video games

Flying Logos and Bitmap Alphabets: Arcade Games Revisited

For this morning’s Daily Heller, I interviewed Kris Johns, the design director of Atari, about the past and present of this pioneering digital-game company. Coincidentally, Idea, Japan’s most elegant and comprehensive design magazine, was delivered today. Lo and behold, the issue is devoted to the graphic design of video arcade games produced by the Bandai...

Stars and Engines

Here’s a couple of sweet little ideas that have popped up in separate areas of the web, but carry similar notes inside them, which I found interesting: a little iOS video game called Faraway that’s coming soon, and a series of tiny engines from Hermann Böhm. Do you see the common threads in them?...

Designing a Narrative Experience (Inspired by Portal 2)

As you might know, Portal 2 came out April 29, the long awaited sequel to the critically acclaimed 2007 puzzle game, developed by Valve (makers of the Half-Life series). And even though there are many similarities between the original, Portal 2 takes a leap into an often complex issue; the delicate balance between narrative and...

Name That Game

The Metagame is a card game about videogames. Which game impacted the industry more – Space Invaders or Farmville? Which game is more poetic – Tetris or Street Fighter II? Playing the Metagame requires you to know about videogames, make comparative judgments about them, and argue your points convincingly. The co-creator of this retro-sport...

Joan Jett's Video-Game Philosophy

I love this image of Joan Jett playing Gyruss in the 1987 movie Light of Day. In Light of Day, Jett plays Patti Rasnick, a rock-n-rolling single mom from Cleveland. Although Patti’s life is a mess, she finds existential—heck, spiritual—relief in coin-op video games. Video games may or may not be (or someday become)...