Wednesday, March 3, 2010

EXP Podcast #67: Late for a History Lesson

It is hard to look away from the onslaught of newly released titles, which time to pique our interest with all these "fresh" ideas. But games have been around for a while now, and not every game is a glistening display of pure innovation. We have old roots that are worthy of exploration. Or, as Evan Stubbs suggests, those seeking to expand the medium have an obligation to reexamine older titles and put modern day gaming in its historical context.

Join us this week while Scott and I discuss stealth mechanics of the past, the art of building upon genre, the Beatles, Braid, and the risks and rewards of gamer time travel. As usual, you can find Evan's original article on the subject in the show notes. We also encourage you to leave your thoughts in the comments section below.

Some discussion starters:

- Do developers have an obligation to contextualize their work in a historical context?
- Does the historical knowledge of a medium or genre improve or diminish your play experience?
- Is effective to read about old games versus just playing them? Or do we need a hands on experience to appreciate gaming history?

To listen to the podcast:

- Subscribe to the EXP Podcast via iTunes here. Additionally, here is the stand-alone feed.
- Listen to the podcast in your browser by left-clicking the title. Or, right-click and select "save as link" to download the show in MP3 format.
- Subscribe to this podcast and EXP's written content with the RSS link on the right.

Show notes:

- Run time: 28 min 51 sec
- Learning from History by Evan Stubbs, via RedKingsDream
- Music provided by Brad Sucks


  1. I recently bought Gridrunner Revolution. It is like the best coin-op arcade games of the 80s mixed with the best psychedlic drugs of the 60s. It clearly knows its roots with game play and graphics making reference back to Tempest, Galaga, and the like. It also tosses in little quotes that reference Super Mario Bros., Pro Wrestling, and others. It's a really wonderful game and it has managed to successful recreate the magic of those old arcade cabs of my youth, while providing me with a completely new and absolutely psychedlic experience. It's made by Jeff Minton, who also has done games like Tempest 2000 on the Jaguar and Space Giraffe on X-box Live. He's known for making acid fried games. If you haven't played it yet, I highly recommend it and for a little while longer it is only $2 bucks on Steam. Fully worth the purchase.

  2. I just watched a few videos of that game and it looks like the best kind of insanity! Kind of like the end of 2001...