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.

Deities, Democracy, and Disaster: Twitch Plays Pokemon

Imagine handing your friend a Gameboy and telling them not to play. Instead, they can only input each and every command you tell them. Now, imagine that another person joins you, and your friend must give equal weight to both

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Your Worst Critic

MTG Theros Heliod God of the Sun

This past weekend I had the pleasure of attending the Magic: The Gathering Theros Prerelease in Roanoke, VA, hosted by the awesome Evan Erwin over at StarCityGames.com. A Prerelease is where a bunch of players gather together before the set

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Making Games in Peru, 5: A Perfect Storm

As the summer draws to a close, so has my time in Lima. For the last three months I’ve been fortunate enough to meet and follow lots of people in the local video games industry as they crunch through games,

Posted in Research, Thoughts

Making Games in Peru, 4: Playing Politics

Ever since its hackerish roots, the game development community in Peru has had an ambiguous relationship with the government. Back in the day, when the community was just coming together it was built heavily on lax regulations regarding intellectual property

Posted in Research, Thoughts

Making Good Things: Some Comments on Independent Games

As a former lead game design for Magic: The Gathering, I was recently invited to serve as a featured curator for the analog side of Boston Festival of Independent Games.  Over the course of this process—as well as in the

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Feed the Birds, Tuppence a Bag

This kind of goes back a ways. Hang tight. Almost three years ago, the staff at the Game Lab (then GAMBIT) decided we wanted to try to allocate some time to developing little game projects together that had no real

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Making Games in Peru, 3: A Game of Risk

In strictly economical terms, there shouldn’t be a Peruvian gaming industry. The right conditions aren’t there: skills are hard to acquire, financing is not readily available, and much better financial returns can be secured by looking elsewhere in the economy.

Posted in Research, Thoughts

Making Games in Peru, 2: Finding a Place in the Global Industry

As recently as a decade ago, one would have been hard pressed to say there’d be a promising future for the gaming industry in Peru, or elsewhere in Latin America. Success stories were short lived, and post mortems would routinely

Posted in Research, Thoughts

That Time I Escaped from Alcatraz

Thank you, Russ Enlow. There are so many horror stories from American gym classes, filled with shaming, and disgusting power dynamics, and negligent supervision, but not so for me. I know, I’m lucky. In my game studies circles I’m often

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Game Discs as Skeuomorphs

A skeuomorph is something designed to look like another object or material. Sometimes the intention is to signal exclusivity, like fake leather. In digital design, they are often used to make user interfaces more intuitive by referencing familiar concepts. It’s

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