Monthly Archives: March 2013

Folk-roms and Art-hacks

I am fascinated by rom hacks. For those who are unfamiliar with the term, a rom refers to a copy of a video game that can be played through an emulator (a program which basically acts like a video game … Continue reading

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Two Games that Subvert the Damsel in Distress Trope

Earlier this month Anita Sarkeesian released the first installment of her 12-part series “Tropes vs Women in Video Games”. Six months ago she ran a successful kickstarter to fund it, despite the constant threats and harassment from angry, angry nerds. Since … Continue reading

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Ecology of the Mushroom Kingdom – Evolution of the Koopa part 2

The “koopa” turtles of the Mushroom Kingdom are highly social compared to others of their order. The descendants of the troopa were nomadic grazers, and this began selecting for herding behavior. Today you will often find huge herds or “troops” … Continue reading

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Ecology of the Mushroom Kingdom – Evolution of the Koopa part 1

The evolution of turtles is remarkably straight-forward. The ancestors of our modern-day turtles split off from other reptiles sometime around the Permian period. These reptiles had elongated ribs that spread over the body, offering some protection against predators. Over time, … Continue reading

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Etrian Odyssey and Imperialism

Etrian Odyssey is a fantastic example of how to create a potentially immersive game within a well-worn genre. It uses the tropes and trappings of old school dungeon-crawlers to effectively draw the player in to its world but also leaves … Continue reading

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Uniforms in Video Games

The “silent protagonist” is a video game trope almost as old as video games. Ironically, one of the first silent protagonists would also set the template for most video game personalities to come. Mario, perhaps the most iconic video game … Continue reading

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Pokemon of the Oppressed

The world of Pokemon is designed to be as close to the imagined ideal world of an 11-year old child as possible. There is no school, work, chores or responsibilities of any kind. Parents and authority figures are easily accessible … Continue reading

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