"Ever tried to watch all three extended editions of the Lord of the Rings trilogy? That's the filmic equivalent. It was with this mindset that I began to play 'Dreamfall: The Longest Journey,' the sequel to my favorite game of all time. Tom Rhodes spends "Two More Days in Arcadia."
In Too Deep
"Game designers and reviewers universally recognize immersion as a signal virtue of games, perhaps the central virtue. Nonetheless, they seldom analyze the idea. Possibly, recognizing the elusiveness of immersion, they fear (in Alexander Pope's phrase) breaking a butterfly upon a wheel." Allen varney explains why the academic debate over immersion may be more harmful than helpful in "Immersion Explained."
"Look around your computer. Pick up something - your mouse, the coffee mug, that box-set of Desperate Housewives DVDs that you, er, are keeping for a friend. Look at it. Turn it around. Throw it up in one hand and catch it in the other. Now, put it down.
Congratulations. You've just accomplished something that Mario, Lara Croft or the Master Chief never could."
Gearoid Reidy profiles middleware developer Havok in "Cry Havok."
"It's a situation we're all likely to face eventually: There's a hooker upstairs, behind a locked door, and she's waiting, willing and ... waiting. Problem? A burly bouncer bars the way. He wants a password before he'll open the door and let you find your own personal nirvana in the arms of the woman-for-hire. But even if you were to somehow find the magic word, he's not likely to step aside and let you ride for free. You're broke, see, and you seem to have left your marketable skills in your - erm - other pants. What to do?" Russ Pitts examines the de-evolution of the adventure game genre in "Not with a Bang, But a Click."
"'That's Lakeview,' says George, my boyfriend. Slouching in the window seat next to me, he casts swift, tightened glances at the ravaged earth below. Somewhere, down there, is his family. 'Over there,' he gestures vaguely. 'That's where the levee broke.' "Lara Crigger struggles to find meaning in escapism amidst the wreckage of a natrual disaster in "Escaping Katrina."