BUFF: THE LUDOLOGY-NARRATOLOGY DEBATE
These days, games academia has grown timid, only a faint afterglow of what once was. But in ages past, heroes and legends of scholarship would wage war on the great battlefields of ludology and narratology! Today they try to tell us it was all a myth, that it never truly happened, that it was all just “misrepresentation”. But there are those of us who still believe, and we know a new age of debate is soon at hand.
When the day comes, will you stand with Janet Murray as she wields her diamond sword of treating every single goddamn thing in the universe as a narrative? Will you join the wild ludologist horde of Jesper Juul, and fight to ignore all the superfluous fluff in games that doesn’t give you points? Maybe you will work in the shadows with Espen Aarseth and his mystical archer monks, chanting complex arguments about something called “cybertext”, while working to bring peace at any cost. Are you too a believer? Are you truly an -ologist? Then awaken, friend. The age of the ludology-narratology debate has come once more.
BUFF: THE TERM ARCADEMIA
Why did they call it “ludology” anyway? “Arcademia” was right there. Like arcade-emia. Get it? Academia? AR-cademia? Like arcade games? Hello? Are you still there?
BUFF: EARLY ACCESS
Starting this season all games will be in early access forever. Games that have already been released will go back into early access to incorporate community feedback.
FEATURE: EARLIER ACCESS
You’ve enjoyed playing barely functioning games with half the levels missing. Now download a blank Unity project which will someday be turned into a game by a developer who is currently still in kindergarten.
BUFF: GAMING IN THE POST-APOCALYPSE
In spite of NASA recently demonstrating their abilities as a planetary bodyguard by shoving an asteroid out of the way, there’s still plenty of civilization-ending risk to go around right now. That’s why we’re focusing on resilient, old-school games you can play while fighting a zombie, or alternatively with a zombie.
BUGFIX: TERM DEFINITIONS
So, this is embarrassing. For a long time we’ve just kind of assumed that writing about games necessarily meant spending two thirds of the page count defining terms. Turns out we just had a memory leak! This season you can define your terms in just 10% of the space. Amazing!
BUFF: THE POOR PEOPLE TRYING TO MAKE THE METAVERSE HAPPEN
I know they may not need or deserve our pity, but come on, you have to feel bad for them at this point. It doesn’t even feel good to mock them. Give them a chance!
NERF: PLATO’S CAVE ALLEGORY
Plato’s cave allegory describes the game industry too well. It cannot be tolerated. Players judging each other by how good they are at deciphering shadow images? Developers dancing around a burning fire trying to appease the players, those players chained to the floor by the dark patterns the shadows form? All staying inside in their caves? If you took a break for a while and saw the sun, then when you return your rank is back to silver, and you get roasted by 12-year olds because you lost your ability to aim? Shut up, CoolOliver420… I mean Plato!
FEATURE: THE ASTROLOGY-DERMATOLOGY DEBATE
This is just in case the other one doesn’t work out.