I like play that slowly builds tension and then releases it with intensity and consequences. Maps. Sounds of nature. Long distances. The passage of time. Night and day cycles. Changing light. Clouds. Weather. Wind, foliage, animals, dust, fog, rain, lightning storms.
Carl Sagan in the The Demon-Haunted World - Science as a Candle in the Dark, page 291:
Among the !Kung San hunter-gatherers of the Kalahari Desert, when two men, perhaps testosterone-inflamed, would begin to argue, the women would reach for their poison arrows and put the weapons out of harm’s way. Today our poison arrows can destroy the global civilization and just possibly annihilate our species. The price of moral ambiguity is now too high.
From Charlotte Gordon’s introduction to Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein: The 1818 Text:
…Ultimately, the absence of strong women holds the key to Frankenstein’s main themes. When women are not allowed to have a voice, or to play important roles in society, Mary implies, loss ensues. Unchecked male ambition will lead to destruction, injustice, and devastation.
Frankenstein is the story of one man’s obsession with the creation of life, and his subsequent abandonment of his creation. It is a study of guilt and innocence, creativity and destruction. But it is also a cautionary tale. By fearing the stranger, by abusing the vulnerable and the outcast, society creates its own monsters.
Computer games increasingly shape young people’s education as we are surrounded by computers, even carrying them in our pockets.
This can be positive, but like our attention, and most things that we make, the majority of games and commentary about them are shallow, so it is worthwhile to shine a light on good writing about games.