Blog Archives

A brief thought piece written by a member of the staff, a student, or a friend of the lab. These are meant to be short, digestible provocations, intended to give a glimpse at issues we’ve been thinking about.

An Analysis Of Building In Fortnite

The following guest article is by current MIT Game Lab student Sam Van Cise and is crossposted at his site and Gamasutra.

In the wake of the meteoric rise of Fortnite, many people ask how it compares to PUBG, the extremely popular predecessor in the battle royale genre. While many will not make a claim as to which is “harder” or “more skillful”, the question is an interesting one and worth exploring. Most people defer to saying “Fortnite has building which makes it completely different” and stop the comparison there. Some will go as far to say that it changes the battle royale genre entirely, adding a completely new skill to master. Recently in his appearance on the H3 Podcast, Ninja (the Twitch super-star) has made the claim that building in Fortnite creates a higher skill gap between players, and ultimately a more “skillful game”.

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Using game design to discover your potential

Game Lab affiliate researcher Konstantin Mitgutsch will be with us in May to discover our superpowers! He is running an innovative and creative workshop that uses game design and play to help participants understand their skills and abilities: their superpowers!

Posted in Research, Thoughts

A Perspective on PAX East and the Escape Room Game Jam

As a fledgling graduate student in media studies, much of my time is spent doing readings and work for class. Much of this involves catching up on the literature and history of the field, learning about related disciplines and media,

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The Sudden Fandom of Amiibo; Or, “I’m Really Feeling It!”

A couple months ago I found myself in the best version of a familiar scenario: in line at my local game store early on a long-awaited launch day. I was picking up Super Smash Bros. For Wii U for the

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Emotion and Play in This War of Mine

I don’t typically review games. If anyone asks me for a specific recommendation for a game based on themes or gameplay, I gladly contribute suggestions, but I almost never recommend a game to absolutely everyone. This War of Mine has

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We Are Living Our Lives: Persona and World-building

Heads up: There are some minor Persona 4/Persona 4 Golden and Persona 3 Portable spoilers in the images below, but much more so in the sites from whence they came. You’ve been warned! I have so many games to play.

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Gamer Identity

Recently in a course I’m assisting, I asked the students to go around the room and choose which one of Richard Bartle’s (1996) player types they identify most strongly with. Bartle’s types include the achiever, the explorer, the killer, and

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On Competition

Originally published at the author’s blog, Stay Classy, on April 9th. Patrick Miller made a blog post today called “Fighting games aren’t just about competition” in which he says some on-point and perceptive things. I suggest giving it a read

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Baseball’s Curious Geography

I recently stumbled upon a link to the above map that shows which MLB team Facebook page has the most “likes” on a per county basis. On the surface, the map depicts much of what you might expect: the regions where teams are geographically located have the most fans. For example, New England seems to love the Red Sox. New York, half of Connecticut, and parts of NJ and Pennsylvania seem to like the Yankees. The south, with the exception of parts of Florida, seem to like the Braves.

Interesting though it is, let’s be clear about what the map shows. It’s a breakdown of Facebook “likes,” so we’re only talking about people in those counties who are 1) on Facebook and 2) interested in “liking” a baseball page. I’m a Red Sox fan, I’m on Facebook, but I don’t officially “like” the Red Sox page according to the language and mechanics of Facebook.

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Saintsception

Originally published at Stay Classy in February

I want to talk about how Saints Row 4 is a game, about games, about games. If you’re interested in hearing more about this topic, feel free to join me after the cut. Definite (though not Earth-shattering — puns!) spoilers for Saints Row 4 and potentially for Saints Row: the Third ahead.

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