In response to "Play Within a Play" from The Escapist Forum: The "Emotioneering" slant of the article is interesting but let's remember a key fact: The book was first published in 2003, and FF VII came out in 1997.
The Final Fantasy team did not use "Emotioneering techniques" per se, they just designed a great game. I point this out to emphasize that excellent games and good game writing exist independent of how-to texts, consultants, and buzzwords. While Freeman did useful work to identify, formalize, and codify techniques - and I too am a big fan of his "character diamond" - no game developer should expect to be able to find cookbook answers to the thorny and complex issues of plot and character.
In response to "Play Within a Play" from The Escapist Forum: Regardless of what you think of the book or the author, this article still raises some very valid points about what makes a good story compared to a forgettable or overly cliche story.
The so called "emotioneering techniques" described in the book are very valid methods of story writing, that have been around for a long time. Freeman has simply given them a name and attempted to claim some credit for pointing out what the best authors already knew. But isn't that what most non-fiction books do anyway?
To say that the final fantasy team didn't use emotioneering techniques would not be entirely accurate. That would be like saying that nobody ever used gravity before Newtonian physics gave it a name. I think you would have been better off pointing out that Freeman based his book (and his newly coined methodologies) on the techniques used by already successful storytellers like the final fantasy team.
In response to "Alone in the Dark" from The Escapist Forum: Just like comfort foods, there are definitely games that provide essential distractions/interactions in those stressful times that follow a breakup. I find that there's a lot of stressful situations though, not just those that are love related, in which I'll return to specific games. While I definitely see the pull of the RPG, I usually find myself returning to strategy games. Red Alert 2 used to serve that purpose, but lately it's been Advance Wars on the DS. Madden has also filled those voids for me, with the structure and regimented flow providing a needed regularity in stressful times.
- Dr. Wiley
In response to "Dunbar's Number" from The Escapist Forum: Neat article. I liked how it summed up this week's issue of The Escapist by discussing some really interesting findings in the science of psychology. I got my BA in Psychology, and I have lost my intimacy with it since I graduated (even though it was less than a year ago). I was glad to revisit the subject within another subject that I enjoy.