In Response to "Escaping Katrina" from The Escapist Forum: I didn't want to read this article. As someone not physically touched by Katrina, I've been able to put aside detailed examination of what the survivors must have felt/feel or experienced. Lara Crigger did a masterful job in crafting an article that draws the reader in, and in a few short paragraphs makes you feel what she saw, and actually care about the people she is describing. I was very touched by the story - for the story of the experience, certainly, but more by her gentle and thoughtful reflections on human nature. George's seeming indifference to his warped Magic cards and poster, and how they only represent something that truly is permanent, struck a chord with me that is still resonating. Kudos to Lara, and please publish more of her work!
In Response to "Escaping Katrina" from The Escapist Forum: An incredible piece of writing; the writer captures so much about the value of games in general, not only in times of crisis, but their value to us as people. The best Escapist article by far, in my opinion. I teach a course on games at a university, and I'll shove this in their collective stockings next week.
In Response to "Escaping Katrina" from The Escapist Forum: Excellent article. I would only add that the useless nature of escapism in a society or community in crisis is also a matter of distance and immediacy. Those in New Orleans still dealing with Katrina's aftermath, and perhaps even New Yorkers now five years after the event, may find simple escapist fare rather trite, but in the rest of the country, simple and easy entertainments gained a great deal of popularity. The same of Astaire/Rogers musicals during the great depression. I'm wary of the "comfort food" theory to explain everything, but it makes sense that when a threat is immediate and obvious escapism is unimportant, but when a threat is abstract and distant (terrorism, economic depression) people find their world worrisome, and use entertainment as some form of relief.
In Response to "Immersion Unexplained" from The Escapist Forum: Simply said, I don't quite subscribe to narratology/ludology dichotomy, I guess it's all about personal preferences. In the first type of games, the immersion comes from the thrill of imagining your story and setting your own goals and then fulfilling them, in the second type you enjoy unfolding the story made up by someone else. Both things can be equally enjoyable in their own way.
In Response to "Immersion Unexplained" from The Escapist Forum: Get those feet back on the ground, people.
In Response to "Immersion Unexplained" from The Escapist Forum: The article seems to be premised on the assumption that we who study videogames want to make them. While sure, if I got offered a job as a game designer I would have to think about it, but that isn't my primary goal.
Realistically, the author is also tapping into a debate that, hopefully, has already died. I'm past the narratology and ludology debate and I think most people are as well - at least the people I talked to at said DiGRA conference in Vancouver last year were. Murray's keynote was practically the only paper that mentioned the "N" and "L" words.
Yes, narratology and ludology don't contribute to making better games, but they aren't meant to and yes narratology and ludology are pointless meandering debates, which is why they have largely died down.
In Response to "Not With a Bang, But a Click" from The Escapist Forum: What the hell are you talking about?
It's a good read and an interesting article but how do you go from id Software to computers to CD-ROMs to internet to search engines and therefore searching = a game. Just because you spent half the time searching does not automatically make searching a game.
meh... I'm finding it difficult to argue my point... because I see where you are coming from and that is clouding what I want to say.