Video Games I Liked in 2012

2012 was the year that I finally got back into gaming in a big way, ditching my shitty laptop for a mid-range gaming PC. Suddenly, I found myself able to play the dozens of games I had missed over the past few years. I uncovered conspiracies in Deus Ex: Human Revolution. I beat up thugs in Batman: Arkham Asylum. I stabbed Templars in Assassin’s Creed. But I also managed to play some games from 2012 itself. Here are some of the 2012 games I enjoyed the most, in no particular order: Continue reading “Video Games I Liked in 2012”

The Ten Biggest Pop Culture Disappointments of 2012

Looking back at the year’s disappointments has become somewhat of a tradition for this blog (if you can count doing something for two years running as a “tradition”). While I’ve made a post about my favourite TV shows of the year, and I’ve got posts about my favourite music and video games of the year on the way, I think it’s worthwhile to remember some of this year’s disappointments. Some had the potential to be good but fell short. Others were just plain terrible. So without further ado, here are the ten biggest pop culture disappointments of 2012. Continue reading “The Ten Biggest Pop Culture Disappointments of 2012”

Fun Isn’t the Problem

Why do you play video games?

No, that’s not a rhetorical question. I’m seriously asking: why do you play video games? If you were to blurt out a response immediately, it would probably be something along the lines of “Because they’re fun.” But if you thought about it a little harder, you might think about what makes the games you play “fun” or whether they were even “fun” at all.

James Portnow and co. made a similar point in last week’s Extra Credits, entitled “Beyond Fun,” which discusses many of the same topics as an Errant Signal episode from a few months ago, “An Aimless Diatribe on Fun.” Both Portnow and Chris Franklin of Errant Signal claim that thinking of video games purely in terms of “fun” is limiting; instead, we should be discussing them in terms of the wide range of feelings that they can inspire in us. It’s a worthy goal, and one that I support to an extent. But I don’t think that talking about “fun” is as limiting as it may seem, provided we use a wider definition of “fun” than Portnow suggests. The problem here is one of semantics, not of fundamental design philosophy. Continue reading “Fun Isn’t the Problem”