Featured Articles

Uphill, Both Ways

Beyond selling us games, the industry is peddling an idea that entices most of the population: youth. Brendan Main examines how youth isn't really a commodity that can be sold, at least not without the new skin crème peripheral.

Blue Planet

It's easy to see the vivid paper animals in Viva Piñata as childish, but beneath their bright colors lays a brutal history. Humans began very close to the land and the death and sex of animals was integral to our lives. Ryan Lambie explores how a game brings its audience back to a more primal time.

Blue Planet

Many games deliver the arcade-y feel of shooting at animals as they frolic across your screen. The Hunter offers a more realistic approach to hunting and nature conservation as Rob Zacny learned after one wild shot brought unexpected shame.

Blue Planet

It's possible to play games like Fallout 3 without ever realizing how the developers created realistic-looking trees. To alleviate the costs of handcrafting each piece of foliage, a program called SpeedTree was used by Bethesda. Ronald Meeus explores the growth of this handy piece of middleware.

Blue Planet

There is very little that we know about life under the sea compared to above the waves, but that is perhaps what captivates us about the ocean depths. A game which defies genre definition, Endless Ocean: Blue World, attempts to translate that fascination and Nova Barlow gets lost in its abyss.

The Fanfiction Issue

It's a well-known fact that fanfiction lets you play with the raw materials of your favorite videogame or TV series. But did you know it can also provide excellent practice for aspiring fiction authors? Vanessa Cohen details how fanfiction made her a better writer.

The Fanfiction Issue

You may think fanfiction is a laughable attempt at literature. But did you know you've probably already paid good money for it? Dillon Sinnott examines the phenomenon of "corporate fanfiction," when a company ditches the canon to make a quick buck.

The Fanfiction Issue

Let's be honest: Making fun of fanfiction is like shooting fish in a barrel. But according to a few fanfiction writers from The Escapist's forums, that may be missing the point. Peter Parrish speaks with three "fans of fanfiction" about what makes the medium special (if occasionally a little cringe-inducing).

The Fanfiction Issue

Many JRPGs feature complex stories involving ensemble casts of dozens of characters. But one game went a step further: It let you play interstellar matchmaker. Brendan Main examines the fanfiction-inspired relationship mechanics of tri-Ace's Star Ocean: Second Story.

Zerg Rush

To veteran StarCraft players, the Zerg race is as calculating and strategic as the Terran or Protoss forces. But to Brendan Main - and gamers in general - the Zerg will always mean one thing: mindless, indiscriminate slaughter. Main recalls his time wasted in the Zerg's single-player campaign, where he finally learned what the race was all about.

Zerg Rush

Basketball has Michael Jordan. Soccer has Pelé. And StarCraft has SlayerS_'BoxeR', the Korean superstar who revolutionized competitive StarCraft and changed the eSports landscape forever. Brett Staebell examines the swift ascent and lasting legacy of the "Terran Emperor."

Zerg Rush

Many gamers have aspirations of one day playing their game of choice at the professional level. But the reality of that undertaking is much less appealing than the dream. Jack Porter recounts his brief time spent playing StarCraft competitively and the heavy toll it took on his psyche.

Zerg Rush

How do you follow up one of the best-selling games of all time, a game that was so successful it spawned an entire sport and became the archetype for its genre? If you're Dustin Browder, Lead Designer of StarCraft II, you do it very, very carefully. John Funk speaks with Browder about the immense pressure - and satisfaction - of creating Blizzard's next great RTS.

Bump In The Night

Characters in horror movies make all the wrong decisions, from splitting up to cover more ground to opening the door that we all know the killer lies behind. But in horror games, players must make those choices themselves. How do developers force them to do it? John Constantine mines a few classic Japanese horror games for examples.

Bump In The Night

Too often horror games rely on grotesque monsters and buckets of gore for their scares. But the latest project from Max Payne developer Remedy Entertainment takes an altogether more psychological approach. Nick Cowen spends some time with the upcoming Xbox 360 title Alan Wake.