Everyone’s got a Triforce tattoo

There’s more to the Triforce than just a few triangles. It’s a symbol for power, courage, and wisdom — the ultimate source of strength and influence. It’s been in every Zelda game since The Legend of Zelda was released in Japan in 1986 — though in the first game, Link...

Roblox wants an older audience, but it’s leaving younger players behind

Roughly a year into the COVID-19 pandemic, Carolyn, a mother of six, finally capitulated to her kids’ begging. Her children wanted to join Roblox, a platform that allows users to create and host online multiplayer games. Roblox became a vital way for kids to connect virtually during the pandemic, and...

How the Pokémon studio’s unlikeliest mashup came about

Pocket Card Jockey, an unlikely mashup of horse racing and solitaire from Pokémon developer Game Freak that became a cult favorite on Nintendo 3DS, is back. The just-released Pocket Card Jockey: Ride On! brings this inexplicably moreish combination to iOS via the Apple Arcade subscription service. I’ve had the game...

No Zelda game is closer to Breath of the Wild than the 1986 original

In the mid-1980s, in Kyoto, Nintendo’s Shigeru Miyamoto, Takashi Tezuka, and their team were working on two game designs in parallel that were intended to be two sides of the same coin. One would be linear, an obstacle course, a headlong rush toward a goal. The other would be nonlinear,...

Playing Street Fighter made me a better piano teacher

In June of 2014, the week following Ultra Street Fighter 4’s console release, I earned my master’s degree in music education, with a focus on piano pedagogy. Staring down the barrel of what would turn out to be nearly a year of unemployment, I decided to satisfy a long-held curiosity:...

Video games screwed up my hands — and helped rehabilitate them

One day in the claustrophobic summer of 2020, a mere 20 minutes after the servers for battle royale shooter Apex Legends went down, I spiraled into a full-blown panic attack. This should have been indicative of a problem, but at the time, it wasn’t. I had discovered the game that...

James Cameron’s Avatar team tried to celebrate ‘all indigenous cultures on Earth’

When James Cameron’s original Avatar debuted in 2009, the storyline prompted a wide-ranging backlash against what many saw as white-savior tropes and the repurposing of real Native culture and imagery to reinforce old, tired noble-savage stereotypes. Cameron’s critical comments about the Lakota Sioux people’s legacy only exacerbated the issues. But...

Exercising during cutscenes will improve your focus, according to an OT

We’ve all been there. We stand before the mist, door, ladder, or whatever else initiates the boss fight in a game like, say, God of War Ragnarök, and steel ourselves for the unknown — or at least for the saltwater education we’re about to get. Surging with giddiness and fear,...