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The Philosophical Basis of Exploration Cues in Game Design

Republished from The GameSaver, whose purpose it is to use objective philosophical analysis to save the video game industry from imploding.


…it’s your game. You decide how you want to play, I mean, we’re not the ones who are going to tell you how to play...” – Mathieu Ferland, senior producer at Ubisoft Montreal, describing the design philosophy of Splinter Cell: Chaos Theory.

Obviously you can’t instruct people on how to enjoy art.” – Lisa Foiles, video game commentator (and former “All That” star) stating what she believes to be a truism relevant to a gamer’s choosing how (and whether) to explore a game world.

Together, these two quotations represent a malignant viewpoint stretching from video game designer to video game player. The second quote comes from one of Kotaku’s (few) intellectual features now roughly a year old. It is the perfect encapsulation of the average person’s view of art. Because this view is so widespread, what I am about to say is tragically controversial: there is an objectively correct way to read books, watch movies, view paintings, and play games. Read the rest of this entry


Also Sprach der Geist von Sparta

The gods are dead.
The gods remain dead.
And I have killed them.

How shall I comfort myself, the murderer of all murderers? What was holiest and mightiest of all that the world has yet owned has bled to death under my blades: who will wipe this blood off me? What water is there for me to cleanse myself? What festivals of atonement, what sacred games shall I have to invent? Is not the greatness of this deed too great for me? Must I myself not become a god simply to appear worthy of it?


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