"The elegant art of feminine conflict"


Oh, the pleasures of 19th century literature... Well, at least of the juicy parts of it. From Japan, with love, comes the slapping contest game. Simple and beautiful. It's called Rose&Camellia. It was created by a Japanese studio called Nigoro. You must keep an eye on them, mainly because they are also the creators of this very polished game called Mekuri-Master where you have to lift the skirts of the girls you meet. You even get to chose the kind of panties they are wearing. I know, it may sound Japanese-perv-creepy and it probably is, but it is also a lot of fun. When I was a kid at school, all girls wore skirts and if any boy caught just a glimpse of her panties it was the ultimate humiliation for her. I bet this game would have been extremely popular among my then 7 year old classmates (some may argue it may be too popular among 40+ men, though).

All the games are done in Flash and use mouse movements simulating gestures. If somebody had any doubts that webgames are still the place where game designers can truly experiment, then all that s/he needs to do is play these two wacky Japanese examples.

Argentinean political webgames


It's hard to overstate how f** up Argentinean politics is. Let me just say that Italian and Mexican politicians seem like panda cubs next to Argentinean ones. So, I'm not even going to try to explain the current crisis "across the pond" (as we say in Uruguay). I'll only say that farmers revolted against the current president. And I'll link to is to two games, one against the government and one against the demonstrators. The first one is a whack-a-mole, which is technically pretty decent taking into account that it is almost the default gameplay when it comes to political webgames (well, some will say that shooting moving targets is the default gameplay of most videogames, and I can agree with that). The second is about punching demonstrators and, as far as I can see, you can't win it. It may qualify, though, as one of the games with higher power-up respawn ever.

3rd Uruguayan Game Dev Contest

Mime-attachmentWe just launched the 3rd Uruguayan Game Dev Contest, organized by Ingenio (business incubator) and ProAnima (Animation and Game Dev cluster). Everybody residing in Uruguay can participate (sorry Shigeru!) and we'll be announcing some cool prizes really soon. The deadline is November 13th. There'll be a series of talks on game development during the year. The last keynote will be given by Chaim Gingold, who has also kindly accepted to be one of the contest's jury. You can learn more about it at www.ConcursoVideojuegos.com

Lunes y Martes en Buenos Aires

My excuses for my español.

Voy a dar dos charlas en Buenos Aires. El lunes 9 de junio, a las 16.00 horas, daré una charla en el INET (Saavedra 789 1P), sobre Ludología y Pedagogía.
El martes 10 de junio, la charla es a las 19.00 horas en el Auditorio de la Facultad de Comunicación de la UBA, Ramos Mejía 841.
Ambas charlas son abiertas al público, así que espero verlos. Estoy muy contento porque es la primera vez que doy una conferencia en Argentina. Nos vemos!

Where are the Nazis when you need them?

NazisIhatethoseguys Everybody knows that Nazis are the ultimate bad guys. That's why it sucked so much that the latest Indiana Jones had to trade them for Commies. Ok, I know, it makes sense: Harrison Ford is older so the story had to take place in the late 50s instead of in the 30s.
I haven't yet played Lego Indiana Jones, but I'm reaaaally looking forward to it. However, I just watched this very cute movie from their website and I was really disappointed to find no Nazis. Ok, there are some characters that look like AfrikaKorps but they really don't look like mean Nazis at all! And no swaztikas neither! Before you even think about it, of course I'm aware that Lego is a kid's product and that the Germans have a stupid law about not showing Nazi paraphernalia, but nothing is more educational for kids than whacking Nazis. I'm not really a big supporter of violence in games when it comes to children, but virtually shooting at Nazis beats killing aliens and monsters anytime.
Oh, well, I'll have to play the actual game before actually complaining, but at the very least the game's movie made me worry. Children's games need good villains, in the same way that children's literature needs them too. We need Nazis more than evil witches, wolves and ghosts. As my friend Indy liked to say: "Nazis, I hate these guys!"

Miyamoto interviewed - NYTimes

Sche_600 Miyamoto was in New York for the launch of Wii Fit and it seems that he gave quite many interviews. Here's a link to the one in the New York Times. It's more like a portrait than an actual interview, but it gives some insight to the creative process behind Miyamoto's games. There are some surprising statements from the journalist, such as "There is nothing objective about why a goofy guy in blue overalls like Mario should appeal to so many, just as there is nothing objective in how Disney could have built a company on talking animals." That is quite puzzling, since there is such a long literary tradition of talking animals that can definitively explain Disney's appeal. And by long tradition I mean really long (26 centuries since Aesop). Interestingly, the article suggests –based on Miyamoto's claims– that the appeal of Nintendo's characters is mainly due to the gaming experience and mechanics. That may be true for Miyamoto's games, but it is a stretch to think that it applies to games in general. In any case, it's great to get a peek into the mind of one of the brightest artists of our time.