Monthly Archives: May 2016

Tunnels of Armageddon Action category

Title screen from Tunnels of Armageddon

A game that’s not complacent with a generic idea deserves credit for pushing itself, but Tunnels of Armageddon shows how that might not actually contribute anything. The game throws in lots of caveats and layers in search of some depth for its decent obstacle-dodging action, but amazingly, none of it really affects the game at all, positively or negatively. Tunnels of Armageddon » Read more

Tlön: A Misty Story Adventure category

Title screen from Tlön: A Misty Story

Jorge Luis Borges’s 1940 short story “Tlön, Uqbar, Orbis Tertius” invents fictional planet called Tlön that wills itself into existence through cultural force. By showing idealism overtake over reality, Borges’s story suggests the ability of people and art to reshape the world.

Tlön: A Misty Story shares a rumored mythical world with that name, though it bears only the most superficial resemblance to Borges’s story – or its philosophical achievement. That the game ignores the great piece of literature that inspired it is a lost opportunity, and the confusing, sluggish, thin fantasy epic it offers instead can’t muster an interesting perspective or character.

The swampy woodland setting does look gorgeous; maybe the game would work better as a painting. Tlön: A Misty Story » Read more

Securing the open future of “advocateless” game preservation Essay category

Jason Scott presenting at the National Digital Stewardship Residency 2016 Symposium. The presentation screen shows the phrase "Emulation D-Day!"

Jason Scott (right) presenting at the National Digital Stewardship Residency 2016 Symposium

This Thursday, I had the privilege to attend the National Digital Stewardship Residency 2016 Symposium at the National Library of Medicine. The speakers and program residents shared all manner of interesting projects that bridge the gap between digital and physical archiving; for the purposes of this blog, the most critical was the Internet Archive’s Jason Scott’s talk about software preservation. Scott’s work has been pivotal to opening up years of gaming and computer history, and during his appearance at the NDSR Symposium, he spoke frankly about the challenges the Internet Archive faces when their collection comes under scrutiny. His thoughts greatly allayed my concerns about the legality of game archiving, directed the focus of those efforts, and made the case to keep preservation frequent and fearless. Securing the open future of “advocateless” game preservation » Read more