Links for March 13, 2017

Slouching toward relevant video games

My friends and I don’t like adrenaline, but there’s something similar that is probably going on with us. It’s called tend-and-befriend. Like fight-or-flight, tend-and-befriend is an automatic, physiological reaction to threatening situations.... Instead of wanting to fight or to flee, you stay relatively calm, but aware. Your pupils dilate, you become fearless, and you are less sensitive to pain. You instinctively want to protect your loved ones, to seek out your allies, and to form new alliances. Oxytocin intensifies social feelings, and opioids feel extremely warm and lovely.

How things end

The Left Hand is bringing us an unbelievably tight competition for attention, with a golden river of really good games, many of them worth hundreds of hours. And it’s responding to increasing player sophistication. More players speak game natively than ever before, and as I sometimes point out here, the shared understanding of game design keeps on improving. And the Right Hand is bringing us even easier and cheaper persistence; games on any of half a dozen objects in your home; and startlingly sophisticated AI.

Excite truck by PictureOnProgress – aw, Excite Truck fan art!

Behind the Scenes: Chevrolet 'The Human Race' – realtime skinning of a car chase.