The life of a bomb disposal expert is probably, in truth, not all it’s cracked up to be. The words conjure the image of exciting James Bond-style last second saves, with lives hanging in the balance, where one tiny mistake, one slip could end it all. But the reality is, one suspects, rather less dramatic, and probably involves an awful lot of tedium. Rules that must be followed, boxes that must be checked, paperwork that must be filled out. Perhaps punctuated by the occasional explosion, yes, but only under carefully controlled circumstances. Read the rest of this entry »
Monthly Archives: June 2015
For this entry (and large parts of the previous), I have handed over to my brother Iain. He’s been an invaluable part of the project since the beginning, and I’m sure he will continue to be as long as it goes on.
We’ve touched on the question of difficulty numerous times in the past, but this seems like an appropriate moment to really focus in. Let’s think of one simplified spectrum on which to view the possibilities of games here. At one end there is the purely narrative, telling a story with any player action being solely to make story choices, building on all of the existing powers of other storytelling media and introducing elements only interactivity can provide (see the Head Over Heels entry). At the other end there is a pure test of skill with no narrative whatsoever. That’s difficult to imagine in practise but, say, something that tests your reaction time to a beep and just prints out your time might get close. Games of skill can be about setting up a chance to learn and develop a relatively simple ability and apply it in a more complex environment and gain the satisfaction of progress and feeling and seeing one’s abilities get better. Self-improvement in accessible miniature. Read the rest of this entry »
Maybe it’s the lack of historical distance, but it doesn’t seem that video games have ever been subject to one defining technological change, like the addition of sound or colour to film. Perhaps it’s the creation of interactive games themselves that’s that moment in a wider history. Generally, though, for video games change comes about as a series of small steps and jumps, and it’s only when looking at a group of those together that here looks fundamentally transformed from there. Read the rest of this entry »