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Posts tagged “Priceless Play”

Feature: "Your life is currency," makes for some bleak games tbh

Priceless Play – 4 May 2019

Goodness gracious me alive, look, it's Ludum Dare time! Ludum Dare is a biannual (as in happening twice-a-year) game jam, and probably one of the world's largest and longest-running game jams. Who am I to say otherwise? It says so right on their website. I am always amazed by the sheer creativity and talent which comes out of each Ludum Dare, and this go around…

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Feature: Let's all love Guy Fieri

Priceless Play – 13 April 2019

Spring is settling in its April bones, showering to bring May flowering. The farmer's market around the corner is getting lusher and greener each weekend, the beach is peppered with more and more tourists in swimsuits and towels looking to soak up the sun. It is reassuring to watch the last dregs of winter (if you can call it that in southern California) drip away,…

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Feature: Leaving on a jet plane

Priceless Play – 16 March 2019

Greetings from Terminal 2 of the Los Angeles International Airport! I'm seated in one of the ubiquitous hybrid chair/benches which grace all airport terminals across our great planet gearing up for a ten-and-a-half hour flight. Hooray! Like many people, the thing I love most in the world is shuffling into a gigantic airborne tube with numerous strangers for an extended period of time. (Bonus: I…

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Feature: If anyone says "always-already" I swear

Priceless Play – 9 March 2019

I spend a lot of time thinking about the past and future, and the little moments which rely on them. I mean, maybe it's just inherent in the contemporary state of Being Alive™ that we spend so much time thinking about time: setting alarms, making dinner reservations, meeting deadlines, missing deadlines, scheduling due-dates, planning for investments and interest rates... A 30-year mortgage? Will I even…

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Feature: If this website goes slower than 60mph, Keanu Reeves will yell at us

Priceless Play – 2 March 2019

Hey, why are people so tired on the first of April? It's because they just finished a March of 31 days! I was taking a casual stroll through the 'net, and discovered the super legit wiseoldsayings.com page for March. There are a bunch of wise old authors saying wise old things about wise old March, though I'm particularly partial to "In like a lion, out…

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Feature: Sex: from hyperreal to hyper-abstract, text, sext, and Flash.

Priceless Play – 23 February

**This week's Priceless Play is NSFW!!!** Sex in games is certainly nothing new. There are, of course, the various moral panics -- GTA's famed "hot coffee," for instance -- to countless articles about the sex lives in SecondLife. Our Very Own Kieron Gillen wrote a primer on Sporn (that's "Spore porn," for the uninitiated) eleven years ago. Cara Ellison had a column, called S.EXE, here…

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Feature: Ah! Love! That Many Splendour'd Thing!

Priceless Play – 16 February 2019

I don't like Dream Daddy. There. I said it. A game that de-eroticises queer romance in some apolitical neoliberal mystery world isn't it, chief.* There's a lot to love there, but so much about its technically-indie-corporate-sheen marketing gay romance rubs me the wrong way. I'm glad the game is there for those who need it, I'm glad there's a game where queer folks seem pretty…

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Feature: To love and friendship and birthdays

Priceless Play — 9 February 2019

Hello friends, welcome to February in our little column. Now, depending on how you feel about... that holiday, we can all agree that there is one very important day in February. Perhaps some of you think it's a needless expression of "feelings," or maybe some of you think it's a practice in consumerism, but I know that there is a special breed of person who…

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Feature: New beginnings and feelin good!

Priceless Play – 26 January 2019

I make my bed every day. It's the easiest way I know to tell the day that I am ready for it. Making the bed is fairly simple to do, and (in most circumstances, I imagine) shouldn't take more than five minutes. The results can be astonishing. Voilà! A bedroom is transformed. Does a tidy person live here? Who knows! The possibilities are endless and…

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Feature:

Priceless Play – 5 January 2019

It's 2019 now. I know you know that -- it's been 2019 for at least several days or more by the time you are reading this. If you don't know that it's 2019, I hope that it is because by the time you're reading this it's actually 2020 or something equally as wild as the passing of time. In this new year, in this little…

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Feature: The Joy of Cooking

Priceless Play – 29 December 2018

I'm sorry, dear reader. I have failed you. I was unable to get this to you in time to save your Christmas dinners. Your beef wellingtons, unwell. Puff pastry, unpuffed. If only you had had this collection of free games about cooking -- only then could your Christmas dinner have been truly spectacular. I am here to rectify my error. There's always New Year's. Now:…

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Feature: Let it snow!

Priceless Play – 22 December

I have not, to this day, managed to be in the same place at the same time as a white Christmas. If you have, please, let me know. Is it still possible to snow on Christmas day anywhere south of Duluth, Minnesota? I have many happy memories of building snowmen, tobogganing, and ducking under snow-laden boughs in the backwoods of Virginia. But none of them…

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Feature: Make a decision!

Priceless Play – 15 December 2018

Is there anything quite so glorious as being right? The smug playground-satisfaction of pulling out an "I told you so," or (even better) the long-con revenge of living well? Of course, every good thing has its price. For every instance of being right, there must exist an equal and opposite instance of being wrong. The less enjoyable forfeit of "You were right, and I was…

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Feature: Christmas dating sims!

Priceless Play – 7 December 2018

It's December now, and I've already burned through a barrage of Netflix-original Christmas romantic comedies. To be fair, it's not just the holiday season that puts me into the romcom spirit but it is a good catalyst. Whether it's You've Got Mail, When Harry Met Sally, Groundhog Day or The Holiday and The Christmas Prince, hook me up to an IV and put the popcorn…

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Feature: Location, Location, Location

Priceless Play – 1 December 2018

I’m back from celebrating my time off for American Thanksgiving to bring you the final installment in my close examination of game components. The pair to my last piece, on embodiment and movement, we’re taking the deep dive into space and movement. I know not all games are made of only four elements -- time, rules or constraints, embodiment, and space -- but it sure…

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Feature: Movies

Priceless Play – 16th November 2018

Some games, not all games (but some) have a degree of representational movement in them. A couple of years ago I went to see a panel discussion of designers at the Southbank Centre (a dream lineup: Naomi Alderman, Cara Ellison, Emily Short, and Meg Jayanth; moderated by Simon Parkin) and one of the designers mentioned the way players automatically notice the effects of their own…

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Feature: Read all instructions before you begin

Priceless Play — 9th November 2018

I’m carrying on this month in taking some hyper-focus to a different layer of a game’s design. If last week’s focus was time, this week’s focus is on rules. Rules are some of the first things I learned about in game design, and it was probably the first thing you learned, too. When I was a kid I would yell at my neighbour, the one…

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Feature: Seasonal unscares

Halloween 2018 Special: round up of very nice things

I bet you thought that what with all the spooky stuff we’ve had on the site over the past while, we were leading up to a big horror extravaganza of Halloween-themed stuff today. “Someone is going to use the word ‘spoopy’,” you thought. Well you’re wrong! All our special Halloween features are about nice things today. We are wall-to-wall niceness. Dare I say suffocatingly cute.…

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Feature: A graveyard smash

Priceless Play – 27th October 2018

Horror has been on my mind a lot this month. I mean, it’s pretty wild that one of the most popular genres of entertainment relies on making ourselves uncomfortable. For me, I have found that horror is all about putting the things which make me squirm in sharp relief to the things which make me feel the safest. Is there anything better than the breathy,…

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