On the Topic of that Silly Cartoon
Posted by Zen Of Design [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 23 February 2015, 2:40 am
So the cartoon I posted, I am interested in knowing what each point means and the facts on both sides. Pls lmk. — Mark Kern (@Grummz) February 22, 2015 The Cartoon that Mark is referring to is this one.   Later, he tried to constructively egg on the people who were pointing out that this […]


Mark Kern Doubles Down on Being Wrong
Posted by Zen Of Design [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 20 February 2015, 12:17 pm
Earlier this week, I wrote an article about Mark Kern’s extremely bad interpretation of events over the last few months.  I was inclined to give him a pass beyond this.  I mean, it’s possible he’s been busy and not been paying close attention to what’s been going on.  People who are in the quagmire that […]


Cock Hero: The Gamification of Porn
Posted by Zen Of Design [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 18 February 2015, 12:08 pm
This update is seriously Not Safe For Work, or for the sexually prudish.  Seriously.  This article is one of those.  It will be one or two clicks away from porn, and not the hazy filtered Skinemax variety.  That being said, if you’re interested in the gamification of man’s most basic instincts, then read on…. . […]


On L&O:SVU and Mark Kern’s Petition Thingy
Posted by Zen Of Design [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 18 February 2015, 2:44 am
Okay, it’s not as bizarre as Mercedes Carerra ranting about Anita, but Mark Kern’s petition against Kotaku and Polygon is strangely  uninformed, out of left field and… well, just plain wrong.  Patrick Garrett has some thoughts here.  So does Cara Ellison.  But they left a couple of things out. 1. First off, let’s make one thing […]


It’s not even Valentine’s Day yet, but we have an early frontrunner for the Stupidest Thing You’ll Read All Month: Ralph Retort’s SHOCKING REVELATION that people get drunk at GDC (and the comments thread is even more hilariously idiotic than the article), and then collude (i.e. drink with people we like, instead of presumably alone in […]


Elder Scrolls Ditches the Subscription Model
Posted by Zen Of Design [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 22 January 2015, 2:43 am
Well, they didn’t TECHNICALLY go Free-to-Play, so I can’t say I told you so.  It looks more like they are going with the Guild Wars model.  I can’t say I’m a fan yet – from what I’ve heard the game would sincerely benefit from the massive influx of population that would happen if they ditched all […]


‘Built From the Ground Up for DLC’ is Not a Selling Point
Posted by Zen Of Design [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 20 January 2015, 11:49 pm
Jimquisition has something to say about Evolve’s monetization schemes.  Go ahead and watch, I’ll wait here. Here’s one example of Turtle Rock saying that Evolve was built to support DLC “more than any game ever before.”  Now, I want to be clear: it’s great to hear of a team that had that foresight and that […]


The Orphans of GamerGate
Posted by Zen Of Design [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 12 January 2015, 3:24 am
As the temperature around GamerGate continues to fade, the various forums and threads about the subject have been cooling.  Many people around the industry seem to be warming to the idea that the worst is finally over.  KotakuInAction is slowing, GamerGhazi is encouraging discussions of other topics, NeoGAF is looking to let its gamergate thread […]


Pornhub Metrics are Deeply Fascinating Look at Worldwide Trends (SFW)
Posted by Zen Of Design [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 12 January 2015, 2:21 am
If you’re the sort of person who doesn’t get offended by the notion of porn, then you’ll likely be as intrigued as I am by PornHub’s annual statistical review, which gives in-depth analysis to the trends of their viewership.  The report is here, and is, at least visually, safe for work.  The previous year is […]


The Best and Worst Board Games
Posted by Zen Of Design [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 11 January 2015, 3:49 am
538.com is long one of my favorite sites, as it was founded by Nate Silver, who is of course the statistics savant who made a name for himself pretty much nailing the last two presidential elections based on a lot of disparate polling data.  Since that time, they’ve left their home on the New York […]


Wardell on Diversity
Posted by Zen Of Design [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 9 January 2015, 1:39 pm
Brad is far more sympathetic to GamerGate’s goals and tactics than I am, so I’m not totally surprised that he calls bullshit on Intel’s diversity announcement (which I discussed previously here).  That being said, there are a couple of fallacious arguments that should be brought up. During the event, Intel even featured the Feminist Frequency […]


Pentagon Wars, Foldable Humans and Other Miscellaneous Stuff
Posted by Zen Of Design [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 7 January 2015, 11:14 pm
It’s been a while since I did a grab bag of stuff, but there was a convergence of minor stuff that merits a mention. * Remember the GamerGate 8chan child porn story?  People who aren’t horrible human beings will be pleased to know that the journalist who found, documented and reported on the child porn, […]


Intel Steps It Up On Diversity
Posted by Zen Of Design [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 7 January 2015, 5:18 am
Yesterday, Intel made a major announcement, effectively setting a dare up for other tech companies by declaring a $300 Million dollar investment in Diversity, including the goal of a fully representative workplace by 2020. This is a pretty staggeringly ambitious goal for a large, major international company, and by at least this account, we largely have GamerGate […]


Design Features I Love: Saboteur
Posted by Zen Of Design [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 29 December 2014, 3:40 am
The first single-player open world game of the post-Playstation era that I ever loved was Saboteur.  I realize that may seem to come a little late, but to be honest, if you’re used to the wide open worlds of MMOs for your entire career, GTA and the like actually seemed kinda … empty.  After all, […]


Endless Legend Revitalizes the Civlike by Rethinking the City Expansion Game
Posted by Zen Of Design [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 27 December 2014, 12:20 am
Well, when Civ:BE failed to grab me, what I reached for instead was a different 4x game that was recommended to me: Endless Legend. This is a Civ-like set in a fantasy universe, similar to a Masters of Magic. And man, does it scratch the Civ itch in ways I find new and different for […]


GamerGate Hits Rock Bottom, Keeps Digging
Posted by Zen Of Design [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 24 December 2014, 2:30 pm
GamerGate has chosen a peculiar hill to die on.  Yes, this Christmas is the Christmas that the cause to fight for ethics in games journalism is best served with a spicy discussion of child pornography.  Because of course it is.  People who want to read a more in-depth analysis can go here. GG has a […]


Operation ZenRescue Completed
Posted by Zen Of Design [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 22 December 2014, 9:52 pm
During my time off, I have been devoting a fair amount of my time and energy to rescuing my old blog content – a couple of years ago, I had an incident with my hosting that resulted in me needing to start over with a clean state, which put about 8 years of content in […]


Added New ‘Published Articles’ section
Posted by Zen Of Design [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 19 December 2014, 4:57 pm
Between 2008-2013, I wrote a column for Game Developer magazine called “Design of the Times”.  As part of me enjoying my time off, I created a new Page for these articles – you can find them from the Published Articles … Continue reading


On Progressive vs. Normal Criticism
Posted by Zen Of Design [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 18 December 2014, 2:10 am
Erik Kain of Forbes Magazine says that on the topic of GamerGate, I understand it among the best.  Which is high praise, as he’s been fairly plugged into the controversy from the outset, and is actually reasonably sympathetic to some of … Continue reading


MMOs and the Fall of THQ
Posted by Zen Of Design [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 15 December 2014, 1:33 am
The AAA games industry has hysterically overreacted to the failure of anyone to capture the lightning in the bottle that World of Warcraft.  It’s weird – AAA studios seem completely and totally oblivious to the fact that EverQuest was quite successful … Continue reading


Civilization: Beyond Earth, and Resonance’s Role in Game Design
Posted by Zen Of Design [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 11 December 2014, 1:15 pm
I won’t lie – when I was planning on when my last day with Bioware would be, the idea of coinciding it with the release of Civilization: Beyond Earth was pretty damned serendipitous.  I expected to go into a six month … Continue reading


GamerGate Now Beating Up on Gamers With Disabilities
Posted by Zen Of Design [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 7 December 2014, 8:28 pm
AbleGamers is a charity that I have some familiarity with.  I actually spoke on a panel for AbleGamers in 2012 at PAX, when I also accepted the award for Accessible Mainstream Game of the Year on behalf of the SWTOR … Continue reading


Perversely, the Target GTA V Kerfuffle Represents Progress
Posted by Zen Of Design [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 7 December 2014, 3:55 am
Target Australia’s decision to pull GTA V from shelves is surprising for a few reasons, the least of which being that the product has been on shelves with nary a buzz since September 2013.  Not much has changed since then, … Continue reading


Updated Breaking In Page
Posted by Zen Of Design [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 6 December 2014, 6:04 pm
I’ve updated it, so it has working links, and now has a section that talks about watching your social media footprint.  Here’s a link.


Yes, GamerGate Still Exists- Just In Petty Drama-Oriented Form
Posted by Zen Of Design [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 6 December 2014, 3:50 am
So, how is #GamerGate going, you might ask?  I’ll be honest – I went out of town for five blissful days for a board game convention, which is pretty much as close to a religious experience as I get.  During … Continue reading


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