A match made: HuniePop’s emulation of the dating process

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No matter what planet you’re on, how much magic is at your fingertips, how chosen you are or which part of what needs shootings, relationships are a fact of any real or virtual life. So why are they usually so unfulfilling? Let’s look at a potential mechanical solution to an organic conundrum.

An elegance in emptiness

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Often called a minimalist masterpiece, Shadow of the Colossus is a triumph of less over more in game design. But what’s the purpose of all that empty space? Why does the hero ride a horse across a dead landscape? Simply put, it’s really up to you.

Final Fantasy VIII is a failure

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Try and fail, try and fail, the catch cry of every sapient creature in the Final Fantasy VIII universe. A world full of people making the same mistakes over and over again, struggling against themselves and hoping to be the hero. What the heck does it all mean?

Self-awareness, interactivity, and Metal Gear’s three walls

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You like Castlevania, don’t you? Open your mind to the possibility that realism can actually get in the way of true immersion, and explore the open relationship that Metal Gear Solid has with the player. [This post originally appeared on Electric Phantasms.]

Over and Overwatch: Death as a teacher

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You die, and you die, and you die again. But your memories live on, and you learn, adapt to the battlefield. Each death is a lesson that leads you to victory, every failure is a success that isn’t finished. Recall initiated.

The parasite feeding on Assassin’s Creed

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Deep within the tangled web of kitchen sink design that is Assassin’s Creed, a creature without form lurks. It wears its victims as a digital suit, puppeting their mainstream facade while it slips innovative ideas in our heads. It’s feeding you vegetables by making them look like candy.