…a delightful, charming, fantastic tale with some clever puzzles and a well-realized fantasy world.
So maybe you’ve heard the news. Nintendo doesn’t seem to want people to make Let’s Play videos of their games anymore. If you do, Nintendo would like the ad revenue from its copyrighted content.
You may think this is fair. The core content, after all, is Nintendo’s. I, personally, do not think this is fair. I love me some Let’s Plays. And for numerous reasons: they’re a great way to do long-form critique of a game; they’re a great teaching tool; they’re often entertaining in their own right; and, gosh darnit, a lot of times they inspire me to buy the game.
I almost left a much longer comment on this fantastic Gamasutra piece talking about the history and pedigree of the Let’s Play. But then I realized that there was no better way to say screw-the-man than making this a full post, and sharing some of my favorite LPs with you right here. So join me below the jump for the happy links. Or check out, just for starters, the LP Archive and browse to see if your favorite game is there too.
After the amount of yammering on I’ve done about Star Trek games, I would be remiss to not review Star Trek: The Video Game, based on JJ Abrams’s version of the franchise and bridging (some of) the gap between the 2009 movie and this year’s Star Trek Into Darkness. The game was described at E3 as a “bro-op,” alluding to the highly cooperative nature of the Kirk-and-Spock-centered gameplay the game intends. To adequately explore this, I called on my friend and fellow Trekker Kristine Chester of Fanboy Comics to help protect New Vulcan from Gorn invaders.
Brandon Sheffield, Senior Contributing Editor at Gamasutra and Editor Emeritus of Game Developer magazine, has announced in a recent op-ed that it’s time to retire the word “gamer.” This meme comes up once in a while – don’t call them games, don’t use the word gamer, etc. – always with the same basis. It’s derisive. It minimizes the medium and the hobby. Yadda. These articles, including Sheffield’s, usually leave something out, though: what “gamers” should be called, if they can’t be called “gamers.”
This month’s Culture Clash column is inspired in part by a chronic affliction of mine: every twelve months or so, I undergo a strange frenzy of attention-paying to the work of Ice-Pick Lodge, the inscrutable Russian developer of Pathologic, Cargo!, and The Void. The studio’s website rarely sees substantive updates, but nevertheless I always tend to find something new there – though it rarely is anything about their activities. This time around I found a series of papers and lectures on game development, the translation quality of which was… quite poor.
Still! I like that stuff and it formed the basis of what I have to say in this month’s column. Despite it making complete sense to me, I have a feeling this is one of those installments that will make the eyes of other readers cross. Like Penny Arcade’s Twisp & Catsby comics, I try to only do that once a year or so. Enjoy!
Now you’re thinking with portals … proverbs, and a light show.
Here’s the first article in a planned few-parter on shooters. Think of it as a preamble. To keep my ambition in check for this first installment, I’ll just talk about two shooters in particular that have piqued my interest.