I have, as of two minutes ago, handed in the draft text of my first case study. It was meant to be about 5,000 words, and ended up almost 7,000. This wouldn’t be a problem, except that I have ten case studies, and ten case studies at 5,000 words each is 50,000 words, and the hard limit for the entire dissertation is 90,000. So there’s not a lot of wiggle room, and this was probably the shortest and easiest game to analyze out of those I selected. None of this is why I’m trying not to throw up in an office trash can, though. IRead More →

This post should be sub-titled, “Making Me Appreciate Modern Save Game Mechanics.” This has been a writing week for me, as I’ve made it through my play-throughs of Tombs & Treasure, the first game in the series of 10 case studies for my dissertation. I wish I could express the mingled feelings of nausea, anger and relief that sentence causes in me. It’s been a long week. Tombs & Treasure only allows you to save the game through the use of the Ixmol Jewel, an item you receive early on in play. By LOOKing at the jewel, you receive a 16 character alpha-numeric code, whichRead More →

Last week I began the first of the ten case studies I’m using in my dissertation. It was not an auspicious beginning. I decided to start with Tombs & Treasure, a quasi-adventure game released in 1991 for the Nintendo Entertainment System (NES). The game was a Japanese port, and the second entry in a franchise, but was heavily modified before it arrived in North America. It was never released in the UK or European markets. Having played through it now, I understand why it didn’t get wider release. The trouble started when I actually went to purchase an NES. I went to a small, butRead More →

I’ve turned in my materials for the March meeting with my Thesis Advisory Panel. Usually I feel terror. This time I just felt relief. I filled out the form indicating everything I’ve done since the last meeting. Because of my illness, everything I’ve done since the last meeting really means ‘everything I’ve done since January.’ Listing all of the inputs, the conferences and papers and literature reviews and calls for papers and survey creation and data analysis and outreach and website and thing after thing after thing, I realized, this is why I feel so tired all of the time. I have done SO MUCHRead More →