Art & Design, Culture, Gaming

Gaming as seen by an art critic

Mention the words ‘game development’ to anyone who doesn’t love or make games and watch their eyes glaze over, obscured by visions of complicated bleeps and bloops.

This is the reaction I (almost) always find when speaking to those oblivious to the joys of gaming. Yes, while my attempts to get friends to take the genius of Portal seriously still fall on deaf ears, more people might appreciate games if they understood at least some of the creative and artistic feats behind them.

Art & Design, Culture

Tomorrow’s transport art today

Never mind the weather. The mother of all icebreakers is public transport. Every city dweller has an opinion on public transport, an opinion which is often swiftly followed by a disaster story or two. And, given the demands of modern life, it’s not surprising that so many of us cringe at the thought of public transport.

Art & Design, Culture, Gaming

Filling in the gaps: why mythology encourages more engagement

Half-Life 2, Harbour by Valve/thmxShort of a modest FMV sequence to tease your appetite, a game’s manual intro page was once all the backstory you were given. In a time where any major franchise worth its salt is accompanied by a herd of canonical novels, comics and web shorts, game mythologies are being undervalued. The thrill of discovering mythology in-game, of that knowledge impacting gameplay and playing purely for wonder is being undersold.

Art & Design, Culture, Diary

Part II: Unrocky road to nowhere in particular

I must admit, Nottingham – my present county for the academic year – is a strange place. Well, not so much strange, rather it’s hard to describe the actually atmosphere and cycle of life that goes on here. You may expect Nottingham to be like any other city, and you’d be right: people travel, the city centre is always packed on Saturdays, people give you that same awkward stare when you accidentally brush passed them, deep in thought.