Playing a game vs. beating one

Oct. 4th, 2015 17:10
green_knight: (Archer)
[personal profile] green_knight
During the discussion of disability accommodations/adjustments, there was a comment I wanted to pick up upon and then had to a) deal with freelance stuff and b) go out to Kew to take autumn photographs. (It's a law. If you have a camera and the most gorgeous autumn weather imaginable, you must hie thee to a suitable location and take pictures of leaves.)


I've always been somewhat scornful of the idea that chess is a sport. I mean all it involves is sitting in a chair. You need only a minimum amount of dexterity, and you can play chess while instructing someone else to physically move your chess piece with the same results and the chess board is merely a convenient way of manifesting the state of the game; people can - and do - play in their heads.

The idea of e-sports - video games that are billed as 'sports' has baffled me even more, although unlike chess, you can make a point about fast reflexes and mashing buttons at the right time and in the right sequence demanding physical skills.

I'll come back to that.

[personal profile] greatsword wrote:
On the games front, as someone who only eats when people buy games we *love* social gamers. Yes, the tournaments are for the hardcore, but the vast majority of the gaming public is our bread and butter - literally.

My hackles rose immediately. Not because the term 'social gamer' is necessarily derogatory (though often used as such), but because 'social gaming' describes a particular *type* of game, where people collaborate. They're often resource management and -exchange games; very often mobile or browser games, etc etc. And by framing it as 'hardcore vs social' we're coming to the core of my problem with much of 'gaming culture': I'm a gamer, but neither descriptor is appropriate for me.

I do not like social games; and while I play some mobile games they fulfil a different function for me than desktop games; I also play a number of different types of desktop games.

Bioware is one game company that does suggest the easy difficulty setting for those who just want to explore the story, though not in exactly the way you worded it. You might enjoy their games. Twitch games have a twitch culture, but not everyone makes twitch games - because we want to sell to those who enjoy a slower, more thoughtful experience too. I'm sorry you feel unwelcome in the gaming space, but please know that this is not by design of at least a lot of us in the industry. We try to think about the entire potential customer base for each game, and do our best to expand it as much as possible.

This is incredibly good to hear. I've been thinking about what makes games better for me. It's kind of important to me as someone who is designing a game engine: lots of people (I hope) will eventually use my system TO make games, and if there are things I can bake into the application that will make it harder to design non-inclusive games, I'm all for it. Given that there won't be a real-time combat system (I'm still working out what kind of combat system will work for this), it is unlikely that hardcore gamers will flock to it; I'm looking more towards the Twine end of the market.

So here's my personal list of things that make games better (or worse):

Gameplay and more )

So, yes. For me, a 2h uninterrupted gaming session is a rare thing. On the other side of the scale there's a student learning to play Dota 2
... and here she is again, after 93 hours logged.

Time Investment )

The idea that you have to be good at something to enjoy it feels pretty toxic overall. (See also [ profile] ursulav's "permission to make bad art") If no-one gets hurt (which when it comes to physical exercise and pastimes involving animals is not a given), then people making bad art don't diminish great artists, people jogging in the park don't take anything away from marathon runners, and people who sing in the shower don't ruin the whole genre of opera.

Which brings me to the point of this post. Let me start off by saying that I don't think the words 'game' and 'sport' are the best, or even the most useful terms here, but I have no better ones, and I want to get on with the concept.

Games you play and games you have to beat )

So that's something that I hadn't realised until I started writing this post: maybe the reason that I don't get on with some video games isn't that I'm bad at them, it's that they want a different _type_ of person sitting in front of them than I am. And while you can change the rules for a boardgame easily (and I have done so in almost every instance) and decide to play chess with a handicap or replay a particular situation or solve a puzzle someone else has set, video games - unless the designer provides those settings - tie you into playing as you're told to. Large and open-world games and games that you can finish in a myriad of ways allow you to play (do this quest first, use those kinds of troops); games that have one single solution (first you beat this enemy then you get the key to that door) and games that you need to be on top form to survive in _disallow_ play, and you can't take your ball and go home.

I'm still not happy with 'games vs. sport' - I am still looking for a better term, but it might be useful TO have a term for 'video games you need to beat and that can only be played in one way' vs. 'game that allows you to experiment.'

Punches the air

Oct. 4th, 2015 13:37
alex_beecroft: A blue octopus in an armchair, reading a book (Default)
[personal profile] alex_beecroft

Yes! So, my father is in hospital awaiting a heart operation and I’m rushing up there every day to try to help him to understand what’s going on (he has dementia and doesn’t remember these things – which makes being in hospital a terrifying experience). Despite this, I have just finished Heart of Cygnus 5. Yes! 102,080 words of space-opera-y goodness in which the entire galaxy is about to find out that it was a bad idea to try to keep my middle-aged female space captain down.

Is she a late-blooming Mary Sue? Quite possibly. Do I care? I do not. It’s taken me this long to realize that I have a feminine side at all (because it’s a feminine side that wants to PUNCH DRAGONS.) And there are not that many of those kinds of female characters around, so why not?

Basically: Yes! I have finished a book! Now I can start planning the Minoan m/m thing I’ve got to do by March. I’m looking forward to that :) Huzzah!

Mirrored from Alex Beecroft - Author of Gay Historical and Fantasy Fiction.

Social Media: Threat or Menace?

Oct. 4th, 2015 06:36
supergee: (neuro)
[personal profile] supergee
The Times Book Review leads off with two books about the evil of on-screen communication, as if people could not dehumanize and bully one another face-to-face. Since I may have saved my life many years ago by discovering a communications medium (fanzines) that enabled me to get to know people without having social skills, I have my doubts. It's a disability issue.

Beyond PETA

Oct. 4th, 2015 06:08
supergee: (herd)
[personal profile] supergee
Man beaten to death in India for allegedly eating beef

Thanx to Metafilter

(no subject)

Oct. 3rd, 2015 20:43
snarp: small cute androgynous android crossing arms and looking very serious (Default)
[personal profile] snarp
Anyway I've decided that SUniverse's John Webster was actually Pearl. Jacobean period was a rough one for her.

#pearl in her darkest hour: writes a play #the duchess of malfi

(no subject)

Oct. 3rd, 2015 20:29
snarp: small cute androgynous android crossing arms and looking very serious (Default)
[personal profile] snarp
“But I don’t have anything against squares! I like all basic shapes.” He’s going to try and make friends with Yellow Diamond, too, I can feel it in the place where my heart’s supposed to be.

send lawyers guns and money

Oct. 3rd, 2015 14:53
boxofdelights: (Default)
[personal profile] boxofdelights
Thanks to [personal profile] supergee for pointing to The Big Business of Internet Bigotry, by Arthur Chu, about "going viral". Chu says there are compensations for becoming the object of internet hate:
Every instance of business-damaging PR will generate a backlash of people who, because they see the people who disapprove of you as on the opposite “side” from them, will pay you more than enough to compensate for your loss.

Seriously? Every instance?

I know it's easy to go from "This is what happened to me" to "This is what happens." Even easier to generalize from "This is what happened in the stories that I am aware of." But, although going viral on the internet is not one of my Mastermind subjects, I can easily think of people who have become targets of internet hate, have lost a lot as a result, and have not received piles of compensatory cash: Adria Richards. Justine Sacco. Lindsey Stone. I imagine that this is a lot more common than what Arthur Chu thinks is the norm.
redbird: apricot (food)
[personal profile] redbird
[ profile] cattitude and I went to the Bellevue Farmers' Market this morning. One of the vendors sells salmon: fresh, Indian-style smoked, or lox, and they identify the kind of salmon they started with. We were chatting with them in the course of buying some sockeye lox, and [ profile] cattitude observed that a lot of people around here don't know what lox is.

Woman standing nearby: How can people not know what lox is?
Me: A lot of people think lox just means smoked salmon.
Her: Doesn't it?

I told her that lox is brine-cured, and what she's thinking of is smoked salmon, sometimes called Nova Scotia salmon or novy. Then, looking at her expression, assured her that "smoked salmon" would get her what she wanted. She then said that the Union Square market* is overwhelming, and I agreed that it can be, adding that I like it, but that when we lived in New York I mostly used the smaller Greenmarket in my neighborhood, though I have schlepped apples home on the subway.

*The market in Union Square is the oldest and largest of the New York City Greenmarkets**, which get New Yorkers fresh produce and other good things, and help people keep farming in the NYC area. Wednesday and Saturday are particularly good.

**Greenmarket is a trademark, created because "farmers market" was being used to just mean any greengrocer, and they wanted to identify that these stands were actually run by the farmers—and, later, fishers and bakers. There's really good salmon here in the Seattle area, but I miss the variety of fish, and the fresh blue crabs. (And I still have to work to not say "greenmarket" for the market here in Bellevue, or the one in Harvard Square, which are the same kind of market but not through the same organization.)
kareila: Sora outlined in silhouette against a heart shaped moon (kh2)
[personal profile] kareila
(And I do mean FIRST.)

The game box contained a smaller box that looked like a typical LEGO construction set, so we opened that and built it first. Then we loaded the game disc into the console, which took another half an hour to download necessary system updates. Don't make the same mistake we did - let the updates download while you build the portal.

The construction set comes with three bags of pieces. Bag 1 is the minifigures, Bag 2 is the portal, and Bag 3 is the vehicle. But the paper instructions only cover the first two. The third set of instructions is inside the game itself.

So we built the portal, then waited for the updates to install, then watched the introduction and about ten minutes of cutscenes introducing the three main characters. Once we finally got to an area where action was required, it was very dark and hard to figure out what to do. Eventually all three characters completed their simple tasks, and the game prompted us to build the portal... which we had already done. But it's nice to know the instructions for the portal are also in the game, in case the pamphlet gets lost.

Then we got the in-game instructions for the first vehicle model. Once we finally built that... it was time to quit, because we had places to go.

As first impressions go, I am underwhelmed, but on the bright side, all the quirky character humor is intact, and I'm interested to see what possibilities are opened up by the new components of the game. With three of us playing together, we were all kept busy: I controlled the game pad, Will took charge of building things, and Connor was responsible for positioning items around the portal - which has color-changing LEDs and looks really nifty.
kareila: Rosie the Riveter "We Can Do It!" with a DW swirl (dw)
[personal profile] kareila in [site community profile] dw_dev
Every few months, I run through [site community profile] changelog compiling a list of who has been contributing patches to our code repository, with the understanding that this is not a competition, or any sort of "high score" list. It's intended as a guide for casual developers, to discern not only our most prolific contributors, but also those who have contributed to the project most recently and therefore would be more likely to provide a timely, informed response to development questions. That is why the list is sorted by "Latest" instead of "Changes".

In general, one commit on Github equals one point in the "Changes" column, but fractional points are awarded for collaborative efforts — the most common example being a new S2 theme, where usually half credit is awarded to the theme author and the other half to the person who converts the theme into a code patch. Due to the nature of development, some changes are massive contributions of new code, and others are tiny tweaks; there is no correlation with the amount of effort involved. We are grateful to everyone who helps to improve Dreamwidth, in ways large or small.

I last compiled this list at the beginning of June. Since that time, we have welcomed three new contributors: [profile] dteklavya, [personal profile] pseudomonas, and [personal profile] sgsabbage. Congratulations and thank you again! Also, we have hit a milestone: 150 unique contributors to the Dreamwidth code base!

  #  User                      Changes     Latest
  1. kareila                     910.5     Wed Sep 09 17:31:01 2015 UTC
  2. mark                        544.5     Sun Aug 30 03:12:20 2015 UTC
  3. kaberett                       25     Fri Aug 28 11:35:52 2015 UTC
  4. sgsabbage                       7     Wed Aug 12 21:37:43 2015 UTC
  5. me_and                         22     Mon Aug 10 09:29:04 2015 UTC
  6. pseudomonas                     3     Sat Aug 08 09:45:06 2015 UTC
  7. angelikitten                    1     Wed Aug 05 19:50:20 2015 UTC
  8. exor674                     349.5     Tue Aug 04 21:03:54 2015 UTC
  9. hotlevel4                      47     Sat Aug 01 01:10:02 2015 UTC
 10. fu                         2167.5     Tue Jul 14 23:44:50 2015 UTC

 11. dteklavya                       2     Tue Jul 14 06:52:15 2015 UTC
 12. momijizukamori             222.66     Thu Jun 25 23:01:08 2015 UTC
 13. forests_of_fire                 2     Thu Jun 25 21:13:22 2015 UTC
 14. timeasmymeasure             14.58     Thu Jun 25 06:38:48 2015 UTC
 15. forthwritten                  1.5     Thu Jun 25 03:50:50 2015 UTC
 16. woggy                          16     Wed Jun 24 23:55:23 2015 UTC
 17. pauamma                       125     Thu Mar 26 00:59:01 2015 UTC
 18. purplecat                    17.5     Wed Feb 04 05:09:44 2015 UTC
 19. azurelunatic                    3     Mon Dec 08 18:51:00 2014 UTC
 20. baggyeyes                     2.5     Thu Nov 13 18:02:17 2014 UTC
The rest of the list... (150 total) )

Daily Happiness

Oct. 3rd, 2015 01:10
torachan: arale from dr slump with a huge grin on her face (arale)
[personal profile] torachan
1. I got to a point in Super Mario 3D Land where I was just stuck and not having fun anymore, so I put it away and picked up Professor Layton and the Diabolical Box, which I had set aside halfway through for some reason. I ended up playing that for like an hour and a half tonight, so that was fun. I already have the next one, as I got it last Christmas but never got around to playing it yet, so I will be ready when I finish this one. :)

2. I forgot to mention it the other day when I watched it, but Sunday's Bob's Burgers was SO GREAT. Seriously one of the best episodes ever. I was laughing so hard.

3. I've got some really cute kitties.

They've been playing in the bathroom so much lately. Between their newly discovered love of the bathmat and their newly discovered ability to jump up into the window there, it's just a super fun place to be (they already loved playing in the bathtub/with the shower curtain).


piranha: red origami crane (Default)
renaissance poisson

July 2015

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