In big sister site Gamasutra's weekly Best of Member Blogs column, we showcase notable pieces of writing from members of the game community who maintain Member Blogs on Gamasutra.

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In this set of links, we look at a suggestion to can the term "serious games", actor-driven narrative, and suggestions on pacing and tension in games.

This Week's Standout Member Blogs

- Some Thoughts About Serious Games
(Raymond Ortgiesen)

Game design student Raymond Ortgiesen says that the term "serious game" is "condescending, counter-productive, and unnecessary" -- even arrogant. He's not against the concept of what have become known as "serious games", but is there a better way to describe them?

For his effort, Raymond will receive a lifetime subscription to Gamasutra sister publication Game Developer magazine.

- When Game Violence Forces Us To Think
(Tom Allins)

When virtual violence closely mirrors real-life violence, it can have have a profound effect on the player, even if only virtual lives are affected. Tom Allins takes a look at this phenomenon, using Jane's AH-64D Longbow fighter copter sim as a reference point.

- Narrative Fueled By Actors
(Christian Arca)

Blogger Christian Arca examines the nuts and bolts of the narrative, particularly the role that actors play in driving the narrative. He contrasts this with plot/story-driven narrative, and explains why he thinks actor-driven narrative is the most appropriate course.

- Tense and Tension in Games
(Altug Isigan)

Proper pacing and the creation of tension in a game can mean the difference between total player immersion and utter player boredom. Altug Isigan gives intriguing examples of how a designer can strike a rhythm with players, and why pacing and tension is so important.

- Can I Be The Game Designer I Want To Be?
(John Kolencheryl)

Carnegie Mellon masters student John Kolencheryl looks inward to find out what kind of game designer he wants to be. It's a question that leads him along the subjects of the balance between commercial viability and pure creative freedom, and a confidence from within needed to be a good game designer in any capacity.