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Senator Deanna Demuzio of Illinois remarked that "[v]ideo games are not art or media. They are simulations, not all that different from the simulations used by the U.S. military in preparation for war." Kieron Gillen examines games as art and simulation, and why it matters.

Best of The Escapist

Founded in 1983, Origin was one of the great computer game developers of the era. In 1992, they were acquired by EA, and in 2004 they were shut down entirely. Allen Varney looks at The Conquest of Origin.

The Little Guy

"In order to have a discussion about the future of independent game studios, we must first have a discussion about intellectual property." N. Evan Va Zelfden sits down with Binu Philip, presidentof Edge of Reality, to talk about IP, games,and why it's rewarding to be an independent developer.

The Little Guy

"I sat down in a room in the San Jose Convention center and basked in the greatest gathering of artistic intelligence I'd experienced in my entire life." Patrick Dugan presents Scratchware Auteurs, a roundtable of independent design from GDC 2006.

The Little Guy

In Japan, there's another face of independent development that doesn't have a direct parallel in the west. John Szczepaniak looks at the world of doujin soft.

The Little Guy

"We didn't take any money from publishers because we didn't want any publishers f---ing up our game." Jim Rossignol looks at the trials and successes of independent developer Introversion, creators of Uplink and Darwinia, and where their future is headed.

The Little Guy

A decade-long gamble might just save a small town. Justin McElroy tells us about TickStorm, and how they're planning on using their games to help the small town that they call home.

Rated M for Mature

"The developer illuminati exchange ideas, hold discussion panel meetings and continue to explore methods of engaging the player through traditional narratives, new control interfaces and the number of polygons whizzing around the screen." But Hitchhiker just wants some truly interactive porn.

Rated M for Mature

Any online community with open chat will invariably contain some sort of sexual content, and at some point the administrators of that community take notice. Cat Rambo discusses the evolution of Armageddon's policies on roleplayed cybersex.

Rated M for Mature

".. the sex that games do have is shallow, unsatisfying and ultimately more trouble than it's worth." Charles Wheeler looks at the limited sexual content that even the most talked about games offer, and why it's inneffectual.

Rated M for Mature

"A number of single-player roleplaying games put an intriguing spin on romance: They invite the player to flirt." Chris Dahlen looks at flirting and romance in modern single-player RPGs.

Rated M for Mature

"As soon as there were chat rooms, there were people talking dirty in them..." Mark Wallace looks at the evolution of Cybersex, from basic chat rooms to MUDs to the virtual worlds of today.

Rated M for Mature

"In virtual worlds, as in real ones, kink can take on many different forms. Innumerable variants inevitably crop up. Some are more popular than others. All are uniquely transgressive." Bonnie Ruberg looks at kink in Second Life.

Rated M for Mature

"So, it's the year 2000, at the height of the dot com boom. You've just been hired as Head of Online Games for a company with a paper value of over a billion dollars. ... What do you do?" Richard Bartle discusses the development processes of his unreleased sexual-fantasy MUD.

The Answer to Everything

Sometimes it's just as enjoyable talking about gaming with other gamers as it is actually playing the games. Joe Blancato takes a look at how it works at The Escapist office.