The Community Spotlight highlights some of the best articles that didn't quite make the front page. This week, we're all about battles: old narrative techniques vs. new ones, hardcore vs. casual gamers, critics vs. developers, and Pokémon vs…other Pokémon. Seriously, you didn't think I was going to mention "battles" without Pokémon, did you? That would be crazy talk.
Apologizing to 'inferior' storytelling tools
By Jeffrey Sandlin
"Immersion." That's a buzzword Jeffrey doesn't like. He argues that some games use the concept of "environmental storytelling" as a crutch, neglecting a clear narrative in the process. Cut-scenes, dialogue, audio diaries — they're all just tools of the trade, he says, to be used when needed.
Losing my love for handhelds
By William Pansky
William traces his journey from Game Gear to iPad, with stops at just about every handheld in between. No matter how hard he tries — and he has tried pretty hard — he just can't seem to get invested in gaming on a portable platform. I can't agree; my iPod Touch is my bestest friend for games these days. Interesting perspective, though.
Core and casual: What's the difference?
By Jordan Vincent
Can you put a time requirement on what makes a "hardcore" gamer? Jordan says no. In fact, he did his honors thesis on the topic, complete with statistics showing…well, I'll let you read for yourself. Suffice it to say that he doesn't find as big a gap between the two camps as you might think.
A simplified history of Pokémon's metagame, part 2: Gold and Silver
By Marcel Hoang
We featured part 1 of Marcel's retrospective already. In his latest entry, he tells of the downfall of Psychics, the rise of Steel and Dark Pokémon, and the continued prevalence of Fighting types. Also, Snorlax suddenly became awesome. Good times.
A middle ground on games criticism: Critic versus developer
By Juan Letona
If you haven't read Dan Cook's critique of games writing, you should. At the least, it'll spark a response or two, the way it has for Juan. Read both articles…then do what I did and Google Roberto Bolano, the author Juan mentions in an analogy. (Sorry, Juan. I guess I need to brush up on my contemporary Chilean literature.)
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