G. Christopher Williams is an Associate 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 email@example.com.
Monday, December 15 2008
What might be remembered of the life of a woman who was long ago replaced by her own representation?
Wednesday, June 4 2008
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
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
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 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.
Tuesday, October 15 2013
If Grand Theft Auto has nothing to say, as the participants of Slate's recent Culture Gabfest purport, then they must be playing with the sound turned down.
Thursday, August 22 2013
"I expected a monster to greet me at the dias; a foe of unimaginable strength. But when I entered the castle and saw my father -- the king -- sitting atop the dias with goblet in hand, I knew all was lost. He would never die... and I would never be heir."
Thursday, June 20 2013
In the game world, we can't feel the pain of taking a bullet or check our wallet to see what's in it. There just isn't a button for that.
Tuesday, April 23 2013
I have found myself struck with admiration recently by games that I have played that have put me in less than empowering positions, games that celebrate difficulty and hardship, struggling and deprivation, rather than empowerment and excess.
Sunday, February 24 2013
I feel guilty for things that I have done in God of War. Pushing that caged man over a bed of flames to solve that block puzzle? Still not over that.
Thursday, August 22 2013
I have never worried so much about where light switches are in a video game as I have in Gone Home, dreading what might be lurking in dark corners because the setting, the gameplay, and the tone of the game's mystery suggested to me that I should.
Tuesday, August 20 2013
Saints Row has always been known as a Grand Theft Auto. But now it wants to be the clone of pretty much everything, ever.
Thursday, August 8 2013
Now I know that Shadowrun has transitioned to the video game console before, but I haven't played a video game that has so reminded me of the structure of tabletop role-playing games as Shadowrun Returns in, well, maybe ever.
Sunday, July 28 2013
You have potentially hundreds of generations available to help you to get this game done. No big rush. Just relax and storm that dungeon again.
Sunday, July 7 2013
In 1987, to boys of a certain age, playing Leisure Suit Larry felt like an act of encountering some sort of forbidden fruit that had been earned at great risk and was to be consumed with secret shame and interest. In 2013, it feels a bit less transgressive.
Wednesday, December 18 2013
Edmund McMillen's A.V.G.M. is a test of fortitude and relies on the assumption that gamers are unwilling to resist their own masturbatory instincts.
Wednesday, December 11 2013
The Wolf Among Us's quick time events typify the hard boiled genre better than any elegant combat system would or than any analytically driven puzzle solving might. Moments less to be won than to be survived or endured.
Monday, December 9 2013
David Cage's Beyond: Two Souls may just be "an evolution of the point-and-click adventure game that never happened".
Wednesday, December 4 2013
What I admire about Nocturne's design is how its function reinforces the theme of the character himself, going so far as to evoke visceral emotional responses and actions in players themselves that make sense given the horror that Nocturne is supposed to represent.
Monday, November 25 2013
Telltale Games returns with a game of choices and consequences, but this time out those hard decisions are embedded in the completely fantastic world of Fables, not the relative social realism of a zombie apocalypse.