Line On Sierra: King’s Quest I, Part 1

Line On Sierra: King’s Quest I, Part 1

Between 1983 and 1998, Sierra On-Line released an absurd number of adventure games. Recently, GOG.com had a package deal on a major subset of them: the four classic series that shared the “Quest” brand. These games alone constitute a seriously prolific output over the course of fifteen years. Mind you, the focus of this project […] more…
Dear Miss Bonelihearts: Morrigan and the Scrubs

Dear Miss Bonelihearts: Morrigan and the Scrubs

Oh damn, looks like I got some more search traffic since the last time I did this! The time has come once again to answer the pressing queries of people who mash stuff into Google to get to my site. I do this for the people. what becomes of your charecter after he travels through […] more…
Travel of Various Kinds

Travel of Various Kinds

I have a thing up at Nightmare Mode! It’s called How our perception of space in games changes depending on our maps. It’s an expansion of one of the pieces of the “Steps and Leaps” series that I’d been planning before I was very flatteringly invited to join up with the NM relaunch, along with a […] more…
Dear Miss Bonelihearts

Dear Miss Bonelihearts

People come to my site via Google for all kinds of reasons, be it wanting to see Fenris naked, intense fury at having played through Limbo, or wanting to see Isabela naked. Every once in a while, though, someone lands at my joint with a search string that suggests deeper questions in need of an answer. In […] more…
Your First Steps

Your First Steps

When did you take your first steps in a game? Do you remember? My first steps were in Freddy’s Rescue Roundup, a plinky little Lode Runner clone that shipped with my parents’ first home computer. It was the first videogame I remember playing. You walked to pick up little chickens, because you’re a chicken thief I guess, and […] more…
Capricious Nature

Capricious Nature

The Futile Rebellions of Fereldan Do you accept the role given to you, or do you try to escape it? Even when you try, can you escape the way your role shaped you? The question is salient for a videogame character stumbling into a typical save-the-world story. It’s also a question that lies at the […] more…
Playing Hard to Get

Playing Hard to Get

I have not been fully honest with you. I’ve put off addressing an elephant in the room, and it’s got to do with objectification. In my last post, I talked about the ways that different difficulty types can express personality. I gave these types cute little titles, like A Hard Read or High Maintenance. Of course, […] more…
Difficulty Factors as Character Traits

Difficulty Factors as Character Traits

If difficulty is one of the things a game can use to make characters interesting, it’s worth asking just what difficulty communicates. For one thing, difficulty isn’t just one-dimensional. There are different kinds of difficulty, and not all of them are difficult for every player. I may love both Wrex and Nami, but I’m fairly […] more…
Sweeping Exits and Offstage Lines

Sweeping Exits and Offstage Lines

I spent a long time trying to figure out Harvest Moon: A Wonderful Life. It had an unusually deep simulation with a lot of random variables, so I dug through a lot of FAQs to figure out what the hell was going on. This being the work of Harvest Moon fans, the FAQs tended to editorialize about […] more…
Difficult Personalities

Difficult Personalities

Every medium has its own ways of expressing character. Novels have internal monologues and an unmatched power to convey a character’s inner life. Theatre  has body language, voice, and physical presence; film has the close-up and the subtle emotional expression that comes with it. Games get fragments of these capabilities, technology willing, but they also have […] more…
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