October 6th, 2011
Gamification (yes, I went there) and using game mechanics for social good is certainly a vocal (if controversial) trend in both the cross-media and traditional gaming communities, and while such active groups like Games for Change and the Gameful network look to bringing forth social change through game creation on a global and group scale, few of these initiatives have looked to the holistic well-being of individuals as the locus of change and betterment. Then there’s the complete opposite focus of several systems that use online game mechanics rendered to create offline actions: “gamey” to-do lists aimed only at individuals, such as the D&D-inspired iOS app Epic Win, or extemely discrete, invitation-only networks, such as Chore Wars.
That’s where the Mindbloom Life Game comes in, a freemium “life game” that significantly modernizes and amps up the cardboard collage “motivation board” I created for myself in a very rare moment of creative craftiness. Launched September 27, Mindbloom is a browser-based “lifehack” where users grow a virtual tree by setting up and completing motivational Actions and sharing bits of Inspiration in seven general life areas, such as Creativity, Career, Lifestyle, and more. Read more »
February 3rd, 2011
Film noir is a pretty specific genre, a throwback to the 1940s and 1950s, when femme fatales and damsels alike were all “dames” and private eyes wore standard-issue fedoras and trenchcoats. But really, what is it about the genre that continues to appeal to writers, readers, filmmakers, and movie buffs? Perhaps there’s something in the dark humor, unrelenting cynicism, the draw of the criminal underbelly, and the hard-boiled detective antihero that drive the genre to continue to draw fans almost a century later.
This week, I offer two point-and-click flash game series that are inescapably, classically noir but still modern reinterpretations in a pixellated form. Read more »
January 23rd, 2011
I’ve always been impressed by some of the Flash-based games out there. Their accessibility, both in terms of price and platform (iPhones notwithstanding), make the format a good venue for independent game designers and writers that just want to “get something out there.”
So, every now and then, I’d like to send some love to these indie designers and highlight their games. I’m not going to pretend that these are new, or that I’ve got the scoop on these. But, there are a lot of unfortunate games out there, and sometimes it can be hard to find the gems.
This week, I bring you three unusual Flash games. Read more »
January 10th, 2011
I’ve been writing pretty steadily over at ARGNet, and I have to admit that writing for the ARG and transmedia industries is completely unlike any of the other writing that I’ve done in the past, both personally and professionally. It’s a very delicate balancing act to reveal enough about a game to give readers a sense of what the game is about, while also keeping the game secret enough so as not to spoil everything.
It’s not easy, and it honestly causes me a fair amount of anxiety whenever I write a trailhead article to entice people to a new alternate reality game or transmedia experience. After all, a “normal journalist” would, of course, go after the scoop. I was trained to break the most controversial news as quickly as possible and publish (almost) everything a source tells me, but that’s not always the best thing for the gamers, the producers, and the game itself.
Plus, everyone would be extremely mad at me. Extremely. Read more »
January 7th, 2011
So, after neglecting my own blog for quite some time (mostly spending my time writing for ARGNet), I decided to port over to a new site and really get down to business. The posts dated before this one were previously published at a free blogspot account.
Of course, you might say, “Jesus, don’t you write enough over there?” And I guess you’d be right, but I’m a writer, and sometimes we like to not have editors, even when they’re great ones, which they are.
And besides, I like stuff other than ARGs, believe it or not.
Please stay tuned. This is very much a work in progress.