The Good, The Bad, and The Fun

This is a beautiful article about the benefits Brain Age had for one woman with Multiple Sclerosis. Steven Johnson makes a rather compelling case for the cognitive benefits of modern games with his “Sleeper Curve” concept, but I think it takes a story like the one above to really push the point home. Books and articles espousing the benefits of games are few and far between, but they seem to be on the rise.

…and then ads like this one surface:

Aaaaagh! What the fuck is wrong with you people?! Hitman is a great series of games, with Hitman 2 being my favorite. They’re great because of the open-ended logic puzzles, the many creative and different ways to achieve one objective. The fact that the objective is to kill is almost beside the point. It serves the drama a little bit, and the backstory, but doesn’t really have all that much to do with the experience of playing the game. In the game, you spend at most three seconds per level actually killing someone. The rest of the time is spent observing guard movement patterns, sneaking and plotting, trying to find the chinks in the armor through which to slip unnoticed. That is the experience of playing Hitman – creative intent and skillful execution. One of the greatest gaming experiences I’ve ever had was in Hitman 2, having to walk, slowly and patiently, across a huge stretch of open ground because running arouses suspicion. Or having to turn one’s head to away to avoid being recognized. Great stuff.

…and then some marketing goobers get their hand on the concept, and try to capitalize on the current anti-game furor with that “edgy” piece of drivel. You’re not helping the cause, guys. Knock it off! What good will it do you to advertise if no retailers will sell your games? *sigh*

Finally, go play Toribash. God, it’s enjoyable.

Tune Project Update # 5

So, here’s most everything working the way I want:


Prototype D

If you want this to work, you’ll have to copy this DLL into your C:\Program Files\Virtools Web Player 3.5\buildingblocks directory, overwriting the (broken) one that’s there. This is a known bug, but apparently the fix didn’t make it into the web player version that’s currently available from www.virtools.com. Sad. For me. And everyone.

*Sigh* Oh, Virtools, you push me down the stairs time and again but I always come crawling back to your stern, drunken justice.

Anyhow, I think this is a pretty neat toy to fiddle with as-is. Now to make a game of it!

PS. if you have any great ideas about how to integrate the various variables and sliders into a gameplay progression I’m all, ah, eyes ;).