Nintendo Switch

Gaming with the Moms Episode 74: Emo Owls with Hoodies

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We were off last week, which means there’s a lot to talk about. Nintendo announced the Nintendo Switch! What do we think about it? Well, we already know what Stephen thinks about it. But what does Nicole think? The voice actor strike is still going and the actors have been picketing southern California studios. Are their demands reasonable? And what are the implications for the larger development community if they are? There’s a big new update for Animal Crossing New Leaf. Valve is saying “no-no” to developers who doctor their screenshots. ThatGameCompany has given some teasers for their new game that tell us next to nothing. And GameStop hasn’t been selling as many games as they would like.
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Jenova Chen

(Emotionally) Mature Games: How Jenova Chen Redefined Video Games

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Last week at the 11th Annual Games for Change Festival in New York City, game creator Jenova Chen spoke in a panel called “Blank Canvas: Designing a New Era of Emotional Storytelling Through Games.” Chen’s studio Thatgamecompany is responsible for the award-winning game Journey, which staggered audiences with its enormous emotional capacity. In his talk, Chen outlined the three key factors he aims to include in his games and why they matter. Read More

Journey header

Journey Helps Players Find Strength in Weakness

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Editor’s Note: Journey is one of our favorite games—it’s mechanically simple but emotionally complex, and suitable for all ages. In this guest article, first posted at UW Bothell’s digital media blog The Next, author Emmett Scout examines some of the reasons why Journey is such a special experience.

Journey is an unusual game. A deeply emotional, spiritual, and nonviolent indie creation, it broke sales records on the PlayStation Network when it was released in 2012, won numerous awards, and received a Grammy nomination for its soundtrack. The game follows a nameless, cloaked figure in its pilgrimage to a distant mountain across the desert. The setting is almost post-apocalyptic; the player-character travels through the ruins of civilization, learning the history of the land and the civil war that destroyed it along the way. Read More