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

G. Christopher Williams
Image: G. Christopher Williams
PopMatters Multimedia Editor

G. Christopher Williams is a Professor of English at the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point.  He posts his weekly contribution to the Moving Pixels blog at PopMatters every Wednesday.  Besides also serving as Multimedia Editor at PopMatters and writing at his own blog, 8-bit confessional, he has also published essays in journals like Film Criticism, PostScript, and the Popular Culture Review.  You won’t find him on Twitter, but you can drop him a line with that old fashioned thing called e-mail at


Monday, December 15 2008

Bettie Page, Dead Since 1957

What might be remembered of the life of a woman who was long ago replaced by her own representation?

Wednesday, June 4 2008

Wizards & Words: An Interview with Patrick Rothfuss

Author Patrick Rothfuss talks to PopMatters about the pivotal role of language in magic, the structure of storytelling, and the role of fantasy in contemporary fiction.

Wednesday, April 23 2008

Painfully Masculine: An Interview with Benjamin Percy

With the rise of the metrosexual and the fall of the patriarchal society, some men, lost in a gray zone, compensate by joining Gold’s Gym, screaming at Packers games, and driving big-ass Hummers

Wednesday, September 19 2007

Super Columbine Massacre RPG!: Can a Historic Event Be Examined Seriously By a Video Game?

Unlike more passive forms of art that largely require the participation of viewers as interpreters and observers of their subject matter, video games raise thorny questions about "viewing" content, since the action of a player is more directly participatory for the audience.

Thursday, March 29 2007

The Death of Jean Baudrillard Did Not Take Place

The controversial French philosopher's legacy has been tarnished by reductionist readings of his work, generated precisely by the tendencies of the mass media he sought to illuminate.


Monday, March 16 2015

The True Dogs of War: Nation, Language, and Identity in 'Valiant Hearts'

Valiant Hearts challenges the barbaric connotations of the appellation “the dogs of war” by making a dog, the only creature blind to the “essential” identity markers of nationalism and language, the hero.

Wednesday, January 21 2015

Every Blade of Grass: The Pros and Cons of Photorealism in Video Games

The dream of creating photorealistic video games seems odd to me when considering the medium itself, especially in contrast to other artistic mediums.

Wednesday, October 29 2014

Six Little Horror Games That Would Like to Play With You This Halloween

Here are a few little games to put you in the spirit of the spooky season. How you will come out of the other side is up to you.

Tuesday, April 22 2014

The New Puritanism, or, Some Troubling Tendencies in Video Game Criticism

Is the role of the video game critic to protect us from that which we may find offensive?

Tuesday, February 18 2014

Tick, Tick, Tick: The Temporal Cost of Free-to-Play Gaming

Free-to-play game developers are playing a game of their own. The object of that game is to gain ownership of your time.


Monday, December 15 2014

'The Marvelous Miss Take,' a Red Headed Robin Hood

Very simply put, Miss Take is an exceptionally executed game, advancing a kind of minimalist, arcade-style form of stealth that never wears out its welcome.

Monday, October 27 2014

'The Vanishing of Ethan Carter': The Weird and the Familiar

Most of the horror of The Vanishing of Ethan Carter is derived from an eerie sense of dread created through the atmosphere that is established through the presence of the alien and the weird in an otherwise familiar environment.

Monday, October 20 2014

'Neverending Nightmares' Is More Tedious Than Terrifying

While it looks quite amazing, the problem with Neverending Nightmares is that there is a real lack of a bigger picture, either strategically or narratively, to motivate the play itself.

Wednesday, October 8 2014

Who Shot the Food?: 'Gauntlet' Returns

Death was always inevitable in Gauntlet. It was not merely a matter of skill, but also a matter of time.

Monday, September 22 2014

Dead Rising 3: Apocalypse Edition

You say schlock like it's a bad thing.

DmC: Devil May Cry [31.Jan.13]
Sleeping Dogs [13.Sep.12]
The Sims 3: Pets [22.Nov.11]
Dark Souls [30.Oct.11]
Frantic Frigates [1.Sep.11]
Wii Play: Motion [27.Jun.11]
DodoGo! Robo [18.May.11]
Mario Sports Mix [24.Feb.11]
Alpha Protocol [3.Jun.10]
Alan Wake [16.May.10]
Bioshock 2 [11.Mar.10]
No More Heroes 2 [18.Feb.10]
The Saboteur [7.Jan.10]
Wet [24.Sep.09]
Majesty 2 [15.Sep.09]
Prototype [9.Aug.09]
The Godfather II [16.Apr.09]
SimAnimals [26.Feb.09]
Prince of Persia [22.Jan.09]
Quantum of Solace [11.Dec.08]
Saints Row 2 [30.Oct.08]
Lego Batman [16.Oct.08]
Too Human [14.Oct.08]
Order Up! [26.Aug.08]
Devil May Cry 4 [27.Mar.08]
Turok [2.Mar.08]
Endless Ocean [12.Feb.08]
Assassins Creed [6.Jan.08]
Conan [15.Nov.07]
Stranglehold [11.Oct.07]
Tenchu Z [5.Aug.07]
Made Man [24.May.07]
Def Jam: Icon [12.Apr.07]
Ghost Rider [29.Mar.07]
Saints Row [11.Feb.07]
The Sopranos [30.Nov.06]
Bully [7.Nov.06]
Scarface [26.Oct.06]
Advent Rising [21.Jul.05]
The Strangerhood [1.Mar.05]
The Bard's Tale [30.Nov.04]
Bush Shoot-Out! [16.Nov.04]
Zoo Tycoon 2 [19.Oct.04]
Spider-Man 2 [6.Oct.04]
City of Heroes [20.Apr.04]
Mafia [23.Mar.04]
The Movies [31.Dec.94]
Kingdom Hearts II [31.Dec.94]
City of Villains [31.Dec.94]
Still Life [31.Dec.94]
The Godfather [31.Dec.94]
Fantastic 4 [31.Dec.94]
Graffiti Kingdom [31.Dec.94]


Monday, April 27 2015

Moving Pixels Podcast: The Ghost of 'Murdered: Soul Suspect'

Generally regarded as a failure, we consider Murdered: Soul Suspect's effort to produce a game focused on investigation rather than on gunplay.

Wednesday, April 22 2015

Ever Expanding Rather than Moving Forward: The Narrative Experiment of 'The Charnel House'

The Charnel House is a fascinating narrative experiment in video game storytelling, attempting to tell a story not by moving from point A to point B, but by starting at the center of a story and moving outwards.

Wednesday, April 15 2015

One Arrow, One Shot, One Hit, One Life, One Kill

Titan Souls requires of its player only one thing: perfection.

Monday, April 13 2015

Moving Pixels Podcast: 'The Cat Lady' and the Terror of Loneliness

The Cat Lady is a game that is interested in the horrors of grappling with depression and anxiety, despite its often horror-movie-inspired presentation.

Wednesday, April 8 2015

'Risk of Rain' and the Terrors of Immensity

In Risk of Rain the presentation of space and size is a constant reminder of the vulnerability and limitations of the player in a vast, unforgiving universe.

PUNKS (still) NOTDEAD (Moving Pixels) [1.Apr.15]
Moving Pixels Podcast: This War of Ours (Moving Pixels) [16.Mar.15]
It Can Be Difficult Killing People (Moving Pixels) [11.Mar.15]
A Brief History of Crime (Moving Pixels) [11.Feb.15]
I Am Blue (Moving Pixels) [28.Jan.15]
'Moonkid': A Fantasy of Powerlessness (Moving Pixels) [12.Nov.14]
Moving Pixels Podcast: A House Dividing (Moving Pixels) [10.Nov.14]
Moving Pixels Podcast: Hardboiled Hijinks (Moving Pixels) [13.Oct.14]
Horror with Friends (Moving Pixels) [30.Jul.14]
The Curious Scruples of Aiden Pearce (Moving Pixels) [25.Jun.14]
Worshiping at the Altar of 'Smite' (Moving Pixels) [18.Jun.14]
On Having Caught 'Em All (Moving Pixels) [11.Jun.14]
I Am the Tank (Moving Pixels) [4.Jun.14]
A Girl and Her Sword (Moving Pixels) [28.May.14]
Grand Theft HBO (Moving Pixels) [18.Sep.13]
'Space Lawyer', a Novel by L.B. Jeffries (Moving Pixels) [23.Jul.13]
The Pace of the Game (Moving Pixels) [25.Jun.13]
A Cleaner, More Hygienic Apocalypse (Moving Pixels) [14.May.13]
Putting My Girl Back Together Again (Moving Pixels) [7.May.13]
Soft Core Gaming (Moving Pixels) [16.Apr.13]
Watching People Watching People Play (Moving Pixels) [26.Mar.13]
“Why Is She So Feminine?” (Moving Pixels) [5.Mar.13]
A Strategy for Dying (Moving Pixels) [29.Jan.13]
Thinking About 'Cunt' (Moving Pixels) [25.Sep.12]
Brevity, Death, and Replay Value (Moving Pixels) [18.Sep.12]
Moving Pixels Podcast: X-ploring 'X-Com' (Moving Pixels) [19.Aug.12]
U Mad? (Moving Pixels) [31.Jul.12]
I Admire Your Ability to Lose (Moving Pixels) [17.Jul.12]
Defending Lara (Moving Pixels) [10.Jul.12]
The Body of the Barbarian (Moving Pixels) [26.Jun.12]
Moving Pixels Podcast: The Return of Payne (Moving Pixels) [17.Jun.12]
Alan Wake's Women (Moving Pixels) [5.Jun.12]
Like 'Doom', In Heels (Moving Pixels) [15.May.12]
The End of the Adventure Game (Moving Pixels) [8.May.12]
Little Naked Men in Hats (Moving Pixels) [1.May.12]
My Most Hated Video Game Foe: Fire (Moving Pixels) [17.Apr.12]
The Limits of Retro Gaming Experiences (Moving Pixels) [10.Apr.12]
Death of a Quarian (Moving Pixels) [27.Mar.12]
Machismo and 'Mass Effect' (Moving Pixels) [20.Mar.12]
Big Games and Little Boys (Moving Pixels) [31.Jan.12]
Moving Pixels Podcast: Grand Theft Stupid? (Moving Pixels) [29.Jan.12]
Requiem for a Tiny Internet (Moving Pixels) [10.Jan.12]
The Problem of the Female Gangster (Moving Pixels) [13.Dec.11]
A Holiday Season Awash in Competence (Moving Pixels) [29.Nov.11]
Batman and “Bitches” (Moving Pixels) [8.Nov.11]
Moving Pixels Podcast: The End of the War (Moving Pixels) [30.Oct.11]
Moving Pixels Podcast: What Makes a Gamer? (Moving Pixels) [23.Oct.11]
A Quiet Start Screen Speaks Volumes (Moving Pixels) [11.Oct.11]
Moving Pixels Podcast: Fun, Sun, Zombies (Moving Pixels) [9.Oct.11]
Living for the Short Term Grind (Moving Pixels) [4.Oct.11]
Parenting with 'Angry Birds' (Moving Pixels) [13.Sep.11]
'Shadows of the Damned': Punk's Not Dead? (Moving Pixels) [28.Jun.11]
The Best of Thoughtful Gaming Podcasts (Moving Pixels) [7.Jun.11]
'Portal 2' and the Politics of Stupidity (Moving Pixels) [26.Apr.11]
You Had Me at “Invisible Trousers” (Moving Pixels) [15.Mar.11]
'Bulletstorm': Murder by the Numbers (Moving Pixels) [1.Mar.11]
Isaac Clarke: Intergalactic Handyman (Moving Pixels) [8.Feb.11]
Namelessness, Thy Name Is Monkey (Moving Pixels) [1.Feb.11]
The Best Gaming Moments of 2010 (Moving Pixels) [23.Jan.11]
Deadly Premonition (Consuming Consumables) [16.Dec.10]
Moving Pixels Podcast: Exploring New Vegas (Moving Pixels) [12.Dec.10]
Art Academy (Consuming Consumables) [8.Dec.10]
Everybody Wants to Own the World (Moving Pixels) [7.Dec.10]
Mafia II (Consuming Consumables) [5.Dec.10]
Bioshock 2 (Consuming Consumables) [2.Dec.10]
'Fallout', the “To Do” List Simulator (Moving Pixels) [23.Nov.10]
Red Dead Redemption (Consuming Consumables) [23.Nov.10]
'Fallout': The Scrounging Simulator (Moving Pixels) [26.Oct.10]
I Don't Know How to Play (Moving Pixels) [12.Oct.10]
Samus Aran Has Always Been Sexualized (Moving Pixels) [14.Sep.10]
The Name Above the Title (Moving Pixels) [7.Sep.10]
Chun-Li’s Thighs (Moving Pixels) [10.Aug.10]
Brutalizing Children in ‘Limbo’ (Moving Pixels) [3.Aug.10]
Moving Pixels Podcast: Max Payne in Love (Moving Pixels) [2.Aug.10]
Girls Suck at Video Games (Mixed Media) [29.Jul.10]
50 Nintendo Spoilers in 2 Minutes (Mixed Media) [21.Jul.10]
Imitating Intimacy in Video Games (Moving Pixels) [29.Jun.10]
All This Useless Interactivity (Moving Pixels) [22.Jun.10]
The Dastardly Achievement (Moving Pixels) [8.Jun.10]
You Say Apocalypse, I Say Retro Chic (Moving Pixels) [25.May.10]
The Satisfaction of a Switch (Moving Pixels) [18.May.10]
Hamlet: The Video Game (Moving Pixels) [20.Apr.10]
Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Game (Moving Pixels) [13.Apr.10]
Building a Better Murderer (Moving Pixels) [6.Apr.10]
An Intimate Moment With the Computer (Moving Pixels) [30.Mar.10]
Hippolyta: A Study in Simplicity (Moving Pixels) [23.Mar.10]
Elegance Is a Shotgun (Moving Pixels) [17.Mar.10]
Making a Case for 'Vice' (Moving Pixels) [23.Feb.10]
Assassin's Creed II (Consuming Consumables) [18.Dec.09]
Viva Pinata: Trouble in Paradise (Consuming Consumables) [16.Dec.09]
MySims Agents (Consuming Consumables) [16.Dec.09]
LEGO Rock Band (Consuming Consumables) [6.Dec.09]
Prince of Persia (Consuming Consumables) [3.Dec.09]
Godfather II (Consuming Consumables) [2.Dec.09]
Ms. Pac-Man: Post Feminist Icon (Moving Pixels) [1.Dec.09]
Batman: Arkham Asylum (Consuming Consumables) [30.Nov.09]
Democratizing Dictatorship: Tropico 3 (Moving Pixels) [4.Nov.09]
It's Always More Fun Killing Nazis (Moving Pixels) [26.Aug.09]
Zen and the Art of Playing Video Games (Moving Pixels) [24.Jun.09]
Killing My Avatar, Killing Myself? (Moving Pixels) [28.May.08]
Now on PopMatters
PM Picks

© 1999-2015 All rights reserved.™ and PopMatters™ are trademarks
of PopMatters Media, Inc.

PopMatters is wholly independently owned and operated.