Gameography

Abnormal Mapping 19: Gameography: Mike Joffe

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Welcome, one and all, to another very special episode of Abnormal Mapping: our second Gameography! For those unfamiliar, a Gameography episode is where we take a close look at the work of a game maker, and approach it as a whole. This time, we chose to take a gander at the games of Mike Joffe, and were joined by the man himself for an incredibly fun and interesting interview!

Join us for talk of twine, trees and thanksgiving, as we dive into discussions of improvisational play, the function of anthropomorphism and the limits of authorial intent. And yet, all this is perhaps overshadowed, as Matthew brings unto Jackson the most horrifying of all revelations: The true meaning of Thanksgiving.

This is only our second Gameography, and we’d love for your feedback about our process, as well as any other random questions or comments. As ever, you can bother both of us on Twitter, or send us an email at:  abnormalmappingpodcast@gmail.com.

You can get our podcast on iTunes, on Stitcher, or you can download it directly by clicking here.

Gameography: Mike Joffe

Next Month’s Game Club:

Minecraft

Music This Episode

Blown Away by Kevin McLeod
The Good, the Bad and the Loris by Ennio Morricone and Mike Joffe

 

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Abnormal Mapping 7: Christine Love Gameography


Hey everyone, welcome to our first very special episode, of a hopefully long-running series called Gameography! If you need to know what Gameography is, take a look at this prior post explaining it. If you insist on the tl;dr version, we picked a game maker we really liked and played through her entire history of games and talked about them as a whole body of work. In this case, our first subject was one of our favorites, Christine Love!

I have to admit, we were very nervous going into this episode, trying to do something a little different than usual. As such, we would love any sort of feedback about our process, and anything we might do better next time a gameography episode happens. As always, you can bother us on twitter, or email us at abnormalmappingpodcast  @ gmail.com.

You can find the episode above, obviously, or you can download it directly HERE. iTunes links and the usual are along the side, and what follows is the full game list, plus what we’re playing next month and the usual list of music used in the episode. Please enjoy!

Gameography: Christine Love

Next Month’s Game:

Ace Combat 6: Fires of Liberation

Music This Episode

Blown Away by Kevin McLeod
The Stars Come Out by Brother Android
It’s Not Ero by Isaac Schankler (feat. Senah Kim)

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