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Gamasutra Member Blogs: From A Holocaust Board Game To Kid Pirates

Showcasing highlights from Gamasutra's Member Blogs, we look at our users' writing on the grim Holocaust board game Train, how Legend Of Zelda's story timeline works, and... kid pirates?
In our weekly Best of Member Blogs column, we showcase notable pieces of writing from members of the game community who maintain Member Blogs on Gamasutra. Member Blogs can be maintained by any registered Gamasutra user, while invitation-only Expert Blogs -- also highlighted weekly -- are written by selected development professionals. Our favorite blog post of the week will earn its author a lifetime subscription to Gamasutra's sister publication, Game Developer magazine. (All magazine recipients outside of the United States or Canada will receive lifetime electronic subscriptions.) We hope that our blog sections can provide useful and interesting viewpoints on our industry. For more information, check out the official posting guidelines. In this set of links, we look at the grim Holocaust board game Train, how Legend Of Zelda's story timeline works, and... kid pirates? This Week's Standout Member Blogs - Reflections on Train (Sande Chen) Writer and game designer Sande Chen considers Train, the grim, symbolism-filled Holocaust-inspired board game by games industry mainstay Brenda Braithwaite. While it's a board game not intended for commercial sale (it's a one-of-one board game), it's a fascinating, artful idea that shows how a "game" can also provoke thought and emotions, as uncomfortable as they may be. For her effort, Sande will receive a lifetime subscription to Gamasutra sister publication Game Developer magazine. - Maximize Your Contract Composer's Potential by Enhancing Early Communication (Jesse Hopkins) Musical preference is highly subjective, and that inherent trait can act as the root of many difficulties between a video game composer and the game developer. Professional contract composer Jesse Hopkins explains the pitfalls of the relationship and how a musician can avoid them through proper communication. - Legend of Zelda has No Coherent Timeline? (Seth Sivak) Gamasutra member blogger Seth Sivak revisits a recent statement by Nintendo that shot down a fan's theory that there is some sort of coherent timeline for the events of games in the Legend of Zelda series. So if it's just the same "hero saves girl" scenario over and over again, why do players keep coming back for more? - The Rise Of The Handheld (Josh Bycer) Regular member blogger Josh Bycer recounts how the handheld grew from a third-tier gaming option to a platform that stands toe-to-toe with PC and home console offerings. Here, he speculates on the next step for gaming handhelds and inherent design challenges unique to platforms such as Nintendo DS and Sony PSP. - Buried in Plastic - Piracy and Children (Jon Hayward) After hearing a woman tell her children at a retailer, "No, I won't buy the Nintendo games, daddy will download what you want when we get home", Jon Hayward is mad as hell. There are cheap gaming options that aren't piracy -- think of the children, he implores.

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