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Ideology not installed

Stephane's comment on the previous bandwagon post ("Why no French soldiers?") set me thinking... What if you were to release a game which disparages the French because of the current political climate? What if the current political climate then changes? Would you release a patch? Would you allow the player to select the kind of reality they believe in and want to see mirrored in their game experience? Would you allow players to mod the political ideology used in the game?

Industry development

An online initiative supported by Dublin City University, Nokia and O2 aims to assist the burgeoning Irish game development industry by providing information, support and lines of communication to the sector.
Due to the moribund state of the games industry in parts of Europe, I'm always interested in these kinds of initiatives.

Read more about it here.

Bandwagon Games

Games with a realistic war setting, such as the Medal of Honor series, C&C: Generals or Battlefield 1942, have been doing really well for EA. September 11 and the war in Iraq have changed the image of games with a military setting: just look the ad campaigns Ubisoft has been running for their Tom Clancy titles the last couple of months. Now Activision is announcing the obvious move:

"Publisher Activision has announced the launch of a key franchise this morning, namely Call of Duty, a new umbrella brand that "lets players experience the dramatic intensity of war through the eyes of common soldiers".

Starting with World War II, Call of Duty will try and map elements of the 20th century's most devastating conflicts from the perspective of various unsung heroes. The games will be released on both console and PC in line with Activision's multi-platform strategy. The first title in the series is being developed by Infinity Ward, a studio that includes 22 of the individuals who worked on EA's Medal of Honor: Allied Assault. Theirs will be a World War II shooter, in which players fill the shoes of a US paratrooper, a British commando and a Russian infantryman in separate campaigns to help crush the Nazi war machine."

I don't consider myself a knee-jerk war-opponent... but I'm not amused by this development.



Last year, Jetro Lauha made a contribution to the game development competition at Assembly 2002, a major demo scene event. The object of the game is to push a guy down the stairs, causing as much pain as possible. The game uses rigid body dynamics and was programmed in 24 hours. It even made the cover of Slashdot.

My current highscore is 60485 units of pain, by applying force to the right hand.

(Thanks, Clemens.)


Frasca over at talks about the narratology / ludology debate. I think this is an interesting classification (admittedly because I think I can make a clever point, or would be able to if I were to sit down and write it).

If that didn't scare you, I recommend this article by Henry Jenkins, which mentions this debate but then proposes an alternative way of looking at things which he calls environmental storytelling. Although I have an altogether different perspective on this, I recommend the article.