• Lovely article about Mahjong and its role within one family, and one man's life. Really good games writing. (Also, god, I miss playing Mahjong. I never got quite good enough, and still really want a set… and the the friends necessary to go with it).
  • "Once the pro­gram­ming went wonky on me and Tri­co re­fused to jump up to that first wa­ter­fall for a sol­id half hour. But I sus­pect that any soft­ware suf­fi­cient­ly ad­vanced to do what Tri­co does at some point be­comes in­dis­tin­guish­able from a cat." Tim Bray on The Last Guardian
  • "If losing a normal game of monopoly is frustrating, losing to this strategy is excruciating, as a losing opponent essentially has no path to victory, even with lucky rolls. Your goal is to play conservatively, lock up more resources, and let the other players lose by attrition. If you want to see these people again, I recommend not gloating, but simply state that you're playing to win, and that it wasn't your idea to play Monopoly in the first place."
    (tags: games monopoly )
  • "The lesson games have for design is not really a lesson about games at all. It’s a lesson about play. Play isn’t leisure or distraction or the opposite of work. Nor is it doing whatever you want. Play is the work of working something, of figuring out what it does and determining how to operate it. Like a woodworker works wood. By accepting the constraints of an object like a guitar (or like Tetris), the player can proceed to determine what new acts are possible with that object. The pleasure of play—the thing we call fun—is actually just the discovery of that novel action." Not just this quotation, but all of this article, really. So good. Immaterials, again.
  • In absolute agreement with Michael Cook: this is a great article about what procedurally generated sound is like – the answer being, a lot of up-front work on parameters before procedure kicks in; the role of the sound designer being in designing systems and simulations as well as sound (rather than *just* the sound); and most importantly, something that can be explained to a lay audience with truthful language, rather than hyperbole. A good piece of technology journalism.