About James Bishop

Here are my most recent posts

Spoony Bard 5: BioWare’s Design Iteration Through Tropes

If you have ever played one of the other BioWare RPG games, like Neverwinter Nights, Knights of the Old Republic, or Mass Effect, Dragon Age will fit like a comfortable shoe. Though I for one love a comfortable shoe, it seems like some folks out there have managed to get themselves riled up over . . . → Read More: Spoony Bard 5: BioWare’s Design Iteration Through Tropes

Dragon Age: Origins Hands-On Preview

It felt like so many game companies at this year’s E3 were aiming for the ever-coveted tween and casual audiences. So let’s be thankful for Dragon Age: Origins. For those of us fortunate enough to experience the Baldur’s Gate games and other similar titles like Icewind Dale, Dragon Age: Origins is like a breath . . . → Read More: Dragon Age: Origins Hands-On Preview

Spoony Bard: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love The Halo

In my last column, I briefly mentioned that Halo was a good example of a game that impressively managed to bring plot to the traditionally plot-bereft first-person shooter genre. Upon further though, I’ve decided that perhaps I was too hasty. I’m sure you can take a guess as to what’s seemingly changed my . . . → Read More: Spoony Bard: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love The Halo

Spoony Bard 2: Action Games – Lose The Token Plot

The games industry seems to assume that the implied agency that comes from choosing dialogue options makes for a stronger narrative. Let me rephrase that: it’s more like that’s the only way the games industry seems to think plot can progress, and it’s a baffling sentiment considering the leaps and strides that games . . . → Read More: Spoony Bard 2: Action Games – Lose The Token Plot

Spoony Bard 1: There’s No Such Thing as Nonlinear Narrative

Spoony Bard will be an offshoot of what interests me most in game design: the writing. Whether it be good or ghastly, hilarious or unintentionally hilarious, video game writing has always been fascinating to me. However, it should be noted that in this column I’ll also talk about narrative and the nebulous term storytelling in . . . → Read More: Spoony Bard 1: There’s No Such Thing as Nonlinear Narrative

The Sims 3 Video Game Review

It’s incredibly difficult to make a great game even better. What’s even more difficult, developers mustn’t screw up an already great game by changing what made the original so loved. These factors filled me with apprehension as I played The Sims 3. I was curious but worried that the formulaic approach of the older versions . . . → Read More: The Sims 3 Video Game Review

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