Games can be beneficial or harmful, but literacy always wins

GTA V review 3

Recently, industry icon Warren Spector wrote a piece for GamesIndustry International about media effects. In it, he looked at the current state of the never-ending debate about whether games cause violent behaviour, and, more generally, whether games have measurable adverse effects on players. Over the course of decades, this debate has taken many forms. Countless… Continue reading

From Doom to Dishonored, considering the firstperson shooter’s various waveforms

hocking-waveform

Over the past several years, I’ve spent much of my professional life working on firstperson shooters in different capacities, and have spent a good deal of my gaming time playing them. In striving to better understand the FPS, I have tried to develop some formal tools to allow me and the teams I work with to discuss and compare different aspects of various shooters. One of the tools I’ve used in the past is a lens for examining the experiential curve – or waveform – of an FPS.

High scores are all very well, but can a singleplayer game ever really be beaten or finished?

Singleplayer column

My experience tells me that there are two kinds of singleplayer gamer: there are those who declare they have finished a game when they’re done with it, and those who declare that they have beaten it. I believe this confusing dichotomy between ‘finishers’ and ‘beaters’ illuminates a weakness in our ability to formally discuss singleplayer games in a way that adequately describes the feelings they provide to audiences of entertainment and culture.