Sunday, February 6, 2011


There is a community, connected and reinforced online, of video game players. Despite their division into factions (by gaming console, by game preference, by the quality of being distinguishable from an angry 12-year-old boy in forums), they share more similarities than they do differences. One notable similarity being: the obsession with video games. As a pastime. As entertainment. As a lifestyle choice.

Like any community, the community of video gamers occasionally discusses itself. (Witness Penny Arcade, a venue devoted exclusively to discussions of video games and of Penny Arcade.) Thus arises a genre: the video game which is, itself, a commentary on another video game. I just came across this list of meta-games and find them delightful; I had heard of Desert Bus, Tetris HD, the hilarious Cow Clicker, and others. I am delighted to find out about Progress Quest, a RPG which requires no participation to play -- your character stats simply increase the longer you run the game. Progress Wars is similar but even simpler. Achievement Unlocked is delightful.

And of course there are games which parody other meta-games. Huzzah.

This post's theme word is jocoserious, "half-jesting, half-serious." Jonathan Coulton's sorrowful nerd anthems are jocoserious. Just consider JoCo's jocoserious song "Still Alive," the theme of the popular video game Portal.
This post written like Cory Doctorow. (I wonder if that's because of the many links.)

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