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New Video Game’s Second-Person Shooter Mode Features Someone Just Describing Game To You

I’m introducing text adventure games to the students in my online “Video Game Culture and Theory” course. A few years ago, when my son was 11, I made a screencast of him encountering a text adventure game for the first time. My students generally like watching this video, since it gives them an idea of how to play a text-only game. The Onion recently posted a great spoof of a…

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A Pedestal, A Table, A Love Letter: Archaeologies of Gender in Videogame History

A thoughtful, informative article on the importance of Roberta Williams, co-founder of Sierra Online (an adventure game titan from the 1980s). Drawing from both media archaeology and feminist cultural studies, this contribution first outlines the function Roberta Williams serves as a gendered subject of game history. The remainder of the essay is organized as three short, non-chronological vignettes about specific objects and practices in the biography of Roberta Williams. Attention…

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Oregon Trail: How three Minnesotans forged its path

Rawitsch, a lanky, bespectacled 21-year-old with hair well over his ears, was both a perfectionist and an idealist. He started dressing as historical figures in an attempt to win over his students, appearing in the classroom as explorer Meriwether Lewis. By now he’d made it through to the western expansion unit, and he had in mind his boldest idea yet. What he had so far was a board game tracing…

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Dungeons & Dragons & Philosophy

In one of the most compelling chapters, “‘Others play at dice’: Friendship and Dungeons & Dragons,” Jeffery L. Nicholas offers several examples of friendships between characters and players in D&D (as well as friendships from Lord of the Rings, The Princess Bride, A Song of Ice and Fire, and his own life. “One reason Aristotle believes people need friends is that only through friendship can one exercise certain virtues that…

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#Gamergate—and what it means for gaming in education

Gamergate originally began as a hashtag in social media after an independent game developer’s ex-boyfriend made public allegations against her regarding a close relationship between the developer and a journalist in exchange for positive press, which was later proven false. Since then, the controversy has escalated to reveal what many in the gaming industry say is a bias against women in gaming, evidenced not only by death and other malicious…