When Games Matter: Playing against the Grain

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 to say about who we are and the world we live in.Interactivity distinguishes games from other media. This simultaneously makes games a fascinating medium and one that can easily be exploited and one that opens games up to a great host of experiences. Authoring meaning in game design can b … [Read more...]

When Games Matter: The Weight of Personal Stories

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 to say about who we are and the world we live in.We like to save the world in videogames. We will probably never do anything in life that would accurately be described as such, thus it makes sense that we would gravitate to missions of cosmic significance in the virtual world. In Mass … [Read more...]

When Games Matter: Why Games Aren't About Story

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 to say about who we are and the world we live in.If you have a story to tell, videogames might not be the best medium for you. I essentially agree with Will Wright (lead designer of Sim City and many other successful games) who says, "Games are not the right medium to tell stories . . . v … [Read more...]

When Games Matter: The Art of Story in The Binding of Isaac

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 to say about who we are and the world we live in.Videogames' interactive nature requires that they tell stories differently than any other medium. Of course given the medium's short history there is no shortage of games that have tried to adopt the storytelling methods of longer standing … [Read more...]

When Games Matter: For the Love of the Grind

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 to say about who we are and the world we live in.If there is any one thing that will motivate me to put down a game never to pick it up again, it is "grinding." For those of you nongamers out there, "grinding" refers to the practice of delaying progression in a game in order to focus on … [Read more...]

When Games Matter: Skyrim's Personal Deities

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 to say about who we are and the world we live in.When games take on religion, it is usually from a cultural standpoint. Games like Fallout, Dragon Age or Red Dead Redemption illustrate how religion influences and shapes culture but they don't actually tell us much about any particular god … [Read more...]

When Games Matter: When Music Makes a Game

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 to say about who we are and the world we live in.Super Brothers: Sword & Sworcery EP would be a lousy game were it not for its stunning sound track. I mean that as the highest form of flattery. I think too often videogames tend toward stunning visuals at the expense of things like m … [Read more...]

When Games Matter: The Wonderful Lore of Skyrim

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 to say about who we are and the world we live in.Tom Bissel recently wrote an interesting review of sorts of Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim in which he spent the latter half of the article criticizing the game's poorly conceived dialogue and overly abundant lore: Dense expositional lore has no p … [Read more...]

When Games Matter: Game Night as Means to Sanctification

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 to say about who we are and the world we live in.Every Monday night my neighbor comes over and eats dinner with me and my wife. Sometimes other friends join us. Recently, every Monday night, we have been playing Dominion, a deck building card game. These matches have become pretty c … [Read more...]

When Games Matter: Why I Passed on Modern Warfare 3

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 to say about who we are and the world we live in.Bobby Kotick, CEO of Activision Blizzard, claims that Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 is the most financially successful launch of a media product ever--outpacing both books and movies. While I am not sure the comparison to other mediums is … [Read more...]


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