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Dishonored Co-Director: It's OK for Games to Be Mean to Players

Sometimes I think a golden age of DLC was kicked off by The Ballad of Gay Tony for Grand Theft Auto IV. Minerva’s Den for BioShock 2, Freedom Cry for Assassin’s Creed IV, Left Behind for The Last of Us, and maybe even Burial at Sea for BioShock Infinite were all expansions that matched, or even exceeded in some ways,… » 8/27/15 2:25pm Thursday 2:25pm

Stop Pretending Games Can't Harm You, New Book Argues

Are video games bad for you? Could they even kill you? That’s the kind of rhetoric we’re accustomed to hearing from cable television, not from one of the best journalists and critics who writes about games. Simon Parkin’s terrific new book, Death by Video Game, ends on just that note, however. “No, video games won’t… » 8/19/15 2:15pm 8/19/15 2:15pm

The Mainstreaming of Esports Is Slow, Sure, and Not Over Yet

As a good American I was filled with a jingoistic fervor after the triumph of the Evil Geniuses at The International, the world championship for Dota 2, this past weekend. I like video games. I like sports. But I’ve never watched esports, not a single match of Starcraft 2, Dota 2, League of Legends, Heroes of the Storm » 8/13/15 11:30am 8/13/15 11:30am

One Man's Defense of The Order: 1886

Tom Bissell is the author of my favorite book on video games, Extra Lives: Why Video Games Matter, which I called “the finest account yet of what it feels like to be a video game player” when I reviewed it in The New York Times. These days, he is a writer for video games like Uncharted 4, The Vanishing of Ethan Carter » 8/07/15 3:17pm 8/07/15 3:17pm

A Tractor Beam, a Flying Rock, and BioShock Walk Into a Game

On the most recent episode of Shall We Play a Game?, my podcast with former NPR producer and correspondent JJ Sutherland, we review The Magic Circle, a game with a whole lot of BioShock alums in the credits: The Magic Circle’s lead designer, Jordan Thomas, was the creative director of BioShock 2, and he also led the… » 7/22/15 2:15pm 7/22/15 2:15pm

Podcast: LifelineFallout Shelter, and Learning to Love Waiting

On the most recent episode of Shall We Play a Game?, my podcast with former NPR producer and correspondent JJ Sutherland, we review Lifeline, a game designed for the Apple Watch, and Fallout Shelter. I also talk to Cara Ellison, a game designer and critic, about working on Grand Theft Auto IV and Dishonored 2. » 7/14/15 3:44pm 7/14/15 3:44pm