Claymation: From the Movie Screen to the Video Game Screen

Claymation: From the Movie Screen to the Video Game Screen

Video game design often involves sophisticated software and complex coding that results in a visual and auditory experience for the user. Several designers today incorporate tactical play into video game design. Plasticine, a non-drying, non-toxic, malleable clay, developed by art teacher William Harbutt in 1897, has become an experimental tool of the trade.

Pixel Art: Nostalgia or Visual Style?

Pixel Art: Nostalgia or Visual Style?

The limits of computing hardware of the 1980s required game designers to use pixel art, a 2D graphical style that is enjoying a revival today. Games like Space Invaders, Pac-Man, Super Mario Brothers, and The Legend of Zelda consisted of 2D images with low resolutions and limited color palettes that many designers and gamers considered…

Never Alone: Protecting Cultural Heritage through Interactive Play

Never Alone: Protecting Cultural Heritage through Interactive Play

I recently listened to independent researcher Paul J. Hale’s Disney Story Origins podcast. In each episode, Hale seeks to understand the historical facts or origins of folklores, myths, and tales adapted by Disney for the big screen. Hale’s podcast presents amusing factoids and comparisons. In Disney’s Mulan, for example, the heroine has a token sidekick,…

Pirates Sail on the Video Game Screen

Pirates Sail on the Video Game Screen

Homer and Cicero wrote about incidents involving sea robbers that threatened the trading routes of Ancient Greece and Rome more than 2,000 years ago. Since then, each era has encountered new brands of pirates. Popular culture today glorifies the picture of a band of outlaws who are guided by the wind and their own set…

Study or Visit Space with this Video Game Series

Study or Visit Space with this Video Game Series

Physicists and astronomers tend to maintain two schools of thoughts on space exploration. The first school focuses on cost management and quick results and concludes that robotic, unmanned missions prove the best approach to space exploration. The second school advocates for humans to travel to space. “It’s our prerogative as an intelligent species, our cosmic…

The Wonderful Wizard of Oz and Pinball: Two Pieces of American Culture

The Wonderful Wizard of Oz and Pinball: Two Pieces of American Culture

L. Frank Baum’s classic novel, The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, captivated generations of audiences with its iconic characters, adventurous storyline, and captivating setting. Published in 1900, the novel inspired countless adaptations in a variety of mediums including stage plays, films, novels, and video games. The Wizard of Oz film, released in 1939 by MGM, remains…

Explore Your Reading List with These Video Games

Explore Your Reading List with These Video Games

My reading list seems to grow longer each year. It seems impossible to read all of the intriguing titles available; the Library of Congress alone has approximately 838 miles of bookshelves.

Video Games Showcase the Human Experience

Video Games Showcase the Human Experience

Storytellers help listeners to connect to experiences. Current storytelling projects such as The Moth, Story Corps, and Human Library showcase human experience through various media platforms. Video games today demonstrate how storytelling continues to evolve. The format allows players to interpret the game and to make in-game decisions that affect the fate of the characters…

Video Game Designers Partner with Writer Neil Gaiman

Video Game Designers Partner with Writer Neil Gaiman

Novelists have collaborated with video game designers to create interactive fiction for decades. In 1984, author Douglas Adams and computer game developer Steve Meretzky paired-up to turn the Hitchhikers’ Guide to the Galaxy series into an interactive fiction video game. Cyberdreams later worked with author Harlan Ellison to turn his short-story, “I Have No Mouth, and…

Video Games: Making the Music

Video Games: Making the Music

Understanding a music compilation requires more than listening to the sounds. NPR music critic and correspondent Ann Powers explained that “music is not a thing, but things are important to music. You can’t really understand 1920s blues without learning to shimmy and slow drag. It’s incredibly enriching to discover the stuff an artist kept around,…