Play Anything

Ian Bogost’s Play Anything and the sublimity of boredom

In the strata of books about videogames, I offer the following overly simplistic codification: 1. Books about a specific game or game developer 2. Books about a specific period of time in the history of games 3. Books about how videogames are art, dammit And then there’s Ian Bogost’s new book Play Anything, which isn’t so much about games as distinct artifacts as it is about why games and play are an essential strategy for navigating the banality of the world. Sometimes the experience of grocery shopping, of sitting in traffic, of attending meetings, can feel like an elaborate series of…

Hot Lava

Childhood game ‘The Floor is Lava’ is being turned into a videogame

As a child, imagination turned the familiar and mundane into something more during play. Legos let you create amazing structures and recreate your favorite heroes and cartoons. Battles worthy of their own comic splash pages took place between action figures. A playground wasn’t just baking metal slides and swings; it was a fortress or pirate ship. And the floor wasn’t tiles or wood or carpet, but lava to be avoided at all costs. If their next game is any indication, the team over at Klei must have really loved that last one. angry red by the lakes of lava that…


Ancient India: The Birthplace of Modern Game Design

This article is part of a collaboration with iQ by Intel Ancient India produced some of the oldest and longest surviving games in history, and though the country’s videogame creators face modern day challenges, its contributions to game design are undeniable. They’ve gone by many different names and variations, but games like Chess, Chutes and Ladders, Parcheesi, and even the six-sided die are all believed to have originated in ancient India. Mostly created during a turbulent and formative time in the country’s history, the nature of these games gives a better understanding of the ideas, values, and social climate surrounding them.…


You’ll spend more time than you should goofing off with this little lion dude

Lions are fucking awesome. These animals aren’t called king of the jungle for nothing, and it’s not hard to see why they’d instantly became status symbols to human kind, from monarchies to incestuous Game of Thrones houses alike. I mean, just look at this thing: This is a portrait of raw, unadulterated power. Each step a lion takes pulses with animalistic prowess. They are creatures always teetering on the brink of fighting or fucking everything, sharpening their claws while they flick their tongues and stare at you with an unwavering kind of focus. Then, there’s the other side of a lion—the…


Katamari Damacy’s creator will have us unite friends with a giant funsplosion next

While members of the press struggle to properly label Wattam (is it a puzzle game? A sandbox? A friendship simulator?), the latest trailer only continues to defy all categorization and genre. If you haven’t played on of Keita Takahashi’s games before then you haven’t seen a game quite like Wattam, and that’s only one of its extraordinary qualities. Co-founded by ex-thatgamecompany (Journey) producer Robin Hunickie, and famed Katamri Damacy creator Keita Takahashi, Funomena game studio is creating a playground that unlocks only through friendship, experimentation, and explosions. Hidden beneath Wattam‘s happy-go-lucky exterior lies a story world of unexpected tragedy. “After a series…


An exhibit celebrates the brutalist playgrounds of the past, as should we all

Brutalism gets a bad name. Ok, let’s be honest, it has a bad name. If tomorrow morning you were tasked with encouraging parents to send their kids to a specific playground, you probably wouldn’t call it brutalist. Or would you? For a brief, wonderful moment in the middle of the 20th century, architects and planners endeavored to design brutalist playgrounds, and the results were often wonderful. These playgrounds are now the subject of an exhibit at the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) by the Assemble collective and artist Simon Terrill. To mark the occasion, The Guardian has a series…