Month: March 2014

Intro to Gameography 1: What is Gameography? and the Works of Christine Love

So April’s podcast is going to be something different than the usual. Instead of doing the typical game club and random segment 2, we’re going to do a special, potentially twice-yearly Very Special Episode that we’re calling Gameography. What is Gameography, you ask? Well, we recorded a very special bonus mini-podcast to try to explain our thinking. I’ll let that speak for itself.

If you’d rather read than listen, I don’t blame you, so here’s the scoop: very early in Abnormal Mapping’s planning stages, I came to Jackson with the idea that every once in a while we’d do an episode that was devoted to the entire career of a specific game-maker. We’d collect all the games they put out, link to them on the blog, play through them all, and then have a very deep dive into someone’s career making games. That is, in essence, what we’re doing in Gameography. Self-explanatory, right?

The reason why is a little more complicated. You see, I started writing heavily for the internet talking about movies (and still maintain a dusty but beloved movie blog), where the concept of authorial voice is really strong. People are very quick to assign all sorts of meaning and weight to a director or a screenwriter, creating a broad sense that all their works are of a piece, and that studying that authorial voice is worthwhile in better understanding both the works and the creator. This is called Auteur Theory, and has been around a long time.

The strange thing is that you rarely see this sort of thing applied to games, especially in the hobbiest/amateur game making space. We often play games in a contextual vacuum, something that’s linked to us in a browser or on a curated web page, with only the dimmest awareness of who created the game and what other games they might have made, especially in a space where the games can be radically different, released in many different ways, and presented to different platforms. Bringing it all together under one roof for consideration is something we’re keen on doing, and thus Gameography is born!

Which brings us to who this first one is going to be about! We have a short list of game makers we really want to dig into, but the obvious choice was someone we both knew about and who had made games we had both enjoyed. The obvious answer was Christine Love. We talk briefly about why Christine Love in the accompanying short podcast, but in realize you only need to play her games to understand why. So I leave you here with the full list of games, including links on where to find them, in the order in which they were released. Go nuts, and we’ll be playing along too, and we’ll be back at the end of April to talk about them!

Gameography: Christine Love

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Abnormal Mapping 6: Peripheral Cyclops

The Mappers dig into the ancient jungle tombs filled with the un-biodegradable legacy of dozens of one-off novelty music games and the shells of grimy controllers—trying to wrap their heads around wrapping their hands around these relics of a bygone era. Emerging from the tombs, they find a box-busting Bandicoot before them, challenging them to one final task in this three month sojourn through some of the most significant games of the 90s. What ever happened to the Bandicoot of tomorrow? All this and more is revealed within.

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Topics Discussed: video game controllers and controls, Crash Bandicoot

Next Month’s Game: the collected works of Christine Love!
Please click THIS LINK for more information about what we’re doing.

Relevant Links
a history of Crash Bandicoot’s development
the full Read for Speed experience in one handy youtube playlist

Music in this Episode
Blown Away by Kevin McLeod
Joystick by Dazz Band
Crash Twinsanity Main Theme by Spiralmouth
End of the Century by No. 9
Main Theme (Marvel Ultimate Alliance) by Trevor Morris

Hey! We love mail. Email us at abnormalmappingpodcast@gmail.com! If you want to get at us on twitter, you know how that works. I (Matt) am at @litrock, while Jackson is at @tylea002. See you folks next month!