Author Archives: Nadeem Persico-Shammas

Love, like love, is a game based on social interaction. In fact, the metaphor isn’t well-disguised, and that’s intentional. Love is a very literal game with a simple premise: gain happiness by getting close to others. Love is intentionally constructed to mirror real world social relationships and designed in such a specific way that it’s hard to make a distinction when talking about Love the game and love the concept. Read More


The number of choices one makes every day is staggering. No one really thinks about every choice they make. To do so would take too much effort, and some choices aren’t worth consciously thinking about. But life is filled with choices, consciously made or not, and everyone must live with their consequences. What seems like an unimportant decision may have far-reaching implications. What Alter Ego presents are choices. Read More

When you’ve got a talent unlike that of people around you, it’s a source of pride. Life is about constantly pushing your limits, always trying to be the best you can. The best way to improve a talent is through practice. In Steven Lavalle’s Légende, the player character is an exceptional jumper. The omniscient narrator encourages this talent by setting up increasingly high columns for you to leap over. The narrator gives you encouragement after you finish each level. It talks down to you like a teacher encouraging a struggling student. Read More


Flying over the Atlantic, your plane suddenly takes a nose dive into the ocean. You survive, struggling to the water’s surface. Beyond the flames, you see a lone lighthouse looming over you. It doesn’t seem like a difficult choice: remain in the wreckage, or swim to the dry stone staircase leading into the lighthouse? Yet it isn’t actually a choice at all. If you don’t move to the lighthouse, you will remain perpetually treading water and the game will not progress. You won’t enter the lighthouse’s submersible and sink hundreds of fathoms under the ocean to the decaying underwater city of Rapture. This scenario is just the first of many illusory choices. In Bioshock, free will isn’t intrinsic; you are given permission to choose. Read More