What do simulations simulate?
The RPG syllabus

Link love

Heart_2I want to mention a few posts by other bloggers that extend (and greatly improve) on a few of my recent posts. I enjoy the work of these writers because they encourage critical thinking about video games, and they actively enrich the video game blog community by visiting other sites like mine and contributing comments and encouragement. And for many of us bloggers, it's really all about the conversation, isn't it?

I recently posted an essay on music and sound in the Legend of Zelda games. Dan Bruno over at Cruise Elroy has put his formal music training to good use by writing a terrific essay on Ocarina of Time's score and Koji Kondo's purposeful use of a limited set of tones.

My recent look at Starcraft's narrative made me especially keen to read L.B. Jeffries' satirical and dead-on-target Marxist analysis of Starcraft called The Zerg Through the Eyes of Marx. Very funny and uncomfortably close to home. ;-)

Manveer Heir over at Design Rampage has written a fine piece on the design lessons of No More Heroes. After my recent obsessive-compulsive series of posts on Suda 51's masterpiece, I hesitate to devote too much space this game (as if that were possible), but Manveer's essay says a number of things I wish I had been observant enough to notice myself.

I expressed my affection for Super Smash Bros. Brawl both here and on the podcast, so to demonstrate my broad-mindedness and tolerance for all points of view (Bad Michael: "Aw, do I gotta do this?" Good Michael: "Yes you do!") ;-)  my friend Mitch Krpata has posted an essay that explains why, in specific terms, Brawl is a terrible game. Mitch has some of the best post titles in the business, and this one is no exception: Overdrawn at the memory bank: the power of nostalgia in games.

Apropos of nothing I have written, Duncan over at Hit Self-Destruct has posted a very funny piece in which he demonstrates his newfound method of pitching a game idea to a publisher. It's called The Pitch, and I promise it will make you grin...and squirm in painful recognition of the dangers of PowerPoint in the wrong hands.

Finally, I have come to rely on Matthew at The Quixotic Engineer for gently nudging my musical sensibilities towards the 21st century. His most recent post (part of a series) called The Musical Box has filled my iPod with great new tunes and provided me a thin veneer of hip respectability.