While exploring the concept of games as art, many present the idea in terms of the literal technical achievement, rather than examining the experience of playing the game as part of the artists transmission of their message. “Critical Play is built on the premise that, as with other media, games…

As discussed in previous journals, games express values they are endowed with by their creations — intentionally or otherwise — through their mechanics, stories and backgrounds, and artists have sought to spread their message through games before (though often by subverting existing games and catching no small amount of flak…

After reviewing how games and their mechanisms — especially in their failings and subversions — can provoke complex thought, it’s important to remember many games by their content, mechanics, and themes do the same, not by accident, but by design. While avoided in the past, the industry’s willingness to cater…

While visual glitches can be some of the most straightforward and obvious (and, despite this, some of the most thought-provoking), functional game glitches can allow players to tear away the veneer from a product even easier and can thus inspire a greater range of changes to the gameplay experience, and…

The third entry in this series focuses on modding, and how mods can transform the experience of their original game. Though Schleiner takes a rather cynical view of the modding scene in Ludic Mutation, comparing at length the act of creating mods at times to “parasitic feeding off the largesse…

The second entry in this series focuses on game engines, and how Overkill Software — formerly Grin — have used, and continued to use their in-house game engine, known as Diesel — in increasingly further departures from the game the engine was originally designed for, the 2001 racing game Ballistics

For the first entry in this series of gameplay analysis journals, I’ll be analyzing Yakuza: Like a Dragon in the context of technicity, as described by Dovey and Kennedy in their text, cited below. Like a Dragon, also known as Yakuza 7, like most of the series’ games features modern-day…

Travis Kosier

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