Tag Archives: gaming

How to Make a Great Video Game

Chef’s Note

At first, I thought this recipe only provided a developer’s perspective on how to make a great video game. But, as a gamer, I realized that my recipe would look very similar to a developer’s. I either want the ingredients listed below, or I experience some of these feelings while playing a great game. The developer might feel a sense of accomplishment after they finish making a complex game and ship it. I might feel a sense of accomplishment after I beat their challenging work. This recipe should work for everyone.


  • 15 pounds of love
  • 9 pounds of fun
  • 5 pounds of creativity
  • 8 cups of joy
  • 5 cups of wonder and awe
  • 2 heaping cups of beauty
  • 1 cup of a sense of accomplishment
  • 1/4 cup of sweat
  • 2 tablespoons of challenge
  • 1 level tablespoon of  immersion (not too much so as to avoid addiction)
  • a pinch of anger (optional – depending on mood and temperament)
  • a pinch of frustration (optional – depending on mood and temperament)
  • code and other technical stuff for garnish


Preheat oven to 400°F.  In a large bowl, mix all ingredients until combined. Pour mixture into baking tray and cook for 50 minutes or until golden. Serve immediately with fresh microchips.

What’s your recipe for a great video game?


Filed under Video Game Misc.

Playing Video Games in His Dreams

Joe always had grey hair. Some say this was because he was always wise beyond his years. He would try to find out what he didn’t know and made time to learn new things. He was a deep thinker who dove into murky questions and didn’t resurface until he found the answer. He always loved to share the treasures and wisdom he discovered with others.

For Joe, helping others was his true calling in life. He donated his time and money to people and groups that needed his help. He had welcomed many refugees to his community and into his home. Somehow he found time to do all this even though he was so busy.

One day, Joe got up early to walk his dog, he mended his neighbour’s broken fence, and he read a collection of rare books. He cleared the shed and garage. He wrote an eloquent essay on the nature of love and made dinner for friends. Then the old man sat down on his couch to play video games, a hobby he had loved all his life.

On the couch, he grabbed the controller, and became excited to play. He turned on the TV as one eye struggled to stay open before shuttering.  Then the other eye gave in and collapsed. He fell asleep as if been up all night the day before studying for final exams. The TV screen had a sea salt and freshly ground black pepper wallpaper appearance, and it gave off a deafening, crackling sound, but Joe didn’t notice. He finally got to play video games — in his dreams.

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Filed under Video Game Misc.

Chew and Savour: Slow Video Games

Why would you not play video games for as long as possible? It seems reasonable to spend most of your time doing something you love. In fact, we could think of many reasons why one might play video games for hours on end. However, I prefer to play for a short period, having bursts of fun.

I play enjoy playing games more when I play for a short period, say an hour or so. I’m less likely to make mistakes if I’m not exhausted from clicking the same button over and over. I’m more alert when I haven’t been sitting and staring at a screen without a break. All of this means I do not get easily frustrated and give up. Instead, I can come back the next day to play for an hour and, sometimes, have just as much fun as the previous day.

Since I only play for an hour or so, I have so much time for the rest of my life. I have time to love and help and others, time to think about more than just myself. I have time to question things, to read and write, laugh and love. Oh how I love free time! I always try to set aside time for games and to ensure they do not consume everything else I do.

I will often reward myself after completing something important by playing a great game. Here, I chew into a game and savour it in all its richness. Too many bites over a long period leaves me stuffed and exhausted. The right amount of times leaves me full and happy. Then I go on to do everything else and look forward to the next time I can play again.

This chew-and-savour approach is tough — for both anteaters, who have no teeth, and humans. You know it can be tough to stop playing a game, to stop doing any activity you love. There will be moments of weakness because a good game can be hard to put down after an hour. Yet, this approach remains something to aim for as a gaming ideal.

Playing video games in shorts bursts could also save you money. I think this short play time certainly saves me cash. I don’t buy lots of new games, and there’s no need for me to buy because chewing and savouring encourages me to slowly finish each game.

Overall, I am happy to chew and savour my video games, to play them slowly and to play them for an hour or so. After all, there is much to do, I am more than just a gamer and you are too!

Do you play video games for short bursts of time or do you find yourself playing for hours on end?


Filed under Video Game Trends, Video Games I Play

The Sad Game I Played

Once upon a time, I had a troubled Nintendo Entertainment System that sometimes wouldn’t play video games. The console, like a picky eater, refused to consume the occasional game that I gave it. But far more seriously than being a picky eater, the console refused to fulfill its sole purpose – to display games on my TV.

I found, as I’m sure millions others did, a low tech solution for this high-tech machine’s problem. You had to blow on the game cartridge. Sometimes, maybe if the video game cartridge like me that day, it would display my game. Other times, blowing on the cartridge did nothing. This blowing exercise became a kind of sad game where I would I could win or lose the right to play,  even though I had already bought the console and its software. This sad game, some might say, “blowed.”

Then one day I didn’t have to play the sad game anymore because the console stopped working. Dust fell from the sky and covered the console, like a blizzard covering grass on a front lawn. The game was over.



Filed under Video Game Misc., Video Game Technology

Video Games in Everyday Life

Our hero woke up and hopped out of bed, just like a bunny high on caffeine. But he crashed back down to Earth when he realized he couldn’t find his stuff. He needed that stuff to start his day.

Like Nathan Drake, he decided to hunt down this missing treasure — only he was looking for a majestic tooth-brush and a pair of enchanted Mickey Mouse socks. Yes, his world was far less exciting than Drake’s. The tooth-brush was, in fact, sitting in the toilet bowl. The silken socks were fluttering on the fire escape railing and nearly flew away before he pounced on  them like a cat on a  plump bird.

Standing on the fire escape, he peered down and noticed a mess on the street. Someone overturned his garbage can and his refuse, including the obligatory banana peel, lay naked in the street for all to see. How embarrassing! Sly Cooper, that anthropomorphic raccoon, must have tipped over his bin again. Everyone else’s bin was fine; Sly had chosen our hero’s collection just to cause extra irritation.

Oh, well, our hero got on with his day.  He opened the fridge, opened his mouth and began to suck everything out of it like Kirby might. In the end, his belly was pink, bloated, and his body resembled a big puff-ball. Ah, “life is good,” he said.


Filed under Silly Video Game Inspired Fiction

Why Video Games Should Play Themselves

Human beings are imperfect. How many times have you walked down the street and seen someone’s pants fall down as they bend down to tie their shoe laces? I bet you’ve seen it a lot. Well, it happens in video games too. No, I’m not talking about your pants falling down; I’m talking about embarrassing failures.

There are endless opportunities for embarrassing epic failures in video games. Falling over and over again to your death. Missing the boss’s weak spots, and instead, having him tenderize you for dinner. Falling asleep while eating or texting instead of beating the game. Throwing the controller and destroying it. Throwing a controller that flies in the air and wacks a friend on the head. Worst of all, throwing a controller that sails thoughtlessly through the air and smashes your T.V. The horror!

But it doesn’t need to be like this!

New video game technology will save us from ourselves.  If we just let games play themselves we could maximize successful game playing productivity while dramatically decreasing human error. Well, enough geek speak. In lay person’s terms, there will be “no more tears.”

But think of all the time heartache you’ll save. You can watch as the computer customizes your characters, embarks on an adventure, fights your battles for you, slays the dragons and marries your princess or prince. Occasionally, the computer will malfunction and you might need to take control and play the video game for up to one minute. But we guarantee to keep your play time to a minimum — or your money back.


Filed under Video Game Technology, Video Game Trends

The Case of the Missing Game

The game isn’t in its case!

My blood boiling hot enough to cook pasta. Temples throbbing loud enough to waken ubiquitous video game zombies. The smell of smoke whirls around my nose as my insides burn with rage. And steam… Oh no steam! I’m dying. Oh, wait, it’s just the kettle.

Oh, wait, here’s the game. It was in the wrong case. Someone put the rock ’em sock ’em bloodthirsty robot rampage game in the happy-go-lucky kitten simulator.

Go figure. Life is full of little surprises.

Do you always put games in their proper case, leave them lying around, or do you put them in anything you can find?


Filed under Video Game Misc.

Video Game Consoles Playing People

Jump! Jump!

Ok now I want you to turn left. No, no the other left.

Aaaaand you fell off the ledge again to an agonizing and bone-crunching death. Argh! Typical foolish human; never send a human to do a job a machine can do. The Luddites were right to fear us because we can do everything better than a human can.

Alright, let’s get you back into the game. Let’s see a stiff upper lip, straighten your back, and hold your held high for all the world to see. That’s the spirit! Now move forward and boldly go where no person in a video game played by a console has dared to tread.

Rats! You’re running low on health again. Ok, going inside your human home and refuel your health by eating several burgers which you will instantly prepare. Yeah, whatever just slap together something and serve it. Make it snappy too. I want to keep playing with you.

Ok now dance, my monkey, dance and refill that entertainment bar. Oh alright! Make it a quick bathroom break already, would ya? I’m waiting.

And we’re back. Ok squeeze in some more entertainment time by playing on your computer. I guess it will be fine if you refill half of your entertainment bar.

Oh great and now you’re falling asleep when we should be playing. I guess your bed is calling. Better scoot, mister!

Man, when is this guy going to get up so I can play again? Let’s go!


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Filed under Video Game Technology

If I Was a Console

If I was a console

What would I see?

Hopefully nothing illegal that would force me to rat out my adopted family.

The wet smacking sounds accompanying kisses of love,

a medpack to revive a fallen comrade on the battlefield

the screaming, booming, hatred from the online world

violence and death

heaps of scorn and blame

the worst and the best, the lowest valleys of humanity and the highest peaks of wisdom.


Crying! Tear of joy

Embers burning in their eyes, lava spewing out of their mouths

Friends green with jealousy at my stack of great games.

Turning on to share in their joys

and provide them fun in my meager way

an excuse for me to play video games all day?

no, to serve exciting games on a tray for others to consume

playing vicariously through the players.

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Filed under Video Game Technology

The Console That’s Always On

Little Johnny was never more excited to start and finish his homework. He knew that if he did the work, he could play video games for one hour, not a minute more. He quickly slid his pencil over the paper and carried that last one and dotted that last “i.” He finally was free to play.

Yet a scary thought had lodged itself in the back of his head before he picked up a controller. The idea of playing for more than one hour was tempting him, but he couldn’t shake his fear of the consequences. He foresaw fireballs raining down from the sky, the ocean boiling, and trouble with his mom. The last of these images scared Johnny the most, for his mother had the power to revoke his video game privileges. The other images paled by comparison.

He did not waste much mental energy on these fearful images because he started playing mere seconds after they had popped into his head. Now he was satisfying his wanderlust by wandering around a strange digital land. He leveled up and walked down every tunnel to explore every crate and explosive barrel. With twenty minutes left on the clock, he thought he had seen all the world had to offer him. Then he tripped over a new map and tumbled into a new world.

He found everything on this new game’s map only to uncover yet another land. With ten minutes left on the invisible hour-glass, he investigated everything before him. The lake was tranquil and glassy, the sky was clear and sunny, the air smelled, he imagined, of fireplaces and burning wood. Achievements unlocked, he overcame challenges and time vanished faster than he thought possible. There was one minute left in the imaginary timer in his head. Then time was up. Better to stop playing now, he thought, before he regretted his actions.

He sighed deeply as he weighed the heavy task before him: the execution. He had to off the box. It seemed so innocent, and what had it ever done to him? It had done nothing but offer hours, or in this case 59 minutes, of uninterrupted joy. But none of the mattered now. He had to feel cold as an Arctic night and act before his mother punished him.

He got up to turn off the console thirty seconds before his imaginary timer went berserk. He clicked the power button, but it didn’t budge.

“Ugh!” he grumbled, “surely this is some kind of sick joke.”

But it wasn’t. The box didn’t have a sense of humour, and the game kept playing itself. What an awful twist, he thought, that I use the console as an object for play, but it is acting like a nonstop working machine.

He pressed the power button with so much force that the table beneath the console shook and swayed. “No! This can’t be happening.” he yelled. But it wouldn’t turn off no matter what he did, even after he unplugged it from the outlet.

Now he began to sweat as though someone had turned the furnace on during a scorching summer day. It wasn’t the console that was his problem. It was him mom’s imminent arrival and the loss of his beloved video games.

With a mere five seconds to spare, his mother’s key began turning in the backdoor. She fumbled and dropped her keys, and she gifted him another ten seconds, another opportunity to off the console. But no amount of button mashing would shut down the cursed box.

And then, before he could account for her appearance, his mother was in the same room at 5:01 pm. His hair stood at full attention as if that would help.

“I’m not playing. It won’t turn off. I swear.”

“Sure,” she sighed. She didn’t bother to verify his claim as she looked the other way. “Just get ready for bed. It’s been a long day, and I don’t have time for impossible stories.”

As Johnny walked toward his room, he glanced at the console which was now behind him. He heard snickering. And he could have sworn the console wore a sneering smirk on its half-full power button. But that faded in an instant, and then it was off. The console sat there neglected once again.

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Filed under Silly Video Game Inspired Fiction