Blog Posts by David Chandler - www.GameInformer.com
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  • Among the Hollows: A tale of multiplayer encounters in the Souls series

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    We first met at the Boletarian Palace. The crumbling parapets looked solemnly down when your phantom materialized from the ether. I hadn’t prepared for our encounter, and, to be honest, I was more surprised than intimidated. You ran, greatsword held aloft by two hands, straight at me as I fumbled with my controller. Our fight, if it could be so called, lasted only seconds before you slew my character and left him slumped and broken on the cold stone steps. Your phantom disappeared into the black, and I arose elsewhere to recover what was left. In those moments, I hated you and how you humiliated me, robbed me of my time and effort. But you taught me a valuable lesson. I would not be caught off guard again.

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    We first met at the Boletarian Palace. The crumbling parapets looked solemnly down when your phantom materialized from the ether. I hadn’t prepared for our encounter, and, to be honest, I was more surprised than intimidated. You ran, greatsword... More
  • Computer Game Poetics in "Coin Opera 2: Fulminare's Revenge"

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    EDITORS: KIRSTEN IRVING AND JON STONE | PUBLISHER: SIDEKICK BOOKS | RELEASE: PHYSICAL AND DIGITAL COPIES A few years ago, a friend and I were discussing poetry when he defined a poem in the most succinct way possible. “A poem,” he told me... More
  • Growing Pains: On Leaving Some Games Behind

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    In junior high, I used to smoke cigarettes after school on the practice field with a friend of mine. I liked them well enough, though smoking was never an everyday ritual, not for me at least. I didn't smoke to be like the cool kids, given that they wanted even less to do with me than I with them. I remember most the fun of sneaking around, of hiding something from my parents and teachers, discarding cigarette butts among those piles left by the school’s football coach so no one knew we were there. That rush felt better than the nicotine buzz. We never got caught.

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    In junior high, I used to smoke cigarettes after school on the practice field with a friend of mine. I liked them well enough, though smoking was never an everyday ritual, not for me at least. I didn't smoke to be like the cool kids, given that they... More
  • Ever, Jane: Literary Senses and Digital Sensibilities

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    “It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single person in possession of a gaming PC must be in want of a game.” At least, that’s how I assume Jane Austen would see it, and so does Judy Tyrer, the lead designer behind Ever, Jane, a recently-funded MMORPG that drops the player into a virtual Regency England inspired by the works of Jane Austen. I recently had the opportunity to talk to Tyrer about her project and how, though at first glance it seems a passing fancy, the concept may be more than just a novel idea.

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    “It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single person in possession of a gaming PC must be in want of a game.” At least, that’s how I assume Jane Austen would see it, and so does Judy Tyrer, the lead designer behind Ever, Jane... More
  • 2013: The Watershed Games

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    When I look back on 2013, it’s not the new generation of consoles I’ll remember most fondly. I’ll probably forget all about whatever journalism trends have been making waves and annoying people. Maybe, I’ll even block out half the horrible things I’ve read in comment sections throughout the year. What I’ll remember are the games that have significantly altered, for better or worse, what I’ve come to expect from the medium. I’ll remember the watersheds.

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    When I look back on 2013, it’s not the new generation of consoles I’ll remember most fondly. I’ll probably forget all about whatever journalism trends have been making waves and annoying people. Maybe, I’ll even block out half... More
  • Humor, Horror, and Tragedy in the Portal Franchise

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    It's difficult to write comedy, especially in video games. It’s largely an issue of timing. Comedians and writers can set the pace for humor by directing the audience’s experience. There's a cadence to Slaughterhouse Five that carries Vonnegut's comedy, and any brief viewing of some of George Carlin’s best material shows how his jokes rely on rhythm as much as content. Since a game relies on player interaction, of course, the timing that writers and comedians utilize diminishes in effectiveness. Still, no matter the title, people always try to find something funny (usually in the form of a glitch) to throw up on YouTube and give us all a laugh.

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    It's difficult to write comedy, especially in video games. It’s largely an issue of timing. Comedians and writers can set the pace for humor by directing the audience’s experience. There's a cadence to Slaughterhouse Five that carries... More
  • Appreciating the Obvious in Game Design

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    nintendo-new-super-mario-bros-ds-art-screenshot

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    It only seems logical to go right. There’s no other indication on what to do, really. Super Mario Bros. begins with the titular character on the left side of screen, facing right. A mushroom with feet hobbles toward him, leaving no option but to... More
  • Lines Composed in a Tulsa Armchair: On Digital Horrors and Witching Hour Whisky

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    John_Henry_Fuseli_-_The_Nightmare

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    It’s my favorite time of the year When the autumnal season creeps near, And the chill on the wind Beckons me to stay in For football and the drinking of beer. And of course there’s the draw of October, That ghoul-haunted fall interloper. It... More
  • The Reader's Parable: An Introduction to 'The Stanley Parable'

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    This is a story about a reader who wandered upon an article. Well this isn't normal, thought the reader, expecting a review for a game that's gotten so many people talking. Granted, The Stanley Parable toys with narration in weird and wonderful ways, but attempting the review in a style that reflects the game's narration seems gimmicky at best and an inevitable failure at worst. Reviews need a formula! They need structure! They need objectivity often presented by numerical values that describe a game's worth with cold, calculable certainty! No, this won't do it all, the reader surmised, moving his courser to find something more suitable to read. But a curious thing happened the reader didn't expect. The reader, as readers are wont to do, continued to...well...read. Hmmmm, thought the studious protagonist. Maybe I should see how this plays out.

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    This is a story about a reader who wandered upon an article. Well this isn't normal , thought the reader, expecting a review for a game that's gotten so many people talking. Granted, The Stanley Parable toys with narration in weird and wonderful... More
  • Who's Afraid of the Big Bad "Wolf Among Us"?

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    wolf among us

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    I was a late-comer to Telltale’s The Walking Dead last year, unconvinced that I would find its narrative focus and stripped-down gameplay engrossing. I eventually played it after all the episodes had released, and, though I liked the game, I felt... More
  • Video Games and the Struggle with Satire

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    GTA5_Funny

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    I love teaching my students Jonathan Swift’s “A Modest Proposal” because there’s always one or two in the classroom that fall victim to Swift’s rhetorical traps. Most understand that Swift’s policy, that the impoverished... More
  • Lessons and Giants: How Shadow of the Colossus Taught Me to Read Games

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    forbidden land

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    It took me a while to consider the light. I understood its mechanical purpose, the way it functioned as a guide to help me find the next creature made of earth and stone and kill it. Still, I did not even ask myself why specifically the light is important... More
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