"One moment, you're neutralizing a pawn to complete a mission objective and capture points. The next, you're a vile murderer ambushing a penniless grunt to get your hands on the castle's loot. What happened?" Will Hindmarch details how small details can dramatically enhance the depth of a game.
In November 2005, Warren Spector gave a presentation on the future of gaming at the Montreal International Game Summit that caused some controversy. He joins us here to expand on that presentation, in the first of a four-part article series.
"Is it wrong, one wonders, to covet someone for their toned abs more so than their mental acuity? Some moralistic person will likely tell you so; the same way holier-than-thou gamers have historically chastened any who would openly show interest in a game, thanks only to its polygonal beauty." Tim Stevens explains why graphics matter.
"Graphics are hugely significant to many people - that can't be ignored... But I challenge you to find the review that says, 'This game would be excellent and worth your time, if only the graphics were better.'" John Walker discusses the importance, and lack thereof, of graphics.
"I advocate and praise classical games, because within them are wonderful genres, ideas and methods (not to mention aesthetic splendor) that have been left behind as the industry progresses." John Szczepaniak tells us why he often goes back to retro games.
"Are you a Gamist, a Narrativist or a Simulationist? Do you generally favor Actor, Author or Director stance?" Allen Varney condenses design philosophies surrounding tabletop role-playing games for those of us with short attention spans.
There's an academic debate raging about whether story or gameplay reign supreme. Mark Wallace takes a look at this debate, and concludes that it doesn't really matter. "With games, all the answers lie right at your fingertips. All you have to do is play."
"Trip Hawkins is deep in a secure underground vault, standing in a telephone booth, talking into his shoe." Dave Thomas talks to Trip Hawkins on Madden, 3DO, Digital Chocolate, and the future.
"Publishers like EC Comics created books centered on more adult themes. By the early 1950s, comics weren't just for children anymore. Does this sound familiar to you?" Ian Easton describes the creation of the Comics Code Authority, and details what gamers should do to avoid that same situation.
When it comes down to it, gamers and those that lobby against games are never going to agree. Spanner has a solution.
What do popular pastimes say about the cultures that they represent? Today, in our global culture, we have seen the rise of videogames, movies and television as nearly global pastimes. Danay Massey looks at how these pasttimes effect us.
In a world without games, perhaps we would see other technologies fill the void. Tom Rhodes looks at this possibility, which is rather likely to occur anyway.
When game design is outlawed, only outlaws will design games. Allen Varney poses the question "If you were legally enjoined from creating games, what would you do instead?" to game designers across the world. Here are the replies.
"It's almost a tradition, now, to have LAN parties on the same nights as dances, and none of the people in the room regret coming to this one." Chris Mairenarrates an event of the Mindrot Gaming Club.
Whether they're called clans, allegiances, groups, or guilds, it seems everyone that plays online is in one. Or creating one of their own. Hitchhiker takes a look at why so many fail, and what makes a good one for him.