Category Archives: Video Game Commentary

EVE Online’s Character Creation Tool and Race


EVE Online’s Character Creation Tool and Race – A virtual talk given via Skype to graduate students at the University of Ontario Institute of Technology on November 6th, 2017. Invitation by Dr. Carolyn Guertin

Hi everyone, thanks for having me. I’m happy to be here.

minmatar-avatar-bloodlinesMy name is Johansen Quijano. I have published a number of chapters and articles on gaming theory, games and education, and the rhetoric of games, and I have an upcoming book on the rhetoric and composition of video games through McFarland. I’ve also put out a few video games – mostly inspired by JRPGs. I have The Rime of the Ancient Mariner, a short game based on the poem of the same name, and The Generica Chronicles, a game that makes fun of the traditional role playing game tropes. I also worked with LNF Translations during the late 90s and early 2000s on patches for Tenchi Muyo and Magic Knight Rayearth. So, that’s me. Again, thanks for having me.

Dr. Guertin asked me to speak to you briefly about EVE Online while focusing on the character creator. I’ll be honest – I think that Dr. Guertin is one of the most insightful thinkers and influential theorists when it comes to games and gaming, and I’m not sure that I’ll be able to add much to her discussions, but I do have some thoughts on EVE – not just the character maker – that I would like to share with you.

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On Games Growing Up, Players, Art, Sunset, Tales of Tales, and the IBTimes


growupA few days ago, Edward Smith wrote a piece for the International Business Times where he makes the suggestion that the attitude of players towards games like Her Story and Sunset are killing the video game industry. His argument stems, unsurprisingly, from the recent bankruptcy of Tales of Tales, the studio responsible for Sunset, and his perception of the general reception of Her Story, an FMV-driven narrative with minimalistic player input in the tradition of Night Trap. Edward explains how he longs for video games to grow up and become an artistic medium, and that player’s receptions to art games are preventing the medium to grow up. This is by no means the first article of its kind. Indeed several commentators have decried how the medium has yet to grow up and how players are preventing the medium from reaching maturity. I disagree with their premise.

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We Need More Sustained Criticism of Individual Games


It seems like ludic academics are not entirely amicable to scholarly inquiry into a single text. Browsing through the most recent volumes of Eludamos, Game Studies, Loading (SFU), and Games and Culture, only a handful of articles will focus on sustained analysis about an individual title, and those that do use individual titles often do so as a case study to prove the merit of a theoretical framework posited in the same article rather than as catalyst for sustained analysis of the text itself.

While I understand the reasoning behind this – discussing concepts is, after all, a far more edifying and – honestly – fun endeavor than sustained inquiry into an individual text, I find the relative lack of single text analysis to be disheartening. At times, sustained scholarly inquiry into a single text can shed light not only on the meaning of the text, but about the role of the text and of media as a whole in society and might help reshape the way in which we talk about genres as a whole.

Why do I make this assertion?

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We Need More Sustained Criticism of Individual Games


It seems to mecriticism like ludic academics are not entirely amicable to scholarly inquiry into a single text. Browsing through the most recent volumes of Eludamos, Game Studies, Loading (SFU), and Games and Culture, only a handful of articles will focus on sustained analysis about an individual title, and those that do use individual titles often do so as a case study to prove the merit of a theoretical framework posited in the same article rather than as catalyst for sustained analysis of the text itself.

While I understand the reasoning behind this – discussing concepts is, after all, a far more edifying and – honestly – fun endeavor than sustained inquiry into an individual text, I find the relative lack of single text analysis to be disheartening. At times, sustained scholarly inquiry into a single text can shed light not only on the meaning of the text, but about the role of the text and of media as a whole in society and might help reshape the way in which we talk about genres as a whole.

Why do I make this assertion? Read on.

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