Edu games can be fun: My Little Cook

My Little Cook intro

My four year old son was nervously jumping from one fast paced game to another, actually bored at the iPad. I asked him:

“Do you want to try a new game?”


“It’s about preparing and cooking a cake.”

“But I can’t do that!”

“Let’s see.”

So we started playing My Little Cook: in the game you a young cook that moves in this cardboard made animated house, has to get the right ingredients, mix and cook.

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Diorama art as videogame inspiration source

Thomas Doyle dioramaSeen often discussed “videogame is art?”, but maybe it’s the other way around. Two pictures of a beautiful work by Thomas Doyle, and more works here.

Thomas Doyle diorama detail

You can follow me at @ppolsinelli.

The limits of chocofication

The Pleasure Revolution: Why Games Will Lead the Way.This post is just a bit of “curation” for this stimulating Google Tech Talk by Jesse Schell: The Pleasure Revolution: Why Games Will Lead the Way.

Schell first makes the point that “gamification” works only in specific contexts, and can backfire.

Then introduces self-determination theory as motivation for games as distinct from “fun”.

Also clarifies the distinction between “hafta” software and “wanna” software, articulates the evolution of software today from efficiency to pleasure.

Thanks Professor Schell for your teaching (and for your splendid game design book)!

I’ve collected the links referred to in the talk in this Licorize booklet. Thanks to Vincenzo Santalucia for pointing this out.

Hafta & Wanna

Storytelling and video games

Rearranged Photo Narrative

In this writing I try to give indirect answers to the question: what is the role of storytelling in video games?

Creating narratives for video games results in finished products that elicit storytelling. Stories get fed in game production processes; the resulting games generate storytelling experiences that are not immediate results of the original stories.

Narratives for games are components among others of the complex video game production process. Let’s see more about such narratives.

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Five smart, different, creative indie browser games

While preparing the script for the next Gamamoto game I have been researching for interesting, creative browser games. I present here some results of the search, plus a shameless self promotion at the end. The games here listed are small production that IMHO have the conceptual (in story and design) depth that often AAA games lack.

1. 1899 Steam & Spirit

imageThe game has an original and interesting plot and is filled with puzzles cleverly put together – moreover the steampunk design makes fills my heart of love and compassion.

Play here: Winston

What is quite amazing is the fact that this game is a pure HTML + JavaScript game, which means that you can happily play it pretty anywhere.

The authors: this is the author’s blog:

How to like it: The game’s first page has a link to PayPal for donations.

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The wonderful, horrible kitsch of browser games


Note: in the real web page, she even blinks her uncanny eyes. At you.

For reasons not entirely clear to me there is a strong link between browser games and kitsch esthetics. A few examples follow. If you have more examples, do post them in the comments.

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Games Brief on “What is a social game”– and Adslife

Adslife Museum

Games Brief published an interesting collection of answers to the question What is a social game? What emerges is that there is an ambiguity in the question, on whether it is meant games played not alone (as most game are in some way) or games played through a social network.

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