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 5 – Dealing with death

Elton John and Tim Rice got it wrong. Life in videogames is far less of a circle and more of a revolving door. Fortunately, today’s instalment of RKD’s 2010 retrospective series suggests a ‘meaningful’ trend in the way our virtual deaths are handled.

Tristan: 2010 seemed to be a year that developers began to feel comfortable allowing the death of their protagonists to mean more than a simple ‘retry’ screen.

It’s not that main characters haven’t been sent to their graves as part of the core plots of games before, it seems though that now they’re doing so more often and in more gameplay-based ways (rather than through cutscene exposition). It’s a sign that videogames are moving further beyond their arcade, coin swallowing roots towards being a medium in which death is something that can finally be examined, rather than simply getting in the way of a speedrun. Continue reading →

Jan 11

RKD on… 2010: Part 4 – Portable preferences

Things You Thought You’d Never Say a Decade Ago: “Who needs to play games on bulky hardware, when a simple phone will do?” Today’s chapter in RKD’s ongoing 2010 retrospective series is one that appropriately fits neatly in the palm of your hand.

Tristan: 2010 was a year in which traditional handheld gaming died for me.

Harry: You finally stopped playing your vintage Game & Watch systems? 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 2 – ‘Iteration’ vs. ‘innovation’

From “meh” to “ooh!”, in part deux of our 2010 retrospective series, RKD dons its pseudo game designer cap in an attempt to quantify and qualify the freshmakers of last year: the games that didn’t feel like “more of the same”.

Warning: It’s only natural if, after reading through our not-at-all biased diatribe below, you feel that VVVVVV and Super Meat Boy are the only noteworthy things to have come out of 2010. Because it’s totally, totally true.

Harry: 2010 was definitely one of those gaming years dominated by sequels: it’s hard to argue differently, with the top guns in most “Best of” lists being Mass Effect 2, Red Dead Redemption and Super Mario Galaxy 2, among others. Of course, then we have to ask: has any videogame year not been dominated by sequels?

This reliance on yearly iteration can understandably be a frustrating thing… but it can also inspire the independent and rebellious. 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 →

Oct 10

Toddler Games: What we’re playing

It’s not easy being a three year-old. Your motor skills aren’t so hot, your attention span is fairly short, and your understanding of the world is still developing.

You’re not dumb though; you know what you enjoy.

Continue reading →