What you're reading and why we're here
When we first announced Glixel earlier this summer, Gus Wenner – whose father started Rolling Stone magazine in 1967 – summed up the cultural significance of video games in a single quote. "In my mind," he said, "gaming is today what rock 'n' roll was when Rolling Stone was founded."
That definitely resonated for us. Though our site launches today, we've actually been posting to the culture section of Rolling Stone since May, where – for the first time – regular gaming coverage has sat comfortably alongside the much-loved music, movies, politics and sports stories that have made Rolling Stone so popular. In doing so, we've learned that the appetite for insightful stories about the emotional challenge of game creation, the rigors of professional competitive play, or nostalgia for old SNES games where you fart on bad guys is just as voracious as for other types of cultural exploration.
We’re working with some incredibly talented writers and creators from around the world to tell these stories, and we're striving to highlight the people, personalities and trends of the amazing culture around video games.
So what's Glixel about? Finding the stories in the games we play.
We'll be doing that every day from now on. You can follow the Glixel team of John Davison, Simon Cox, Miguel Lopez, Rachel Weber and Paul Encinas on Twitter, and if you'd like to check out what we've been up to since May, here's a Best of Glixel mixtape:
Inside the Making of BioShock Series With Creator Ken Levine
After the huge success of BioShock Infinite in 2013, Levine made the unusual move of stepping out of the limelight, closing down his studio and moving away from big-budget productions. Chris Suellentrop visited Levine to learn about games he has finished but never released, his struggles with anxiety, and the pressures of success. Read the full article.
Stewart Brand Recalls First Spacewar Video Game Tournament
The first ever video game tournament was held on October 19th, 1972. Competitors gathered at the Stanford Artificial Intelligence Lab in Los Altos, California to do battle in the sci-fi combat game Spacewar. Chris Baker talked to those who were there. Read it here.
Redshirts Author John Scalzi's Suicidal Journey Through No Man's Sky
While intrigued by Hello Games' No Man's Sky, sci-fi author John Scalzi (Redshirts, Old Man's War, Lock In) was far too busy to play it. It wasn't until someone told him on Twitter that he was quoted in the game that he was inspired to embark upon an epic quest: to find himself in the game. The catch? His inspirational quote only shows up when you die. Read the full story.
Why Super Nintendo Is the Reason You're Still Playing Video Games
Earlier this year we saw the 25th anniversary of the Super Nintendo Entertainment System in North America. Keith Stuart looked back at how Nintendo’s artistry ultimately triumphed over the swagger and attitude of Sega's shouty Genesis by proving that home consoles could be more than just toys. Read it here.
How Chivalry: Medieval Warfare Wound Up an Unlikely Comedic Masterpiece
Chivalry: Medieval Warfare may be one of the funniest games ever made. It has audio director Ryan Buckley to thank for that, who went out of his way to temper Chivalry's Braveheart ambitions with a heaping portion of Monty Python. Read the full story.
Solo Indie Game Development – Not For the Faint of Heart
A hit indie game can bring immense rewards, but also costs. Patrick Stafford spoke with two developers – one already working on a sequel to a successful game and another just trying to survive, to find out what it takes to take something from a dream to a reality. Read the article.
How an Obsessive College Freshman Turned Doom Into the Best Aliens Game Ever
The original 1993 release of Doom was the first game to fully embrace customization in the form of modding, and one of the best of those was made by guy from New Zealand who became obsessed with recreating the game as one of his favorite movies – Aliens. Read the full story.
NBA 2K16: How Spike Lee Didn't Do The Right Thing
With the 'Livin' Da Dream' story mode, the famed director fumbled his mission to create a narrative worthy of the game's popularity. Writer Adrian Todd Zuniga played the whole thing and scored a few points on his way to making sense of it all. Read the whole story.