Editor's Choice

Our favoritie, new off-topic stories, in no particular order.

Editor's Choice

"Once upon a time, games were competitors. Now, primarily, they're entertainers. They aimed to beat you. Now, to be beaten. Our language says much, really. While we've talked about difficulty curves forever, the problems now are 'difficulty spikes.' No one ever critiques a game for a difficulty-trough - because the former stops you getting anywhere and the latter is just something you coast through."

Editor's Choice

"The few initial pot shots that struck my nameless, faceless virtual self manifested physically as a forceful poke in the front and back of the lower left region of my gut (presumably to replicate the lovely feeling of the bullets entering in one direction and exiting out the other). It's an odd sensation that - under more intense gaming circumstances - could prove rather startling if you didn't expect it. Within seconds I was getting hit all over. I even tolerated being punched repeatedly by a daft beast simply because it provided a slightly different impact."

Editor's Choice

"Games have gotten very good at guns, physics, audio and graphics that leave the real world looking low-res. Off to the side and down a few alleys, they're also pretty good at porn. I like these things, all of them, not to mention bouncing around like a prat with a plastic guitar, being addicted to World of Warcraft and those perverse Japanese cooking sims.

"But someone needs to send out a search party for sex appeal."

Editor's Choice

"Gamers are a shrewd bunch. Each time developers release a new piece of information regarding their work in progress, the gaming community snaps up every shred and meticulously pores over it. With each screenshot and list of potential features, their expectations for the game gradually coalesce into a snowball of hype. And while it can cause games to fly off the shelves on release day, hype can also be fatal."

Editor's Choice

"The problem here isn't the old town-gown conflict; it's not that game studies scholars look down their noses at the working-class gamers who happen to reside in a virtual neighborhood that borders their own. If that were the case, gamers - including academics like me who study games but remain firmly outside the 'game studies' camp - could just say, 'Well, Douglas, we hate you too."