Steven Poole

Why do games like OlliOlli have the power to physically move us, even when it’s pointless?

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at 12:30pm March 31 2014

Skateboarding is something I’ve never done. If God had meant us to travel that way, he would have given us vulcanised rubber wheels for feet. But a few clumsily negotiated levels into Vita’s lo-fi 2D abstraction of the sport, OlliOlli, something clicks and I am nailing landings and catching gargantuan air, bro, or whatever skaters…

Is Call Of Duty: Ghosts ‘inappropriate’ for Christians? We investigate

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at 12:30pm March 5 2014

An anthropologist friend recently told me about a London youth group run by a Christian faith school where the assembled teenagers liked nothing more than to play the new Call Of Duty. This pained the group leader, who suggested that the game was ‘inappropriate’. Apparently, it would have been fine to play FIFA, but not…

Blackbar and Device 6 turn working to access digital content into an artform

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at 12:00pm February 5 2014

Notwithstanding the planet-wide marketing jizzfest over gamification, sometimes things that aren’t videogames are too much like videogames. Lately, for example, I have been enormously irritated by the fact that one of my favourite magazines has changed the way its iPad app works, all but destroying its usability. The New Yorker app used to present its…

Why we should be more confident talking about games we haven’t played

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at 12:00pm January 13 2014

Torture in videogames, runs one argument, is too casual. The rapid, sadistic hurting of a recalcitrant enemy in your average military shooter is the gory equivalent of pressing a button on a vending machine that dispenses information. Cumulatively, such scenes also reinforce the highly dubious view that torture works. So in order to make us…

Touchscreen violence is still relatively new, but why are developers wary of exploiting its full potential?

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at 02:00pm December 12 2013

This month I have mainly been shooting vast quantities of men in the face. That would make it a perfectly ordinary month were it not for the fact that I’ve been doing so on two portable electronic devices that a decade ago would have seemed like futuristic sci-fi mockups for a high-budget movie. The contrast…

Minimalist, high-art Dots is smug, snide, smirking and has a viscous smarm that exudes from every pixel

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at 12:00pm November 12 2013

Some games imply a world rather than showing one. When I play the popular mobile game Dots, I envision a smooth, futuristic world where the game is solemnly played all day by sprightly and tanned pensioners dressed in tailored white linen, stroking their Dots-running phablets while padding around barefoot in spacepod homes built entirely of…

On The Last Of Us and videogames’ apparent ‘Citizen Kane moment’

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at 12:00pm October 15 2013
Citizen Joel

You can imagine how thrilled I was at the prospect of getting my hands on what everyone on the Internet was assuring me was videogames’ ‘Citizen Kane moment’. Although I ridiculed that cliché several years ago, I now understand – having done slightly more scholarly research – that the phrase ‘Citizen Kane moment’ is in…

What has changed in 20 years of videogaming? The portrayal of dogs, that’s what

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at 02:00pm September 13 2013

“I’m sure we can all agree that the reversal of Call of Duty’s historic cynophobia is the real story here.”

Why you really can’t make a videogame of Aliens

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at 04:09pm July 15 2013
Why you really can't make a videogame of Aliens

Or, indeed, any war film that’s more about tension than shooting, writes Steven Poole.

Apple rejects the notion that games are the place for comment, but it’s built right into the medium

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at 12:21pm June 3 2013

Regular columnist Steven Poole considers Apple’s contradictory attitude to games on the App Store.

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