Weekly 5 – 3/1/13

Weekly5Welcome all to another Weekly 5. We’re going to try something a little bit different this time. Every week I ask Game Lab staff members to send me links to interesting web content they would like to share. I aggregate those links into the Weekly 5 list. To make things a little bit more personal, I’m going to attach the name of the person who sent me the link so that folks get a sense for what different folks are interested in over here at the lab.

1. Sandy Hook Arcade – Philip

Here’s a nice story over at Polygon about a non-profit videogame arcade set up in Newtown CT to help residents there heal from the atrocity that took place last fall. The arcade is set up to be a place for families and the community to come together.

2. Jon Shafer’s At the Gates – Rik

This is a link to a Kickstarter for a game called At the Gates being developed by Jon Shafer. Shafer’s updates to the Kickstarter for his new game, ‘At the Gates’, have been amazing. He’s really opening up his design in ways I’ve not seen other game developers do via Kickstarter. It is a nice example, especially given the crowd sourcing model, of being open about process.

3. CMS Grad First Woman NFL Try-Out – Abe

This is tangentially related to the Game Lab, but CMS Graduate Lauren Silberman is the first woman who will ever try out for the National Football League at a regional combine. She is going to try out as a place kicker, building on her experiences as a collegiate soccer player. When Lauren was a student at CMS, she wrote her graduate thesis on athletes’ use of videogames for training purposes.

4. Impressionist Games – Philip

This is a curious blog post comparing gameplay to impressionist paintings. It is written by Bethesda developer Shane Liesegang, and it is a really interesting read. The basic idea is that our brain puts together patterns and fills in gaps where needed to maintain coherence.

5. To Spill, or Not to Spill, The Beans – Abe

This is a really interesting piece over at Kotaku about the ethics of videogame journalism. Stephen Totilo, writing in reference to the forced announcement of the new Assassin’s Creed  game, talks about the challenges facing journalists because of non-disclosure agreements, many of which are implicit and not contractual. It is another example of the problems that come from the close relationship many developers foster with the journalists who write about the games they make.


Abe Stein is a Research Affiliate at the MIT Game Lab and recently completed his SM in the Program in Comparative Media Studies at MIT, writing about sports videogames. He has authored a number of articles about sports and sports media and is co-editor of the book Sports Videogames. He currently works as an Associate Director of Communications at Wheaton College, in Norton, MA and as a researcher with the eSports company Azubu, and have studied and written about sports media.

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