My brother and I took this mantra to heart as we became proficient at creating fascinating … [Read more...]

When Games Matter: The Tragic Amoral World of Far Cry 2

When Games Matter is a weekly exploration by Drew Dixon of meaningful moments in games. Operating under the assumption that games do in fact matter, Drew seeks to highlight those moments that have much to say about who we are and the world we live in.Far Cry 2 is set in a nameless African country that has been ravaged by Civil War. Your goal is to find and hunt down "The Jackal," the man who armed both sides. The two militias fighting for control over the country are equally violent and … [Read more...]


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