Play in Process: Is It Time? – Empathy With the Elderly

Each week in Play in Process, Richard Clark shares what he’s been playing and why it matters.Is It Time? isn't fun. It's not exciting. It's not addicting. You probably won't want to play it again after your first session. But you should still play it. It's not a huge investment: it's free, you can play it in your browser, and it only takes a few minutes. Go play it now. Then you can keep reading.What Is It Time? demonstrates so brilliantly is that games can not only incorporate, but excel at … [Read more...]

Play in Process: LA Noire – You Will Feel Guilty

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M4-rY-XGZA0Each week in Play in Process, Richard Clark shares what he’s been playing and why it matters.Right off the bat, you can tell that LA Noire is going to disappoint a lot of people. The latest game from the people who gave you Grand Theft Auto and Red Dead Redemption takes a decidedly more serious-minded approach to the open world. In LA Noire you aren't encouraged to cause mayhem - in fact, you are prevented from doing so for the most part. Instead, th … [Read more...]

Play in Process: This Rat On A Skateboard Doesn't Represent Anything Deep

Each week in Play in Process, Richard Clark shares what he’s been playing and why it matters.There's an iPhone game that I downloaded yesterday for two reasons: 1. It was free. 2. It was the spiritual successor to one of my favorite iPhone games: Rat on a Scooter. This game? Rat on a Skateboard. It. Is. Deep.Okay, so there's this rat. And he's on a skateboard. And there are obstacles and stars and pizza. You can earn points by bouncing on obstacles, collecting stars and pizza, and by doing va … [Read more...]

Play in Process: Outland and Faith-Inspired Game Development

Each week in Play in Process, Richard Clark shares what he’s been playing and why it matters.I've been playing an exploratory platform game called Outland, primarily a game about following a path from one place to another, with occasional detours and avoiding obstacles along the way. Every aspect of the game feels really good to pull off. Platforming, combat and using various acquired skills all seem to flow seamlessly from one to the other.Then there's the story element: it seems to be a str … [Read more...]

Play in Process: Hot Pursuit's Moral Whiplash

Each week in Play in Process, Richard Clark shares what he’s been playing and why it matters.Games resonate with us for various reasons. Whether we find them to be primarily fun, satisfying, addicting, peaceful, frustrating or disturbing, we have these reactions to them because they are leveraging a certain truth, whether it be about the world, ourselves, or games themselves. Most often, games are known for being fun; everything else tends to be secondary. That's because a game relies first an … [Read more...]

Play in Process: Coming to Terms With Violence

Each week in Play in Process, Richard Clark shares what he’s been playing and why it means something to him.When does game violence go too far? It's a question I had to ask myself while playing the demo for a side-scrolling beat-em-up called "The Dishwasher: Vampire Smile." In this game, you wake up from a nightmare to find yourself with an arm missing - then you find yourself later with that same arm replaced by a chainsaw. This is when the bloodletting begins. As you fight through level af … [Read more...]

Play in Process: A Place Called Home

Each week in Play in Process, Richard Clark shares what he’s been playing and why it means something to him.The other day, Drew mentioned playing Minecraft with a few friends of his. HOT SCOOP: I am one of those friends. I love Minecraft for all the reasons Drew mentioned, but I think the primary reason I love it so much is something that Kirk Hamilton articulated in a column over at Paste: After a few (real-world) evenings' worth of work, I sat back and realized that my cave had become a hom … [Read more...]

Play in Process: Bang!, The Ultimate Wild West Narrative

Each week in Play in Process, Richard Clark shares what he’s been playing and why it means something to him.A small group of church people I meet with weekly had a "game-night" earlier this week. The group organizer encouraged us to bring some games. So, I brought Bang!Bang! is a card game in which you assume a role chosen at random, mafia style: You are a sheriff, a deputy, an outlaw, or a renegade. Depending on your role, you have a particular objective. You want to be the last one st … [Read more...]

Play in Process: What is Wrong With Me?

Each week in Play in Process, Richard Clark shares what he’s been playing and why it means something to him. Well, I haven't really been playing all that much lately, mainly because I've been too busy writing. One thing I've been writing is this post for Gamasutra, about how games make us more aware of our own flawed nature. It's a subject that I've been thinking about quite a lot lately, and it's the motivating factor behind my most recent post here, The Beautifully Dark Side of Video Games. If … [Read more...]

Play in Process: The Virtual Battlefield

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vepiJznvvY0Each week in Play in Process, Richard Clark shares what he’s been playing and why it means something to him.Look, I know that no videogame could ever give a truly accurate sense of what it's like to be a soldier at war. The element of danger alone is impossible to simulate, and so colors every aspect of the experience that it's nearly a joke to imply otherwise. Still, when I was playing Battlefield: Bad Company 2 (Xbox 360, Playstation 3, PC) online t … [Read more...]


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