When Games Matter: Creating, Sharing, and Not Keeping Score in Minecraft

I recently wrote an article exploring a game that made me angry and what that says about me. Reflecting on that article has caused me to think more precisely about gaming's bias toward competition. In his article, "Winner: Is Competition Such a Bad Thing?", Matthew Burns, a former Bungie employee (developers of Halo), reflects on how this bias plays out: By holding victory high over any other kind of experience, games end up biased heavily toward creating situations that inflame anger and … [Read more...]

When Games Matter: When I Stopped Trying to Save the World

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.I am driving a rusty jeep through an African jungle, I have ventured off the dirt road I had been following because I can see a small militia outpost ahead and I want to avoid them. I have information regarding militia supply route that I … [Read more...]

When Games Matter: My Brother and How SOCOM US Navy Seals Brought Us Closer

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.Growing up my brother and I were always really close. When I was young, I wanted to do everything he did and most of the time he would let me. We played all kinds of games together--cowboys and Indians, ninjas, and of course war (of all … [Read more...]

When Games Matter: Lucidity, Grief, and My Daughter

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.The day I found out that I was going to be having a girl was also the day I first played Lucasart’s puzzle game, Lucidity.  Lucidity centers on a young girl named Sofi and her close relationship with her grandmother and the latter’s subse … [Read more...]

When Games Matter: Amnesia, Bravery, and the Time I Wanted to Quit

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 I first loaded up Amnesia: The Dark Descent, the game informs me that I should not try to win the game and if I ever see an enemy don't fight it, just run.  I cannot remember a game that has produced a more visceral response in me t … [Read more...]

When Games Matter: Metro 2033 and The Preservation of Art

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.Metro 2033 didn't impress everyone, but it provided one of the most memorable game worlds I have ever experienced.  The game is based on a book set in postapocalyptic Moscow and nuclear fallout has forced a very small group of … [Read more...]


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