No Time To Play
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Weekly Links #78

It's no coincidence that at times when I'm not working on games myself, I also can't seem to find many links for the newsletter either, though my selection of sources doesn't change. The human brain works in funny and obvious ways sometimes. And in fact I am working on a game these days, just the tabletop roleplaying kind. But that's another story.

Anyway, this week I caught Emily Short reviewing... an autobiography. Specifically, that of Neil Patrick Harris. How come? Turns out, it's written in CYOA form. What to call it? A serious game it ain't. A regular game then... but it's not fictional. All the open possibilities in new media, and we simply have no words for anything outside a very narrow category of computer-based entertainment.

In any event, the whole story prompted me to tweet this:

You know what gaming needs? Non-fiction games. Documentaries in game form. Coloring books and fine art albums alike.

— Felix (@felixplesoianu) July 8, 2015

and judging from the reactions, I may be onto something.

In other news, over at The Escapist, writes about the obstacles to porting games between PC and consoles. Tl;dr version: business, business, politics, players, marketing. Somehow, we keep finding ways to waste energy and potential...

Last but not least, there's a new blog out there (started in January) covering the history of computer games from the author's personal perspective. The latest post, about Battle Chess, discusses how fluff can be used well to make a game genuinely more interesting, lengthen the playing time and even influence the player's objectives. A lesson most game developers never learned.

Until next time.