David Brownman

Posts Tagged "videogames"

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    A Few More of my Favorite Things

    In my advanced age, I've found myself with the time and inclination to consume a lot of media. As part of that, I feel like I have am obligation to share the best things I experienced in the past year with you, the loyal reader. I wrote a similar article last year, but in case this is your first time (welcome!), I'll run through the rules for how media qualifies for the coveted "Davy" award:

    • media qualifies for the list for the calendar year during which I finish it for the first time
    • winners are picked based on what I enjoyed most, not what is objectively "the best". You probably wouldn't rank stuff the same way, but that's okay. This is my list, not yours
    • if something is critically acclaimed and I'm just getting around to watching it, it probably won't win. Sorry, The West Wing

    With that under our belts, let's dive in!

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    • boardgames
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    • lookback
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    • videogames

    A Few of My Favorite Things

    Editor's Note: This was originally written to go out on Dec 31 but it was delayed. Nevertheless, it's written as if it was posted then.

    As 2016 draws to a close, it's a convenient time to look back on the last 12 months to some of the media I've enjoyed the most this past year. It might have been a tire fire as far as politics and celebrity deaths go, but there are a lot of metrics trending in the right direction.

    On a personal level, I started getting into tracking what I read, watched, and played in earnest this year. In an effort to share the fruits of that labor, I thought I'd make a year-end list of some of my favorites. This endeavor is inspired in no small part by Viticci's list of a similar nature. Though my picks weren't necessarily released in 2016, this calendar year is the first time I experienced (or finished) them. It's highly subjective, but hopefully there's interests we have that overlap.

    Let's get to it!

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    • videogames
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    FTL: A Blend of Narrative and Gameplay

    All right captain, strap in. The mantis boarding party is on its way and our shields can only hold up for so long. Our drone control is damaged and a fire in the medbay is causing issues. What do we do?

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    • play
    • videogames

    Take You To the Candy Box

    There's been a recent surge in popularity of a relatively unknown genre of game called the incremental game. These games start small and gradually increase some value to incredibly large numbers. The prime example of this is called Cookie Clicker. In it, you (unsurprisingly) click the cookie. This affords you currency with which you can buy items that click the cookie for you, increasing your cookies per second. Eventually, you end up with multiple trillions of cookies which help you buy absurdly large items. That's the whole game; start little, get big. New cookie clickers typically have one of two responses: "you just click? This is the dumbest game ever" or "holy crap, I hope I'm not susceptible to carpal tunnel because I'm going to be clicking a lot. It's uncommon for a game's core mechanic to be that polarizing, so we're going to take a gander at a precursor of the genre using Church's Formal Abstract Design Tools.

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    • play
    • videogames

    Habbo You Tell Me How to Act

    Anyone who's played a game with children knows that rules, much like a pirate's code, are mostly "guidelines". However, these games (even when played between children) are not without structure. Instead, children tend to follow unspoken adaptions of rule sets that allow for flexibility and argument. (Hughes p. 509) In a world where all social cues and pretext are dropped (where, like children, we can only judge people from their actions (both vocal and physical)), the rules of conversation and social decorum are totally different, as seen in Habbo Hotel. Nevertheless, there's a new set of codes that dictate how interactions should happen and they have some fascinating parallels to real social interaction.

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