Archive for November, 2009


Loving Fable II

These words were written just after the release of Fable II on these shores, I was knee-deep in the game and full of wonder – Far Cry 2 had just proved a disapointment and then out of nowhere this strange console RPG changed all my premonitions on the future of the genre.

You’ve travelled far, fought off packs of bandits, beetles and all sorts of nasties, and have the scars to show it. Weary from travel dirtied with grime and blood, you haul your battered hero down the last stretch of road to Oakfield. You blink your eyes, the dreary, grey palette of the bandit-ridden road so suddenly replaced by sparkling green, yellow and blue. Emerald grass glistens in the noon sun, a windmill spins happily in the distance against a clear blue sky. Merry cottages with golden thatch sit at the feet of tidy patches of farmland. Villages tend to chickens at their pens, modest stalls adorn the worn roads. You spy a pub on the other side of the bustling river. A man with at thick west-country accent waves a warm hello to you as you stand, in awe.
“Wow” you may well stop to think, “These people have it so much better off than me”

You may even stop to think, why are you questing on like this anyway, risking life and limb, fighting hordes of generic baddies, putting your own personal safety (and good looks) at risk? Wouldn’t it just be perfect to settle down in Oakfield, buy a farm, get a wife, and spend the rest of your days earning a modest lumberjack’s wage? It’d make a change, wouldn’t it?

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First Meditation

Here follows the first essay I ever did write on gaming philosophy. Its a bit angry, though in mind it was written long before Bioware’s Dragon Age or Mass Effect 2 so probably goes a little harsh on the ‘ole developers. Since I wrote this article it seems games actually have moved slowly in the direction the younger, angrier me wanted them too. Still works as a rough manifesto, though.

The Nature of the GRG, and that it is better known than the RPG

First, a disclaimer! This essay looks at the term “Role-Playing Game” and seeks to explain that really the “Role-Playing” has been lost along the way. That is not to say that the modern RPG is any worse a “game” for it, any less fun, just a different beast. If you happen to love Bioware RPGs I apologise if any of this seems confrontational or, more likely, patronising.  The point is there was once something called “Role-Playing” in RPGs and that it was lost somewhere along the way. I personally think this is a shame, others may not.

Computer RPGs have had a bit of a bad rap. The embarrassing gap between their real world ancestors, most notably their closet relative the pen-on-paper RPG, is well documented. If such documents have yet to pass under your nose, here is the basic gist of the problem:

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I have a blog.

It would appear I am now in possession of a blog. What does this mean? It is hard to say. That philosophy I’ll have to sort out soon.

First things first, games!

In this blog I hope to express the philosophical conundrums and peculiarities my frequent meditations on the subject of computer games leave me with. At times these make take on the form of a games review, at other times somewhat of a games design manifesto.  Like most gamers I have my fair share of opinions regarding the fledgling art-form, I only presuppose to publish them online now I have come to a point where I actually have some coherent, interesting and (hopefully) original things to say. Whenever I stray from this be sure to be horrible to me in the comments section, I would have earnt it.

November 2009
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