Return to Ludus Ex

It's been quite a while since I have blogged. In fact, Ludus ex has missed a lot that happened on the gaming scene. GameCity (I came away with mixed feelings from the few events that I managed to attend), my first and last attempt to play Lego Rock Band (again in GameCity where I thoroughly made a fool of myself onstage), another games and philosophy conference at Potsdam (missed because I didn't get the visa on time), several DIGAREC talks that I had planned to attend and loads of other things which have simply slipped the radar. I did, however, 'finish' Fallout 3 in seven sleepless nights and I am conquering Lithuania and Mexico in Empire: Total War. I badly injured my wrist right after I bought COD 4-2 so I couldn't pick up the M-16.

Most of my time has been spent at more mundane jobs and the hellish experience of writing applications. No more needs to be said. One very faint silver lining to the cloud is that Nottingham Trent Uni has very recently given me a small opportunity to work on designing a videogames course - 4 hours a week but it's a start.

Anyway, I've just written a piece on Fallout 3 and posted it below. It's something I've always wanted to do : a close reading of a videogame narrative much as I would do for a literary text. I've been preaching the theory for the last seven / eight years now with hesitant attempts (most of them during my Masters degree) to speak my mind through practice. So here goes. The piece obviously is wanting in academic rigour, references, bibliography and stylistic polish  - this is a draft of a draft of a draft but I'd be grateful to hear what you think. Just wanted to get the thoughts down and point to what can be done with videogame texts. Most of the piece has been written on buses, in pubs and in the brief interstices of time that I could manage during the day.

There will be more postings soon - both academic and just totally ludic.


  1. Yay, more posts :D

    And doing Rock Band for the first time is difficult of course. :) You still need to play that game more, it is more pure gameplay then most others, interestingly so for such a game.

  2. Yes, about time I wrote something. By the by, what is pure gameplay?

  3. Lack of any kind of narrative elements I think - puzzle games, and rhythm games, are some of the few genres that stories simply can't really interact with well - since they thrive on shorter types of gameplay usually against no opponent as such.

    In any case, just saying worth playing all types of genres. I must admit, perhaps I should borrow some genre I really hate to try it (and probably still hate it anyway). Hit list might be the Final Fantasy series, Metal Gear Solid series, sports games (although racing games are not too bad) and platformers (which I'm just terrible at).