Interaction and Autism: How Games Help

Interaction and Autism: How Games Help

Video games, unlike any other medium, offer the opportunity to help socialize children who have Autism.

(Article published on SaveGame.)

As an educator, I have an interest in researching how video games can help us to better understand learning through interaction, play, and experience. Despite their often negative reputation for being a “waste of time,” video games still provide us with a unique medium of entertainment because they require direct interaction from the player. This aspect introduces a new dimension in how forms of entertainment and media affect us, especially in fields like medicine and psychology.

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Infamous: First Light in the Right Direction

Infamous: First Light in the Right Direction

Why the narrative and voices we are exposed to in games matter.

(Article published on Gameranx.)

There was a point in time where I thought I was immune to the gender of a protagonist in a game or movie. The majority of games I played, unless an RPG that allowed you to build a character, presented a male as the quintessential hero. I didn’t mind. I was young and accepted it.

But a spark ignited when I first saw that Samus, from the Metriod series, was a female. Precipitously, this character meant so much more. For the first time, the vulnerabilities I often felt about being a girl were shed. 


Continue reading “Infamous: First Light in the Right Direction”

2Player: Time to Get Hyped for Destiny

2Player: Time to Get Hyped for Destiny

Without further ado, here is inaugural episode of Ryan Winslett and I’s new podcast hosted by Cinema Blend…. but it’s WRITTEN. Because why not check to see if people actually read anymore, am I right? This week’s focus is on Destiny:

There’s no denying that Destiny is shaping up to be one of the biggest launches of the year, set to arrive on PlayStation and Xbox home consoles on Sept. 9. The PlayStation beta begins this Thursday, with the Xbox crowd joining in on the fun just one week later. In other words, the whole world is about to find out whether or not the folks at Bungie, developers of the Halo series, are able to deliver on their promise to mix first- Continue reading “2Player: Time to Get Hyped for Destiny”

Edible Thoughts: HOW TO PORTAL CAKE… IT’S NOT A LIE! IT’S DELICIOUS

Edible Thoughts: HOW TO PORTAL CAKE… IT’S NOT A LIE! IT’S DELICIOUS

I’ve finally decided to start blogging baking stuff again, mostly because I love to do it and because my kitchen is much larger than the 10sqft I had in my previous residence. So, without further-ado, I present to you the baking section of Thought Process. These are thoughts that are edible… edible thoughts. 

Continue reading “Edible Thoughts: HOW TO PORTAL CAKE… IT’S NOT A LIE! IT’S DELICIOUS”

Clockwork Empires: Victorian Steampunk at its Finest

Clockwork Empires: Victorian Steampunk at its Finest

Victorian dry humor and horror find their way into the gaming universe with Clockwork Empires.

(Article published at Gameranx).

As I sat down to preview Gaslamp’s  Clockwork Empires, I was met by three developers feverishly discussing the Victorian era in all of its opulent historical background. CEO Daniel Jacobsen, Art Director David Baumgart, and Technical Director Nicholas Vining knew their stuff. As an English major I was enthused—sitting in a room of game developers who reminisced on reading Dickens and Tennyson—but I was more intrigued when they told me that all of this was inspiration for their game. Everything from canonical literature, steampunk, ludicrous invention, and even the occult were all used in the game not merely out of the idea of absurdity, but out of an actual historical mindset held in perhaps one of the most long-winded but fascinating literary periods. Continue reading “Clockwork Empires: Victorian Steampunk at its Finest”

Conversations We Should Have: Bioware’s Manveer Heir on Diversity in Video Games

Conversations We Should Have: Bioware’s Manveer Heir on Diversity in Video Games

Bioware’s Manveer Heir discusses the importance of diversity in the development of video games.

(Article published on Gameranx.)

When I first started studying and writing about media and games, discussing diversity within the medium never crossed my mind. I was naïve in my idealism—complacent in ignoring the nuanced bread crumbs that would eventually lead to conversations we should all be having. But this changed when I began to attend industry conferences, a change elicited largely thanks to people like Bioware’s Manveer Heir (a designer currently working on the Mass Effect franchise).

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Ken Levine’s “Narrative Legos”: A World of Infinite Replay GDC 2014

Ken Levine’s “Narrative Legos”: A World of Infinite Replay GDC 2014

Creative mastermind Ken Levine discusses how games have infinite potential in narrative design.

(Article published on Gameranx.)

In a panel at this year’s Game Developers Conference, BioShock’s Ken Levine discussed his aspiring ideas on how to break the mold of linear narratives in game design. His goal? To create a system that allows for infinite replays. In other words, he wants to create a circle that remains unbroken…. without falling into the linear redundancy that he graciously admits games like BioShock often rely on.

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