"How hard could game development be?" Bruce Nielsen shares his first-hand experience at doomed game company Erudite Software in Cold Equations: The Death of a Game Company.
"Unlike some high-profile thinkers, Raph Koster actually ships product. 'I do all this writing to clarify things for myself,' he says." Allen Varney interviews Ultima Online and Star Wars Galaxies designer, Raph Koster.
"Romero. Perhaps it's something about the name itself that brings to mind great things. Some combination of etymological triggers, perhaps; a heady mental mixture that's part romance, part Camaro - sex in a Z28." Russ Pitts speaks with legendary game designer John Romero.
"Being stuck on an island in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean definitely carves deep markings into the way we approach game design." Shannon Drake interviews Magnus Bergsson, of Icelandik developer CCP.
"Space is pretty cool, I guess. Ships, you know. Guns and aliens and cargo smuggling and intergalactic rebellion and all that. But you know, there's an awful lot of it. People kind of forget that, I think." Pat Miller muses on the emptiness of space, and the perfection of Escape Velocity in My Own Private Galaxy.
"There is an air of tragedy about Noctis . As I peer from the narrow confines of my helmet, my natural excitement at gazing upon features that nobody has ever seen before is always muted by the knowledge that nobody ever will see them, except for me." Phil Scuderi explores space and the meaning of free will in Footprints in Moondust.
The Unfortunate Trajectory of the Space Sim Game"I was raised on science-fiction as much as science fact. My imagination populated the cold, sterile universe depicted by that poster on my bedroom wall with exotic alien races and epic conflicts. Yet I look at the science-fiction games of today and I can't help but feel saddened." Adam LaMosca's Lost in the Void traces the decline of the space sim.
"The once-dignified halls of the Consumer Electronics Show turned raucous. That day, the entire Lucasfilm booth staff huddled in a tight, silent knot before the Wing Commander monitors. They watched for a long time." In Wing Leader, Allen Varney tells the story of a company named Origin and the space game that changed the world.
"Nobody will play with me, nobody wants me on their team - so I spend hours every night, alone at home, sucking. But with Coach, I got used to having someone watch me play and lend me a hand." In Chris Dahlen's vision of the future, games will help you do more than pass the time.
"Neopets, Habbo Hotel, MySpace ... Whether or not these particular sites will continue to thrive is irrelevant. Online networking feels natural to this generation, like Grandpa's Rolodex and Mom's Franklin Day-Planner." Allen Varney revisits the concept of the lifegame, and explains how pervasive, demographically-targeted social networks may not necessarily be the ruin of us all.
"In the topsy-turvy world of videogame logic, if a half-dead baby kitten weakly slapped Mike Tyson on the knees two dozen times, he'd eventually fall down. This was acceptable once upon a time." Gearoid Ready explains why sometimes you have to let go of the past to move forward into the future in Kill Your Darlings.
"The newly mobile class has human needs. One of those is entertainment, and rising from the Wal-Marts, rest stops and automobiles is a booming culture of the arts." In The New Gaming Society Shannon Drakes takes a nostalgic look back to the future at the return of the "Sneakernet."
"Back then, Super Mario Kart was hugely popular, CD-ROM games were all the rage and Joseph Lieberman was getting uppity. Today, Mario Kart is more popular than ever, most PC games still ship on CD-ROM and Lieberman's still trying to convince parents that games are corrupting the minds of their children."
"I can't just play an MMOG anymore. It is imperative that I multitask; watching television or surfing the web. The only challenge left is staying awake through hours and hours of leveling." Laura Genender explains the appeal of monotony in the service of fun in "Drudgery."
"Your presence will point me in the direction of something to do. However, wherever you may take me, you invite yourself along." In The Little Things, a letter to Ennui, Whitney Butts expresses the frustration of a life with the promise of limitless adventure always on the horizon, and the spectre of boredom always one step behind.