Minecraft


At Play in the Fields of Creepers

My daughters recently discovered Minecraft’s creative mode. For some reason I just can’t understand, they prefer “building whatever you want with infinite resources” over the more traditional “digging and stacking while being stalked by zombies and creepers.” It might have something to do with the creative mode’s ability to fly. Over the weekend, I set…


Winners Without Losers, Games Without End

A few weeks ago, I wrote of the glory and beauty of victory conditions and how, if your game doesn’t have them, it’s not really a game: it’s a toy. I wrote it. I believed. And I still believe it. And yet today, I want to look at games without true victory conditions that are…


RIP Buddy, the Minecraft Dog

I like dogs. Not enough to own one (when they breed one that uses a litterbox, I’ll consider it), but I love the idea of the faithful, shaggy-haired companion who greets me with a joyful bark, plays with the kids in the backyard, and protects the house by shooting bees out of its mouth. So…


Virulent Stories

I’ve been thinking again about player stories in video games. No, not the soaring epics crafted by the masters at Bioware and Valve, but the funky little stories that players tell about their own, specific experiences while playing games. As I’ve said before, these stories have value; these stories help sell games — but only…


Zen and the Art of Immersive Gameplay

“The world is nothing but an illusion,” says the stoner mystic. “Reality is all in our own heads, man.” While his very words force me to start flicking his ears and ask, “Is this an illusion? How about this?” his straw-man argument does bring up a good point regarding games and immersion. I know the…


Games, Stories, and Freedom – Part 2

Last week, I rambled on about video games and the stories they help players create. If you haven’t read that piece yet, I’d encourage you to do so, since this week’s post is a bunch of sidebars and footnotes that one. Frankly, it won’t make much sense without the context. No? You just want a…


Games, Stories, and Freedom

Earlier this week, I mentioned the upcoming sandbox MMO Salem, and that I found the idea of such a beast rather appealing. Not just because I like the idea of wearing hats with buckles and ganking noobs in a Lovecraftian colonial America, but because of the game’s story potential. “My, what a vague and somewhat…


Salem MMO Weighs Less Than a Duck

What’s this? Hmm… Salem MMO = Minecraft + Colonial America + Lovecraft + Permadeath. Okay. You have my attention. The video interview from PC Gamer has all the details, but there’s a good overview of the project at Worlds in Motion: Publisher Paradox Interactive announced Salem (tentative title), an upcoming free-to-play MMORPG that will feature…


The Five Stages of a Creeper Attack

Stage 1: Denial No. Not a creeper. Not here. Not now. No! Not my life-sized replica of Jabba’s palace, complete with custom Carbonite Han and Slave Leia. Stage 2: Anger Okay, then. It’s on! You come into my house and threaten to blow up my stuff? I’ve got a bow here with a dozen arrows,…