So today I began preparing for tomorrow’s Game Night. I’m going to start assessing what games are played at different times throughout the event. I’m also thinking we’ll have a guestbook, probably not tomorrow, but soon-ish, so people can sign in and leave contact info if they like along with their favorite games. Speaking of games, I signed onto ALA connect today because I finished my class on gaming in the libraries! I found a number of very interesting games, the likes of which might throw you through a loop.
The first of these is called Passage it’s only about 5 minutes long, but it’s part of a new concept in gaming – video games as art. The story is essentially about the passage of time and is somewhat of an abstract idea for a game. Some people hold that all video games are games are active experiences of art as it were. Kind of cool I think. Art direction goes a long way in games, but that’s not entirely what they mean by video games as art.
The second game I checked out is called This is the Only Level in which you only play one level – over and over and over again as a tiny elephant. Now while this might seem boring it is actually quite fun because while the environment and your character don’t change, the game mechanics do. For example in one level you use arrow keys to guide your elephant through the room, avoiding the spikes, hitting the button that opens the gate so you can get to the end, but in another level you might have to use your mouse, or suddenly the directions are reversed. It’s kind of an experiment in Metagaming. Metagaming refers to an aspect of a game that isn’t actually part of the game itself. It’s kind of like breaking the fourth wall (for all you theatre folks out there). The game isn’t asking you to come join its world, rather, it’s asking you to think outside of its own world in order to solve the problems it presents. Basically, it’s using real-world information to solve in-game problems. Actually, we do this a lot in gaming but typically we aren’t really thinking of it, as we’re so immersed in the game itself, whereas This is the Only Level forces you into thinking outside its own box.
The third game I wanted to talk about I haven’t actually played, but I’m very excited about it. It’s called 1000 Blank White Cards. The object of the game is to create a deck of cards of your own design and play a game of your own design using the deck you’ve just made. The cards themselves can be made from just about anything and the cards’ abilities can be anything. There are some pretty hilarious cards and a game description (as much as there can be I guess) at Boardgame Geek; the cards even had me laughing out loud. Also, there is more info at the Wikipedia page (I think the Wikipedia page is more informative, but the pictures as Boardgame geek are just downright hilarious).
Well I can’t wait to see you all tomorrow for our game night.
-Michael M. Soldati