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Chris
Outsider philosopher, game designer and author
Recent Activity
Caster slows down time in order to contemplate a problem or take a break from blogging. Only verbal and somatic components are required to cast this spell. ihobo will return soon. Continue reading
Posted May 8, 2015 at ihobo
Caster slows down time in order to contemplate a problem or take a break from blogging. Only verbal and somatic components are required to cast this spell. Only a Game will return soon. Continue reading
Posted May 8, 2015 at Only a Game
What makes something a role-playing game? The Essence of RPGs was a serial in three parts running here at ihobo.com that offered an answer to this question by tracing the essence of these games to two sets of player practices,... Continue reading
Posted May 7, 2015 at Only a Game
What makes something a role-playing game? The Essence of RPGs was a serial in three parts running here at ihobo.com that offered an answer to this question by tracing the essence of these games to two sets of player practices,... Continue reading
Posted May 7, 2015 at ihobo
Hi Jose, Great to get a comment by you, and especially to hear you say precisely what I was thinking - and what motivated me to write *yet another* piece on the relevance of Dungeons & Dragons to videogame history. I thought I'd made this link pretty definitively in "Imaginary Games". (Of course, not that many people read it...!) Far too many people seem to think that videogames come from the arcade and nowhere else: that's a great shame, and a massive distortion of the lineages by which contemporary games came to be. I don't agree about the dwindling influence, though, or at least I agree with qualifications: as this serial attempts to argue, the player practices originating at the tabletop persist - it is not entirely salient to this question that people now learn them from other games. :) As for little academic work - yes, there seems to be just me. :D Looking forward to seeing you next week! All the best, Chris.
Toggle Commented May 7, 2015 on The Essence of RPGs (2): Rule-play at ihobo
1 reply
Over on ihobo today, the final part of the serial looking at the differences between dramatic role-play and its brutal alternative, often misleadingly called ‘Old School’ role-play. Here’s an extract: From the earliest days of the tabletop role-playing game, there... Continue reading
Posted May 6, 2015 at Only a Game
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In 1998, I produced one of my final tabletop role-playing game designs with my friend and colleague Rob Briggs, who had also worked on my first published tabletop games, Avatar and Outlands. My work in this space was always motivated... Continue reading
Posted May 6, 2015 at ihobo
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In the previous part, I staked my claim for a new understanding of role-playing games as nothing more nor less than the children of TSR’s seminal Dungeons & Dragons. This sounds trivial: but that’s only because it’s easy to underestimate... Continue reading
Posted Apr 29, 2015 at ihobo
Over on ihobo today, Part Two of The Essence of RPGs serial, looking at how the complex ontologies of Dungeons & Dragons created 'rule-play': ‘Rule-play’ is in essence a focus upon character advancement. This might go to the extremes of... Continue reading
Posted Apr 29, 2015 at Only a Game
Over on ihobo today, the first of a three-part serial looking at what makes a role-playing game. Here's an extract from the first part: For any given game, its lineage is a network of games (and other artworks) that contribute... Continue reading
Posted Apr 22, 2015 at Only a Game
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Near the beginning of my career as a game designer, one of my first speaking gigs was at an event in London where I was scheduled to appear with Warren Spector. Unfortunately, Warren was attending via webcam and the conference... Continue reading
Posted Apr 22, 2015 at ihobo
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For some time now, I've been complaining to anyone who will listen that double blind peer review of academic papers is a broken game. It’s broken, because reviewers are anonymous and unaccountable for their reviews, and anyone who has used... Continue reading
Posted Apr 21, 2015 at Only a Game
May I draw your attention to Stephen E. Dinehart's Kickstarter for his extremely cute game Pinky Elephant: Collision of the Colorverse? Continue reading
Posted Apr 17, 2015 at ihobo
May I draw your attention to Stephen E. Dinehart's Kickstarter for his extremely cute game Pinky Elephant: Collision of the Colorverse? Continue reading
Posted Apr 17, 2015 at Only a Game
Hi D! Thanks for your comment and kind words. It's so great to hear someone else who wasn't happy about the puzzles! I know some players enjoyed them, but I never liked them myself, and designing them was seriously unpleasant. Always good to know a game I helped make has players who love it, and who knows, maybe one day there will be a sequel (although don't hold your breath!). All the best! Chris.
Toggle Commented Apr 17, 2015 on Post Mortem: Ghost Master (Part One) at Only a Game
1 reply
Over on ihobo this morning, check out my horde battle against the first wave game studies scholars! Thanks to everyone on Twitter who paid attention to the original tweets, particularly James Wallis. Continue reading
Posted Apr 16, 2015 at Only a Game
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It occurred to me this morning that my undergraduate thesis on landscape creation through fractal noise synthesis and language generation through morpho-phoneme systems was in 1994. I would have done a game-focussed Masters degree if any member of the faculty... Continue reading
Posted Apr 16, 2015 at ihobo
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Review of Timothy Williamson’s Tetralogue, by Oxford University Books, ISBN 978-0-19-872888-7. Throughout Western philosophy, the dialogue has served honourably as a means of expressing arguments accessibly whilst still bearing subtleties. One particular use of the dialogue approach has been to... Continue reading
Posted Apr 14, 2015 at Only a Game
My new laptop arrives this week, and blogging will be disrupted while I configure it for my purposes. In the meantime, a short cautionary tale. I had originally bought a new laptop over a year ago from Amazon Marketplace. It... Continue reading
Posted Apr 7, 2015 at Only a Game
Zachary O. Toups, Lennart E. Nacke, and Nicole Crenshaw are investigating players’ attitudes towards collecting ‘virtual objects’, that is, things that exist only in the fictional worlds of games. They would welcome your help with their survey, linked above. Continue reading
Posted Apr 2, 2015 at ihobo
Zachary O. Toups, Lennart E. Nacke, and Nicole Crenshaw are investigating players’ attitudes towards collecting ‘virtual objects’, that is, things that exist only in the fictional worlds of games. They would welcome your help with their survey, linked above. Cross-posted... Continue reading
Posted Apr 2, 2015 at Only a Game
Over on ihobo today, a letter to students studying game narrative at ARCOS in Santiago, Chile. You owe me one, Pablo! Continue reading
Posted Apr 1, 2015 at Only a Game
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A letter to students at ARCOS in Santiago, Chile. Dear ARCOS students, It came as some small surprise to me when, in a recent letter, your instructor Pablo Gorigoitia mentioned that Game Writing: Narrative Skills for Videogames was one of... Continue reading
Posted Apr 1, 2015 at ihobo
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A while back, I went to a wedding in Texas. I distinctly remember flying into Dallas, as there was a terrific thunderstorm and from above the clouds I could see the lightning strikes as dazzling patches exploding in the darkness,... Continue reading
Posted Mar 31, 2015 at Only a Game
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It’s been a week since Terry Pratchett passed, and I have still failed to write about it. The news upset me more than I would have anticipated, given that I have not even seen Terry since 1999. I have a... Continue reading
Posted Mar 20, 2015 at Only a Game