We Built This City

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In response to “Getting Back in the Game” from The Escapist Forum: Absolutely. From a psychological perspective this whole article makes fantastic sense.

One of the things he does in the article is mention his achievements: “I liberated a significant portion of the city from the gangs that occupied it….” People who are suffering after the end of a relationship can, consciously or not, feel that time they’ve poured into a relationship has been wasted. They can feel reset, similar to, though much stronger than, having a character in an MMO wiped out. Most video games are designed to give a very strong feeling of achievement, so he can rebuild that feeling of being accomplished.

Additionally, he was dealing with some loss of identity. Pointing out that he began “doing things I’d always wanted to do, but could never have done as part of a couple” shows that he was redefining himself as a person. But mentioning that he “…stopped to heal wounded civilians, even when [he] had somewhere [he] really needed to be,” shows that he was at least loosely aware of using games to perform a similar redefinition, or a least a clarification.

This memoir would make an even more interesting article if it were cowritten with a psychologist.


I think this is the first thing I’ve read that has truly convinced me that the much-talked-about idea of “escapism” is a good thing. Simple but clear, Logan. Thank you.

My experience with games as a distraction has been more negative. I know I’m in the dumps when I start looking to video games to fritter away my free time. I enjoy ’em well enough, but they feel empty, too. Games make it easier to put myself in a holding pattern; they give me an easy sink for all my restless energy, but then that energy isn’t going towards actually changing my situation. I’d rather not do that, although sometimes it’s hard to make the choice.

— Alex



In response to “In Memoriam” from The Escapist Forum: I whole-heartedly concur with this article. I took a history of gaming class, and many of these names stand out…breaks my heart to think that the majority of the gaming world has not even heard of the games they made, let alone who they were.

When Shigeru Miyamoto passes (which will never happen, as I’m sure he’s got a fairy or two kicking around), the gaming nation shall hold a moment of silence. Even rabid FPS gamers online will temporarily cease their fragging and ethnic slurrs in honour of, quite frankly, one of the gods of gaming. And that’s nothing compared to how badly the Jedi will feel it.

I personally will also mourn the loss of Nolan Bushnell (God forbid). While the founder of Atari may not be a household name, he has left a legacy. Not only has he shown me all new underhanded ways to develop and create (he is a sneaky bugger and I love him for that), but he also helped take gaming and make it mainstream. Without Bushnell, video games would have been the fleeting passtimes of Ivey League computer students. With Bushnell, video games were initially so successful that the first Asteroids machines needed to have expanded coin buckets. When he passes, I suggest we all go out and enjoy a slice of pizza at Chuck E. Cheese (another of his creations).


I really appreciate this article, and yes, “media” coverage of prominent developers is sparse indeed, but I am hopeful. Wikipedia remains unmentioned in this article, and yet, it’s become a primary source of information on the game industry titans and the niche-diggers of yore. If you know of a developer, living or dead, who should be mentioned, make a Wiki entry for them. Even if it’s just 3 lines. It’s the first and hardest step; once the page is up, it will grow.



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In response to “The Tao of Leveling” from The Escapist Forum: A brilliant piece. What a concept!

And yet, when i think about it, i find myself realizing that i’ve thought of that as well – what level am i, in this great Mumorpeger that is life?

And its not as simple as a mathematical algorithm. Like Staebell said, its difficult to place down exactly how good at a skill you are. I know for a fact there are things that i can do almost to perfection, without thinking – but there are other skills that require a touch of thought before i peform properly.

And thats just physical skills. The mental and personal skills are harder to perform, and to master, especially the emotion aspect.

I suppose, if you wanna look at life like a video game, then Real Life is one of the hardest, most indepth game out there, with out of this world graphics and interaction.


The personal level concept is something in place to help relate real-world happenings to a familiar setting.

It’s partially the same as how some people relate exercise to gaining exp. It doesn’t actually exist but it’s a passive thing that just helps you go along with it. When you’re trying to consider if your life is going the way you want it to be, you can just sit back and think. Do you have the right party members? Do you know all the skills you should? What skills do you not know but really should learn? It just goes on from there. Placing levels into reality manages what you do by making it easier to relate to. If you want to be better off so you can get better equips, you should take the time to learn what you want to from the correct ‘schools’.

A part of me feels like I’m saying this slightly skewed from what I’m trying to say. I’ll stick with it.



In response to “When the Stars Align” from The Escapist Forum: Sounds like a roguelike on an universal scale. But roguelikes usually take an everything and the kitched sink approach that means taking on as much sources as possible. This was flying blind. I’d like to try this very much. (Coming soon to GoG.com? Please?)

I’m not sure most developers would do something with this scale if left alone. The larger the box gets, the harder it is to look outside of it, after all.

The Random One

Starflight was – for its time – mind-blowingly good. Well presented, amazingly designed, and addictive beyond anything I’ve experienced since. It remains one of the benchmarks of my gaming experience… it’s why I bought my first Apple.

And the game continues to inspire developers to this day. Indeed, I nearly laughed myself silly the first time I tried the ‘exploration’ portion of Mass Effect… I actually said aloud, “Been here, done this.” Over 20 years later, I vividly remember the thrill of accidentally jumping into alien territory and having no clue how I’d survive my first encounter, let alone find my way home. And my first encounter with the Crystal Planet… terrifying.

Honestly, I have NO idea how they put that much game into a disk so small.


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