May 11

Doing things with critics


Of all the points raised by Daniel Cook in his naïvely provocative essay, “A blunt critique of game criticism”, perhaps the most illustrative is his assumption that a critique can be playtested. After publishing his “long-boiling” critique of game criticism, Cook asked with apparent credulousness for feedback in order to perfect a second draft of his screed. Cook has embraced this feedback, which has generally been of differing levels of offence and anger (unsurprising when those who are asked for feedback are labelled ‘parasites’ and their work ‘ignorant blather’) with an act of innocent constructiveness. We’re all in this together, this process of testing, and the anger of those who have given feedback will eventually result in a better critique. For science. Continue reading →

Jan 11

RKD on… 2010: Part 6 – Social constructs

What a beautiful day! The sun is shining, the barbecues are sizzling, and the local drunks are congregating for their annual meet. Meanwhile, the RKD 2010 retrospective would rather stay indoors and talk some more about games. Pfft, social judgement… who needs it?

Fraser: 2010 seemed to be the year that most people started to have an opinion about games

In the past, I found that any mention of videogames in the company of people who didn’t identify as “gamers” would be met with a pained expression and a brief awkward silence. But in 2010, I met people right across the demographic map with at least partially formed ideas about how games are significant and where they might be going. Continue reading →

Jan 11

RKD on… 2010: Part 3 – There’s something about Minecraft

With both the highs and lows of last year already (somewhat) covered, the next instalment of RKD’s 2010 retrospective series tackles a game that needs no introduction. Seriously. It’s right there in the title of the post.

Fraser: What will be remembered most from 2010? Perhaps Minecraft, although it has a ways to go before it becomes the kind of game that will interest a great number of people as a traditional game, rather than a generator of stories and funny videos.

Tristan: We could just as well fill this post with our favourite Minecraft-related YouTube clips, and it’d say a lot more than we’d ever muster. Continue reading →

Jan 11

RKD on… 2010: Part 1 – The “meh” year that was?

If annual videogame retrospectives were a party, RKD would be that fashionably late arrival who everyone pays attention to because they’ve already exhausted the conversation (and alcohol) for the night. Probably.

Fortunately, this is The Internet. For every day of the upcoming week, the whole RKD crew will be sharing bits of its sweeping generalisations and opinions stated as fact regarding the year that was 2010, along with its bold predictions for the 11.3 months to come. Let’s get this party started… again!

Fraser: I don’t really know where to start, as 2010 seemed like an oddly uneventful year in retrospect.

Harry: I feel 2010 was a bit of a “meh” year too. We need another 1998 or 2004, dangnabbit. Continue reading →

Jun 10

An ornithologist’s guide to E3 2010

As we write, millions of ornithologists around the world prepare to observe the culmination of the world’s largest seasonal migration of birds at the Los Angeles Convention Centre. The event has become a cultural touch-stone for bird-fanciers everywhere, and its importance in the ornithological calendar cannot be understated. The sheer variety of our winged friends on display can be overwhelming to even the most seasoned avian ecologist, let alone the enthusiastic amateur. So, this year, we’ve put together a brief guide to some of our more exciting plumed playmates that you’ll be likely to encounter at E3 2010. Continue reading →

Jun 10

The Best Videogame Podcasts: a Primer

We at RedKingsDream are cursed with double lives. If there were twice as many hours in a day, we might devote half of them to playing and talking about games. But other duties call; with the demands of jobs, education and family, it can sometimes be hard to make time for games.

Lately my days have been divided unevenly between sleep, study, two jobs, meals and occasionally cleaning the house; the spaces between these are spent in monotonous and repetitive train journeys. It leaves little time for games, but I have one way to stay in touch with the culture: podcasts. Continue reading →

May 10

Hell is other players

Part of the reason games make such an interesting topic is because they are so multi-faceted. You can talk about a game as an abstract design, as an individual experience, as a part of a broader culture, as an economic product, as a technical showpiece and many other things besides.

Sometimes it’s not about a game at all; it’s about the people. Continue reading →