The Community Spotlight highlights some of the best articles that didn't quite make the front page. This week, we get bludgeoned with narrative in Homefront, get introspective with the Gears of War 3 beta, learn how not to behave in online multiplayer, and break down the potential of iOS gaming.
Homefront: Blunt force trauma
By Corey Williams
Violence and the depiction of war can be a useful storytelling tool, especially in games. But for Corey, Homefront went way beyond useful in its violent imagery. "Violence can serve to elicit specific emotions at times," he writes, "but at some point it becomes so nonsensical and empty that it loses sight of its original intention."
Etiquette for playing online
By Stan Rezaee
Stan's had it up to here with the racists, homophobes, and sexists in his online games. His advice may seem like good common sense…but clearly, lots of people need the reminder. (Or they would, if they could play online at all right now. What's that? Yes, I have a PS3…why do you ask?)
A simplified history of Pokémon's metagame, part 1: Red and Blue
By Marcel Hoang
I cut my teeth on the Red/Blue/Yellow versions of Pokémon, so Marcel's breakdown of the elemental strategy of these early games really takes me back. (My Alakazam destroyed everything.) It's still a surprise to me when I can't romp through Pokémon Black with nothing but Psychics. Looking forward to the rest of Marcel's series.
Aim for their feet: How the Gears of War 3 beta taught me about myself
By Joe Walker
Lots of people use video games as therapy. But in playing the Gears of War 3 beta, Joe actually found a reflection of his social anxiety. Correcting this flaw in his game has brought him greater self-awareness. And a better kill-death ratio. Good stuff.
Why iOS gaming is a threat, and why it isn't
By Daniel Sims
Some are heralding the iPhone and iPad as the end of traditional mobile gaming. While acknowledging their popularity, Daniel won't go as far as that. "I do believe that Apple has created a new tier of gaming," he writes. "But that’s just it — another tier." Click on for more wisdom.