Epic Life: Immersion and Metaphor in Papo & Yo

Apr 17, 13 Epic Life: Immersion and Metaphor in Papo & Yo

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In this post I read the ruleset of Papo & Yo as an example of the same kind of creative manipulation of immersion I located in the Odyssey in my last post. My argument for better living through epic springs from a model of immersion that at its simplest level finds in the experience of having one’s immediate reality...

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Choice, multiculturalism, and irrevocability in Mass Effect, part 1 (rules of the text 7)

May 03, 12 Choice, multiculturalism, and irrevocability in Mass Effect, part 1 (rules of the text 7)

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This post contains spoilers about the endings of the three Mass Effect games. We still don’t know what, if anything, will change either in superficial or in substantive ways, about the ending of the Mass Effect saga. But Mass Effect as it stands demands analysis. Perhaps the practomime is as complete as it will ever be, because...

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Detour to the Magic Kingdom (rules of the text 6)

Apr 19, 12 Detour to the Magic Kingdom (rules of the text 6)

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I haven’t had the opportunity to move forward in my thinking about Mass Effect enough to feel that I can write a good post about the central issues I to which referred in my last one, but in the intervening period my attention was grabbed by something very much worth an excursus: Sorcerers of the Magic Kingdom, which may be the...

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Transmedia and tabletops (rules of the text 3)

Mar 08, 12 Transmedia and tabletops (rules of the text 3)

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If a rule, in general, is a constraint placed on an agent by the agent’s cultural situation, then in a cultural zone understood as appropriate for play that general sense of “rule” transfers nicely to a sort of constraint that allows a player to make choices (cf. Sid Meier’s famous definition of a game as “a series of...

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The rules of song and the rules of myth: playing with dragons and other mythohistorical archetypes (rules of the text 2)

Feb 23, 12 The rules of song and the rules of myth: playing with dragons and other mythohistorical archetypes (rules of the text 2)

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George RR Martin titled A Song of Ice and Fire advisedly, I think, with reference to the bardic traditions of European culture that gave us also the Iliad, the Odyssey, Beowulf, and the Song of Roland among many others. As I’ve demonstrated, those bardic traditions worked like games. That we call them “oral improvisatory...

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