The World Ends With You

My favorite video game is probably The World Ends With You. One week ago a remake/port was released on the Iphone and Ipad (Not Ipod unless you hack, and then I hear it’s buggy…)

Last month I had a post about video games as story telling. The story of this game was what resonated with me. It perfectly matches my philosophy: while we can never know another person, we can try, and the only way to explore more of our world is to talk to other people and open up to them. Just because someone’s views are different from yours, it doesn’t mean you have to accept them, but by listening you only gain. The world we have is very small, unless we have other people bringing their individuality and insight into our lives. The game follows an anti-social kid who realizes all of this through all sorts of crazy-ness too insane to actually go into on this blog.

The philosophy in this game is beyond a simple moral. It’s a way to live your life.

If you haven’t played this, play it. The new version is pretty impressive. The message remains the same and just as outstanding as before. There may be another game or some DLC content on the way apparently, but if it’s a sequel it has a lot to live up to, not just gameplay-wise but story and message wise.

Orc VS Human VS Panda in Denmark

Wow (ahem). Apparently some Danish artist had some fun with the trailer for World of Warcraft: Mists of Pandaria.

At the very end where the logo pops up it’s not just Azeroth spinning inside the globe, it’s Denmark. I think the credits for the picture below go to If they don’t, they should really do a better job of saying where they got their images from! Spent a long while trying to track the right credits down…

World of Denmark

Denmark? It’s not just a photoshop, go watch the last moments of the trailer…

I’m thinking either the rest of the team really missed it and the Dane had his laugh, or they kept it in there to generate hits/hype. Blizzard recently lost a handful of EU subscribers. Maybe this is like a shout out? Obviously Pandaria is Asian, not Danish. A lot of European game sites ran stories about this. Seems like Blizzard is a pretty savvy company to me. Extra publicity via the media.

Video games as a storytelling medium

A really longtime pet peeve of mine are people who dis video games for being video games. Sure, many have violence, poor representation of women, graphic content, illegal substances ect., but what doesn’t? Many books, music, and movies all have that too! This all easily leads to a question. Why are video games singled out?

Most people answer by saying it’s the interactive element. That can’t be right. When watching a horror movie our hearts race and when we read a sad story we feel the emotions of the characters. Everything is interactive. I think it’s because video games are newer. Eventually, I hope they will be accepted as what they should be, another storytelling medium.

I’m not talking about Pong or (most) other sports games when I say that (Pong is totally a sports game. It’s table tennis! That’s an olympic sport!). But just about every other genre has stories. Shooter games have stories. Action games have stories. Perhaps the largest, most expansive stories are found in Role Playing Games. Most good RPG’s are essentially fantasy novels in another format.

Over at (the homepage for my favorite indie game company) a few weeks ago Artix posted a PDF of a guide for creating game worlds and quests. This is incredibly similar to a guide one would use for writing a story. Why? Because it’s the same idea. What is the goal of the character(s)? What adversity will he or she face? What are their motivations for success? Video games have just as much merit as other storytelling!

And that concludes my rant of what was on my mind.

Pearless Friend

In the latest addition to the heaping pile of “video games are evil” garbage, a man died of a heart attack (he had been suffering various diseases for years and was also overweight and did not exercise) while playing Diablo 3. Jokes aside that Diablo 3 is evil (*cough* you know… it’s about hell), I want to call attention to the reporting at IGN.

Here is how a key paragraph reads at the time of this posting. Unsure if they will notice and change it.

“However, two of Shirley’s friends have debunked the story, saying he died due his long term suffering with apnea. They describe Shirley as a normal 32-year old man who was “charitable” and a “pearless friend”, but who had trouble managing his weight due to his health problems.”

I almost could not believe what I had just read in this paragraph. IGN was knowingly posting something that was false to continue to capitalize on it for easy hits. On top of that, “pearless”?

Video games do not kill (even ones devoted to slaughtering demons and hellish monsters). The head line could have just as easily read “Man dies while reading book”. Video games are another medium for story telling, right along side novels and movies.


I Reported Deathwing

So the other day in World of Warcraft I defeated Deathwing once again in the nifty looking for raid system. At the end of the “raid” as they are called, you get a chance at rare weapons. For some reason, the game did not allow me to roll for my chance at the weapons.

Being the good humored writer that I am I decided that the best course of action would be to report the final boss of cataclysm for ninja looting. For the less informed, that is a term for stealing items from another player. Continue reading

Artix Entertainment

Back from an amazing trip. I knocked off my article for the paper this morning and started and finished my 5 page English paper in a couple hours, giving me most of my break now to just write! Wait, I was already doing that…

Artix Entertainment is an amazing company. I have been a fan of their games since 2004.* In that time, they have become (in my opinion), the most outstanding game company in the world. Through a crazy cause and effect chain** too long to discuss here, I got to meet my heroes.***

It is often the case that when meeting heroes, we are let down. This was not the case here. These people are amazing and from seeing the office, they are an amazing company to work for.****

I got to see how the games are made and how they all operate. I didn’t really know what to expect, but I expected epic.***** I was most impressed by how organized they are and how well they stick to their launch schedule.

Meeting the teams behind each of the outstanding browser-based games was a lot of fun. Hopefully, I will have the amazing opportunity again.


*In true AE spirit, there will be asterisks in this post.

**First, I stepped on a butterfly. Then it got up, grew arms and attacked me!

***And their weapons!

****The clowns drain your health budget pretty fast though.

*****I even got to work on the servers!