Call for Essays About Any Aspect of Popular Culture, Present or Past

Trivial Pursuit

Wednesday, December 21 2005

Endgame

All life's games must come to an end. Harvey writes on the importance of a closing narrative... and bids adieu.


Monday, October 24 2005

Power Through Responsibility

While working on a storyline for a video game that wants you to care, really care, about the characters, Harvey puzzles over how best to craft letters aimed for the heart.


Tuesday, August 23 2005

Fear and Loathing in London

In keeping with the times, the video game, Killer 7 brings on suicide bombers. Also in keeping with the times, there is no clear solution for stopping them.


Monday, June 20 2005

Ants in Your Pants

This adult on holiday is inclined to play with dolls — and bugs.


Wednesday, April 20 2005

We’re All Geeks Now

PopMatters Columnist Colin Harvey actually gets paid to play video games. He has attained geekdom and its highest level.


Wednesday, February 23 2005

All Work and No Play Makes Zak a Dull Boy

Our sophisticated game culture critic goes infantile, and has a blast doing it.


Wednesday, November 17 2004

X, Y, Z

Games move through time because everything else moves through time. Including us. Constantly, inexorably.


Wednesday, October 20 2004

Always Take the Weather With You

For those types of games that allude in same way to the real world, weather's configuration, representation, and possibly meaning, ought to be a major consideration.


Tuesday, September 21 2004

Good Parent/Bad Parent

Whether you are a philanthropist or a desultory sadist, you get to name and nurture or abuse and ignore your new pet according to your generous spirit or whim... much like real parenthood, dare I suggest.


Wednesday, August 25 2004

On the Importance of Differentiating Fantasy from Reality

For thoughtful liberals and libertarians such cases are tricky ones to manoeuvre without tying ourselves in knots of hyperbole, and allowing our democracy to be jeopardized.


Wednesday, July 21 2004

Of Time and Consequences

Controlled flashbacks in XIII highlight the problem of flashbacks within a play environment; play is about present tense, and games are about making the right decision so that the future turns out how it's meant to.


Tuesday, June 22 2004

The Joy of Sticks

What made the joystick beautiful was what it enabled us to do as players, the blocky vistas it opened up, the luminous cartoonish characters, darting spaceships or multicolored sports cars it let us manipulate.


Wednesday, May 19 2004

A Tribute to Douglas Adams, creator of The Hitch-Hiker’s Guide to the Galaxy

For those involved in designing video games the tension between making tasks suitably difficult without rendering them totally impossible is a perennial issue. The fact that nobody really minded the difficulty in the case of The Hitch-Hiker's Guide to the Galaxy is a tribute to how well the thing was written. It was the journey that mattered, not the destination.


Wednesday, April 21 2004

When Worlds Collide

Columnist Colin Harvey writes that video games suggest we may be altogether more Renaissance -- and less of a divided mind -- than we give ourselves credit. On the one hand we have video game players: art lovers who aren't allowed to say it and science buffs who don't realize it. On the other hand we have the creators of games: mathematicians and scientists who are really artists, and artists who are really scientists.


Wednesday, March 24 2004

Virtual Reality

Mainstream (and some non-mainstream) games' re-articulation of the dominant perspectives regarding the War On Terror makes it all the more important that there are alternative games attempting to subvert this process . . . If you can become a Palestinian, Israeli, Spanish or Iraqi civilian, adopt the role of an American GI or British squaddie, if you can assume the role of a general or president, you might understand better the world in which you live.


Monday, March 1 2004

What’s So Funny About Peace, Love and Understanding?

In a game, someone triumphs and somebody or something loses: we laugh with good reason at the absurdity of the Caucus-race in Alice's Adventures in Wonderland when the Dodo concludes that, 'Everybody has won, and all must have prizes.'


Wednesday, January 28 2004

History 101

If the world continues heading in the disastrous direction it's adopted since the turn of the millennium, video game renderings of key world cities may be all our descendants have to go on as a guide to the recent past.


Wednesday, January 7 2004

A Literal-Lateral Conundrum

Then, at Christmas, I received my first video game . . . Suddenly I wasn't watching Harrison Ford act out Han Solo or playing with a tiny plastic doll of Han Solo: I was Han Solo.


Wednesday, November 5 2003

The Soul of the Game

Video games play us as much we play them. They do this by keying into our emotions as a means of generating feelings, a precedent set by many other cultural activities.


Wednesday, October 1 2003

Talkin’ ‘Bout an Evolution

With their vibrant colours and cacophonous noises, video games constantly seek to insist on their primacy as agents of the Digital Moment. They get better all the time. Don't they?


Wednesday, August 27 2003

Help Her, She’s Melting

The truth is, Lara doesn't know who she is anymore, and neither does anyone else. Is she a film star, a role model, a video game avatar or all three?


Thursday, July 24 2003

We Can Be Heroes

As gamers we may be brave in the virtual world but maybe we're actually just running scared from reality.


Wednesday, July 2 2003

Play for Today

The question as to whether games are stories or stories are games is important, because it goes to the root of what video games have been, are, and are going to be . . .


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