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Designer by day. Musician at heart. Video game enthusiast. Guacamole artisan.

Location:Cleveland, OH

stories by Andrew Kuhar

The Master Sword

For the past few weeks, The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword had me doing things that no other video game has. It had me standing for 90% of a 45+ hour adventure because it was more compelling than sitting down. It taught me how to read my enemies’ behaviors, and to reconsider the meaningfulness of my sword (which, in terms of combat and puzzle-solving effectiveness, doesn’t change in a significant way throughout the majority of the game) more often than occasionally reminding me about all the other classic Zelda tools also at my disposal. By the end, it had me convinced that I was a significantly better swordsman than when I first gripped the blade referenced in its subtitle.

Why I Put Up With S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Clear Sky

If you know me personally, you’re probably somewhat aware of the latest hurdle I’ve had to overcome in gaming. To my own surprise, it didn’t fall under the creative end of the medium. Instead, it was S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Clear Sky (S:CS), the single most demanding game experience I’ve ever had. The one I came closest to giving up on over a dozen times.

Zombies in the Summertime

Editor's note: Andrew has an intriguing idea in this piece: Whenever he thinks of zombies, he thinks of summer because of lasting memories he has of zombie games and stories he encountered during that season. I've never thought about the relationship games (and other media) can have with the seasons we experience them in, and I find it an interesting idea. Andrew asks if other Bitmobbers have strong attachments to a game because of when and where they experienced it — and to share those experiences here. I'd like to second that invitation. -Jason

Does HD Halt/Help our Imagination in Games?

Why were we once able to play and enjoy games that are now rather unplayable? Digital mediums don't necessarily age in the most literal sense, but in their own right it's not always so easy "going-back". I'm lead to believe that either our tastes and criticism were simply non-existent, or some phenomenon has happened, where we've forgotten how to let our imagination do part of the work.

The Realist Place, You’ll Never Meet? (The Treachery of Graphics)

It wouldn’t be fair to blame any layman-of-videogames for taking the image on the left for a vista. Correction:a photograph of a vista. Scour the internet for a high-resolution version of it, or something close enough, and in minutes you’d have a sharp wallpaper to spread across the digital workspace most of us gravitate to when we’re “home”. Take it how you like, but what we have is a still an image, a .jpeg, of the game Flower for the Playstation 3. Try again. Not a flower, not a vista, not a photograph. This isn’t about the art theory of abstraction, though, or  how literal of “pipe” this is – I’ll let Magritte and a lot of art history books tell you how treacherous images can be. This is about the affect aesthetics have in modern game design, the interactive images in motion – are they just as guilty? The natural progression of technology in games ramping towards photo realism more and more each year has given space for wondering what it says about the function of the medium. Simply, I’m talking about graphics.