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Showing posts with the label Douglas Adams

Dracula and Difficulty

"Difficulty" is a word that invariably comes up in discussion of games of any sort. It's a setting in electronic games. It's a skill check in tabletop games. It's the basis for heated arguments about the relationship between creators and players , between accessibility and experience . But, for all of this, can we really define difficulty as it relates to games? It's a term that can mean all kinds of things in all kinds of situations, but, at its core, it's about the way that audiences engage with stories and their stakes. And speaking of stakes... As I've mentioned previously in this blog, I started reading the original Dracula in October out of some lunatic idea of looking at the Castlevania series as an adaptation of the original novel. (Which may still happen someday, who knows what horrors the future will bring.) Life being what it is, it took significantly longer than I'd originally planned and I only finished the book yesterday. While focu

A Terrible, Stupid Catastophe: Loss and Trauma in the the Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy

Douglas Adams would have turned 70 this year, and, over two decades after his untimely death, the impact he made on all our lives and culture, particularly through The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, remains largely unknown… just the way he liked it. Adams loved to blend the precisely known with the manifestly unknowable by turning the very concepts on their heads, filling his stories with asides, detours, and commentaries, usually(but not always) for their own sake, even especially when there was no way the characters themselves could possibly be aware of it. He took a shortcut through the entirety of human philosophy and religion by giving us the answer to the Question of Life, the Universe, and Everything... but kept the question itself a mystery all the way up to the end of the series. He never shied away from the very real massiveness and incomprehensible scope of the universe, but addressed the problems of long-distance space travel in some of the silliest (and most imagi