There are plenty of good storytellers who have spent years mastering their craft. But the difference between good artists and great ones often comes down to enthusiasm. Colin Rowsell shares his experience at an animation conference last year, where a former Muppeteer reminded attendees what storytelling is all about: getting really, truly, goofily excited about the world you've imagined.
Rock music and videogames surprisingly have a lot in common as emerging media, but both industries are historically difficult for women. Punk rock spawned the riot grrrl movement in the nineties in response to how they were treated. Erin Hoffman calls for a similar girl riot in videogames.
Videogames have long been characterized by the mainstream as an adolescent medium, played by stunted males who have trouble associating with the opposite sex. Those who play games might scoff, but is there actually a fear of the feminine within the content? Michael Thomsen takes a scholarly look into the accusations of vaginophobia.
Many industry analysts talk about the positive effect that games like Rock Band and Guitar Hero have had on music sales. But the relationship between record labels and game makers is a bit more complicated. Ruth Booth looks at how music and game publishers have collaborated to reach new audiences.
Since its inception in 1977, Heavy Metal Magazine has showcased its signature mixture of dark fantasy, science fiction, nudity and ultra-violence. But while the magazine's influence has declined, its sensibilities have found a home in gaming. Jonathan Glover looks at how the look and feel of Heavy Metal has seeped into videogames.
The customer service team at EA Mythic had it all - catered lunches, Rock Band-filled break rooms and logo-stamped coffee mugs. But sliding subscription numbers and a slumping economy meant the good times wouldn't last. Jeremy Monken recounts his time as a GM for Warhammer Online: Age of Reckoning.
For straight gamers, videogames can often be an escape from a painful reality. But for gay gamers, videogames offer little respite from prejudice and homophobia. Robert Yang recalls his experience developing a Half-Life 2 mod featuring gay characters and the response it provoked.
Don't have enough time to stay current with the latest videogame releases? Imagine if you only had a few minutes a week to even think about gaming. Rich Retractor explains how his career as a brain surgeon leaves little room for games - and how they've become even more to him because of that.
Brendan Main has killed thousands of faceless enemies during his videogame career. But the one he remembers most wasn't an enemy at all. Main ponders the meaning behind his propensity for virtual goat-slaying.
The term "virtual reality" has many inaccurate connotations. An investigation of the Latin derivation of the phrase, its philosophic meaning, and how it seeped into modern usage suggests that this "bridge term" is limiting our understanding and growth. Erin Hoffman demonstrates why "virtual" needs to go.
Demon's Souls is a difficult RPG that offers strange connections. Remnants of other players' experiences are scrawled on the walls and you can view echoes of their deaths. Brendan Main relates a personal haunting and how it made him feel like he did when playing the game.
Friend Codes are a needless inconvenience for Wii or DS players looking to play a quick game of Mario Kart with their friends. But they may also suggest a way of making online play more personal. John Constantine offers a vindication of Nintendo's loathed social gaming mechanic.
If you had the tools to build the world in your hands, what would you do with them? For players of one popular MMOG, the answer seems to be to let their imaginations run wild. Nova Barlow takes a look at City of Heroes' Mission Architect and talks with some of the player creators putting it to good use.
Thanks to the proliferation of user-friendly game creation software, the amateur game development scene is more crowded than ever. Unfortunately, so are the forums devoted to it. Bradley Campbell explains how online indie game development communities aren't as helpful as they initially seem.
This year alone, thousands of professional game developers are moving from one company to the next as studios close and new opportunities present themselves. But not many have an entire country between their old life and their new one. Brenda Brathwaite recounts her epic journey from Savannah to San Francisco.