my game of the year is

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This is a list of games I found personally meaningful or interesting over the past year. It’s not a complete list of all the great games out there. I know I missed a few. 

This list also doesn’t rank the games in any particular way. They’re ordered the way they are to help me illustrate some ideas, that is all.

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A Haiku for Bad Developers

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I’ve put together a Twine poem-game-thing (I’m still not even convinced of the nomenclature for the things I’m making, to be honest with you), that makes extensive use of Darius Kazemi’s “Random Words” macro. This one’s a little simpler than the other two of this late-November digital poetry series, in part because it was made in a bit of a mad scramble, but it allowed me to exercise some of my ideas regarding computer generation in poetry, “happy accidents” and a more free-verse or projectivist style of poetry in a digital form. I wanted this to feel somewhat like Brian Kim Stefans’ The Dream Life of Letters, and despite the hurry in which this was made I hope I captured some of that sensation. I had wanted to stick the game on this page in an iframe, but it didn’t look quite right and the random word macro refused to work properly, but it looks great in full screen at Philome.la (link below).  Continue reading

Winter is for Mourning People

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Here’s the second in my small series of game poems. It’s a villanelle! Sort of. It loosely follows the structure of one but I’ve definitely taken a few liberties in terms of foot, rhyme and meter. I put this one together in Construct 2, partly to keep things interesting (for me, mostly) and partly to demonstrate that I think the connection between digital games and poems is a little deeper than just what’s reflected in “text”-based tools like Twine. (Even that one’s debatable, but my inevitable essay on the subject won’t be for a while.) Continue reading

Manufacturing Consent XXX Porn Parody

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I’ve created another Twine poem. This will be one of a handful of posts over the next few days all exploring different moods and styles of digital poetry. I’ll cut the pretense and admit I’m doing this, at this point in the month, to combat a weeks-long rut of writer’s block and creative and emotional lethargy. Also, to get paid before November’s out. This little experiment is as much for me as it is for you, and I really do enjoy doing these little works with relatively more ease (at least, less time committed to actual labour) than writing my typical-length essays. Continue reading

Approaching the Poetics of Play, Part 1

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[This is part one of a two-part series of essays in which I explore poetry as a vector for play. I discuss the dynamics of author and reader, the form of poetry as a “field” for active audience participation, creativity, exploration, performance, cooperation and playful modeling of systems. This first piece deals with explicit, mediated audience participation in physical or online spaces. This will foreground a discussion on hypertext and other digital poetry in part two.]

Back in April 2013, I attended SpokenWeb’s “Approaching the Poetry” Series Conference at the VAV Gallery, the exhibition space connected with the Fine Arts department of my alma mater, Concordia University. I actually only attended the poetry reading component of the conference, offered as extra credit by my Canadian Literature professor. I thought I would at least get some mild enjoyment out of it, and—hey!—extra credit. But what I didn’t know at the time, sitting on a plastic fold-out chair in a sterile, angular, white gallery space, was that I would be given much to think about in terms of play. Continue reading

Aluminum Smile

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He stands in front of the Hype Machine as it pulses and whirs. He cracks open his energy drink, the can clammy from condensation. The sweat from his fingers glides across the aluminum lip. If it weren’t for the whirring, gurgling buzz of the Machine, the transfixed crowd would hear him gulping between sighs of refreshed “Ah!’s”.

The Machine would open soon. Continue reading