WHAT'S A GAME?

Video games are young and growing quickly. 

In this early state, it’s sometimes hard to know exactly what a videogame is. The communities growing around them occasionally bring up the question, but it always serves to distance people from each other. The debate rages in circles forever.

Far be it from us to demand a stop to it, but we also don’t want to define video games ourselves. We want to take all possible definitions and talk about them. Where they came from, what they mean for the medium, and how they can bring us closer together. We believe that everyone who plays games of any kind, can get together and discuss what they love, without worrying about how they define them.

Our header image is by Sara Bobo, from the Johann Sebstian Joust press kit.

Courtesy Farnea on Flickr

Courtesy Farnea on Flickr

AND MORE

Features
Persona 4 Dancing All Night Review: Dance of the Dying

It's all wonderfully anime and goofy and cliche, and it's all fun and games until someone releases an ancient Japanese god to unleash chaos upon our communication-lacking world.

Super Mario Maker Review: Make Mine Mario

When you place a block down in Mario Maker, the music sings "block" to the tune of the level music. When you use an Amiibo costume, the death noises change to match the game the character is from. Sometimes, when you hit a mushroom, Mario turns into a terrifying, lanky monstrosity officially named "Weird Mario". Mario Maker is, at its heart, a tool for making Mario levels. But beyond that, it's a wonderful tribute to the weirdness and creativity that's always been inherent to the series. Maybe it doesn't feel big enough to be the 30th anniversary celebration game, but in a way, that in itself feels oddly appropriate.  

Features
Mario Galaxy and the Mechanization of Space

Super Mario Galaxy is the spaciest space game of all time.

To be fair, it doesn’t seem that way at first glance. Mario is a plumber from Brooklyn by way of the Mushroom Kingdom, which isn’t the kind of CV you need to get into NASA. The planets have nonsensical and inconsistent gravity, the stars have big cartoon eyes and goofy singsong dialogue, and all of outer space is ruled over by an amazonian princess with a magic wand. But, beyond all the parts of Mario Galaxy’s space that put it squarely in the Disney afternoon sector of the universe, its mechanics are not only what make it unique among platformers, but the only game I can think of that’s both about space, and actually feels like it earns it.

The Wacky World of Nintendo's Shared Space Universe

Years ago, Nintendo used to hold a show called Space World. It was a sort of Nintendo-only counterpart to Tokyo Game Show, which they didn't (and still don't) attend, where they'd announce new games and consoles, and put them out for the public to play. It had very little to do with space as a concept, but its makes for a very convenient segue into the fact that Nintendo has a crazy shared universe you never knew about, and it all takes place in space. Also, it's all perfectly reasonable and requires no insane leaps in fan fiction logic.

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