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Gaming

Townscaper: Relaxing joy in building towns

A colourful town made in Townscaper with 11 houses in a range of colours, including green, blue, red, yellow, purple and white.

It’s been a week of procrastinating on real work and chilling out by playing video games, which I’m content with. A time will come when days of gaming and enjoying idleness will be a rarity, so I’m making the most of it whilst I still can.

Earlier this week, during my habitual Twitter scrolling, I stumbled across the demo version of Townscaper. This can be played in your web browser, which is exactly what I did several times this week for a bit of easy and quick fun.

The game is very minimalist — or at least the demo version is — and is just building by clicking. But its simplicity makes construction feel relaxing, and the colourful towns you create make for some pleasing eye candy.

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Viewing

Gaming for a non-gamer

First video in the series: “What Games Are Like For Someone Who Doesn’t Play Games”

Razbuten is a YouTuber who posts video essays about video games. He’s talked about why they hate fast travel, how crafting is pointless in some games and how small open-world games feel big, among other topics. However, my favourite videos on his channel are all part of his series Gaming For A Non-Gamer.

One day, his wife — who had not grown up playing video games — asked if she could have a go at one of the games she had seen him play. Like any good content creator, Razbuten saw an opportunity. What better way to understand what gaming is like for someone who does not usually play video games than to see a non-gamer learn in real-time? All he had to do was watch and provide almost no instructions. And so began a series of informal experiments that raised many interesting questions about the language of video games.