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

Nick Dinicola

Nick Dinicola made it through college with a degree in English, and now applies all his critical thinking skills to video games instead of literature. He reviews games and writes a weekly post for the Moving Pixels blog at PopMatters, and can be heard on the weekly Moving Pixels podcast. More of his reviews, previews, and general thoughts on gaming can be found at www.gamehounds.net.


Columns

Monday, December 1 2014

Creepypasta Gaming: Where the Internet "Learns Our Fears"

When knowledge falls outside of that which is found on the Internet, it falls outside of modern understanding. Thus, games like these, which fall outside of the norm, become intensely compelling.


Tuesday, September 23 2014

No One Wants to Play the Fool Like 'Watch Dog's Aiden Pierce

Watch Dog's protagonist is a cliché that never grows beyond cliché.


Tuesday, July 29 2014

The Assassins' Propaganda

Black Flag isn’t interested in breaking the world into two opposing ideologies. It’s interested in how those ideologies sell themselves to a broken world.


Monday, May 26 2014

Puzzling Personas: Puzzles as Character Development in 'The Raven'

The type of puzzle you specialize in solving says a lot about you as a person.


Tuesday, March 25 2014

There Are No Villains, Only Victims with Power

I Have No Mouth and I Must Scream argues that there's no such thing as a true villain, just people who have been wronged and have the power to exact revenge.


Reviews

Friday, December 5 2014

This War of Mine

This War of Mine is a great game about survival, hope, loss, despair, companionship... but oddly enough not about war.


Friday, November 21 2014

'Never Alone': The Rise of the "Docu-Platformer"

Never Alone feels like an old Discovery channel special in game form.


Wednesday, November 19 2014

'Costume Quest 2' Is a Light-Hearted, Breezy Take on Halloween

Why the plot of Costume Quest 2 doesn’t really matter is simple enough. We know the bad guy can never succeed; Halloween can never be truly destroyed. Any kid could have told you that.


Monday, October 6 2014

Reprisal Universe

Reprisal Universe is a strategy game in which you only ever have to use one strategy.


Tuesday, September 2 2014

MIND: Path to Thalamus

The game earns a trust that allows you to let go of your worries and to just let the mood wash over you, vagaries and all.


Oribtal Gear [18.Aug.14]
Quest for Infamy [10.Jul.14]
Life Goes On [24.Apr.14]
Teslagrad [15.Dec.13]
Contrast [1.Dec.13]
Montague's Mount [15.Oct.13]
Charlie Murder [11.Oct.13]
Lost Planet 3 [2.Oct.13]
Payday 2 [5.Sep.13]
Tales of Xillia [18.Aug.13]
Scourge: Outbreak [21.Jul.13]
Anomaly 2 [30.May.13]
Don't Starve [25.Apr.13]
Guacamelee [17.Apr.13]
Crysis 3 [7.Mar.13]
Dead Space 3 [21.Feb.13]
Grimind [15.Jan.13]
Fable: The Journey [24.Oct.12]
Resident Evil 6 [7.Oct.12]
Rock of Ages [14.Jun.12]
Game of Thrones [5.Jun.12]
Battlefield 3 [27.Nov.11]
Orcs Must Die! [23.Oct.11]
Dead Island [15.Sep.11]
The Baconing [8.Sep.11]
Dungeon Siege III [30.Jun.11]
Brink [26.May.11]
Crysis 2 [7.Apr.11]
Bulletstorm [6.Mar.11]
Dead Space 2 [3.Feb.11]
Quantum Theory [31.Oct.10]
Arc Rise Fantasia [22.Aug.10]
Red Steel 2 [15.Apr.10]
Toy Soldiers [25.Mar.10]
Heavy Rain [18.Mar.10]
Dark Void [24.Jan.10]
Puzzlegeddon [5.Jan.10]
Madden NFL Arcade [13.Dec.09]
Mini Ninjas [15.Nov.09]
'Splosion Man [13.Aug.09]

Blogs

Friday, December 19 2014

'The Masterplan' Is All About Control

The Masterplan is about a heist gone right.


Friday, December 12 2014

In 'Lifeless Planet' We're Not Forced to Wander Aimlessly in Search of a Plot

Lifeless Planet uses minimal details to establish a compelling mystery, to subvert our expectations, to create dramatic tension, and to guide exploration.


Friday, December 5 2014

'Stranded' Is Too Minimal for Its Own Good

In its attempt to be minimalist, Stranded removes all the things that drive an interest in atmosphere, mystery, and exploration.


Friday, November 21 2014

Fairness Is Overrated

No one really wants to play a fair game. Video games are unfair, but in our favor, which is what makes them fun, right?


Friday, November 14 2014

You Have to Want to be Scared

No one really likes being scared. The fun of being scared never comes from the actual act of being scared. This pleasure comes afterwards when we can look back and laugh.


Indie Horror Month 2014: 'The Last Door' (Moving Pixels) [31.Oct.14]
Indie Horror Month 2014: 'Eversion' (Moving Pixels) [24.Oct.14]
Indie Horror Month 2014: 'Claire' (Moving Pixels) [17.Oct.14]
Indie Horror Month 2014: 'Motte Island' (Moving Pixels) [10.Oct.14]
Indie Horror Month 2014: 'BlindSide' (Moving Pixels) [3.Oct.14]
'Blackbar,' The Epistolary Game (Moving Pixels) [26.Sep.14]
Censorship Is Not a Puzzle I Can Solve (Moving Pixels) [19.Sep.14]
The Platformer as Typography Teacher (Moving Pixels) [22.Aug.14]
The Platformer as Existential Crisis (Moving Pixels) [14.Aug.14]
'Watch Dogs' vs 'Hack RUN' (Moving Pixels) [20.Jun.14]
Sometimes Bad Ain't So Bad (Moving Pixels) [13.Jun.14]
'Badland' and the Importance of Luck (Moving Pixels) [6.Jun.14]
A Good Menu Sets the Mood: Part 5 (Moving Pixels) [30.May.14]
Progress Is Power in 'A Dark Room' (Moving Pixels) [23.May.14]
Why I'm Excited About 'Call of Duty' (Moving Pixels) [16.May.14]
A Little Bit of Story Goes a Long Way (Moving Pixels) [2.May.14]
Place and Space in 'Year Walk' (Moving Pixels) [25.Apr.14]
Place and Space in 'Device 6' (Moving Pixels) [18.Apr.14]
Telltale's Abuse of Nostalgia (Moving Pixels) [4.Apr.14]
That Transcendent Moment (Moving Pixels) [21.Mar.14]
Can a Game Be So Bad It’s Good? (Moving Pixels) [28.Feb.14]
More is Less in 'Montague’s Mount' (Moving Pixels) [14.Feb.14]
The Beautiful Simplicity of 'Broken Age' (Moving Pixels) [24.Jan.14]
I Am Clementine (Moving Pixels) [17.Jan.14]
The Evolution of 'Call of Duty' (Moving Pixels) [6.Dec.13]
Nature Sucks in 'Lost Planet 3' (Moving Pixels) [15.Nov.13]
Indie Horror Month 2013: 'Catachresis' (Moving Pixels) [1.Nov.13]
Indie Horror Month 2013: 'Homesick' (Moving Pixels) [25.Oct.13]
Indie Horror Month 2013: 'Fibrillation' (Moving Pixels) [18.Oct.13]
Indie Horror Month 2013: 'Metrolith' (Moving Pixels) [11.Oct.13]
Deconstructing Disbelief (Moving Pixels) [27.Sep.13]
Cloning Individuals in 'The Swapper' (Moving Pixels) [6.Sep.13]
Cloning Society in 'The Swapper' (Moving Pixels) [29.Aug.13]
The Perfect Grind (Moving Pixels) [22.Aug.13]
'400 Days' of Loving Abuse (Moving Pixels) [15.Aug.13]
Virtual Dioramas (Moving Pixels) [1.Aug.13]
Death by a Thousand Chestbursters (Moving Pixels) [25.Jul.13]
"We're shitty people, Joel." (Moving Pixels) [18.Jul.13]
A Good Menu Sets the Mood: Part 4 (Moving Pixels) [11.Jul.13]
Sadism Is Fine As Long As It’s Short (Moving Pixels) [27.Jun.13]
I Can't Break 'The Walking Dead' (Moving Pixels) [13.Jun.13]
The Perfect Co-Op of 'Monaco' (Moving Pixels) [30.May.13]
It's Hard to Play the Right Way (Moving Pixels) [23.May.13]
Predictable Difficulty is Fun Difficulty (Moving Pixels) [2.May.13]
The Horror of 'Tomb Raider' (Moving Pixels) [11.Apr.13]
Bringing "It" Out in Lara Croft (Moving Pixels) [28.Mar.13]
'Crysis 3' Is a Stealth Game (Moving Pixels) [21.Mar.13]
The Mythic Horror of 'Dead Space 3' (Moving Pixels) [14.Mar.13]
The Doors of 'Dead Space 3' (Moving Pixels) [28.Feb.13]
'Binary Domain' and the Joys of Cut Scenes (Moving Pixels) [14.Feb.13]
My Mechanical Journey With 'Journey' (Moving Pixels) [7.Feb.13]
Style is Substance in 'Ni no Kuni' (Moving Pixels) [31.Jan.13]
Why Do Alternate Endings Matter in Gaming? (Moving Pixels) [24.Jan.13]
Open Worlds Aren’t Meant for Driving (Moving Pixels) [10.Jan.13]
A New Appreciation for Simple Movement (Moving Pixels) [6.Dec.12]
Why I Played 'Borderlands 2' By Myself (Moving Pixels) [15.Nov.12]
Indie Horror Month: 'Lone Survivor' (Moving Pixels) [25.Oct.12]
Indie Horror Month: 'Home' (Moving Pixels) [18.Oct.12]
Indie Horror Month: 'Paranormal' (Moving Pixels) [11.Oct.12]
Indie Horror Month: 'The 4th Wall' (Moving Pixels) [4.Oct.12]
How to End a Game With a Bang (Moving Pixels) [27.Sep.12]
Xbox LIVE Indie Game Round Up -- Part 3 (Moving Pixels) [6.Sep.12]
First-Person Memories (Moving Pixels) [2.Aug.12]
‘Syndicate’ Wastes a Great World (Moving Pixels) [19.Jul.12]
'Slender' is a Superb Slice of Horror (Moving Pixels) [12.Jul.12]
The Excellent Dialogue of 'Max Payne 3' (Moving Pixels) [7.Jun.12]
The Evolution of Alan Wake (Moving Pixels) [17.May.12]
‘Fez’ is a Very Personal Puzzle Game (Moving Pixels) [3.May.12]
'Anomaly', the Simple Start of a New Genre (Moving Pixels) [19.Apr.12]
The Fallible Morality of 'Mass Effect 3' (Moving Pixels) [29.Mar.12]
Evil Can Be Cute: The Morality of 'Warp' (Moving Pixels) [1.Mar.12]
The Helpless Protector in ‘AMY’ (Moving Pixels) [23.Feb.12]
Get Rid of the Mini-map (Moving Pixels) [19.Jan.12]
Joining the Cult of Abstergo (Moving Pixels) [15.Dec.11]
A Good Menu Sets the Mood: Part 3 (Moving Pixels) [1.Dec.11]
The Strength of Dialogue in ‘Enslaved’ (Moving Pixels) [17.Nov.11]
Creatively Derivative (Moving Pixels) [10.Nov.11]
Unwanted Empathy in ‘Rage’ (Moving Pixels) [3.Nov.11]
The Dangers of the Beta-Demo (Moving Pixels) [27.Oct.11]
Big Names Should Work On Small Games (Moving Pixels) [6.Oct.11]
Cyclical Stories in Video Games (Moving Pixels) [8.Sep.11]
Xbox LIVE Indie Game Round Up -- Part 2 (Moving Pixels) [25.Aug.11]
Pixel Hunting Is Fun in 'L.A. Noire' (Moving Pixels) [18.Aug.11]
The Most Loving Suicide Mission Ever (Moving Pixels) [28.Jul.11]
"Child of Eden’s" Identity Crisis (Moving Pixels) [21.Jul.11]
Collaborative Conflict in 'Mass Effect' (Moving Pixels) [14.Jul.11]
Creation and Destruction in 'Solar 2' (Moving Pixels) [7.Jul.11]
The Many Genres of ‘Nier’ (Moving Pixels) [1.Jul.11]
Playing the Persona in ‘L.A. Noire’ (Moving Pixels) [9.Jun.11]
Xbox LIVE Indie Game Round Up (Moving Pixels) [12.May.11]
The Perfect FPS Protagonist (Moving Pixels) [6.May.11]
‘The Conduit’: A Gateway Game (Moving Pixels) [21.Apr.11]
How Not to Make a Multiplayer Game (Moving Pixels) [3.Mar.11]
A Slice of Wartime Life (Moving Pixels) [24.Feb.11]
The Paradox of Modern Horror: Running Away (Moving Pixels) [17.Feb.11]
Killing Kids Is Scary (Moving Pixels) [3.Feb.11]
Fun Times With Ratchet and Clank (Moving Pixels) [27.Jan.11]
The Two Faces of 'Dead Rising 2' (Moving Pixels) [20.Jan.11]
Pigsy's Perfect 10 (Moving Pixels) [6.Jan.11]
Gaming and Politics in 2010 (Moving Pixels) [23.Dec.10]
'Burnout' Ruined Racing Games For Me (Moving Pixels) [2.Dec.10]
Mass Effect 2 (Consuming Consumables) [22.Nov.10]
Forced Politics in 'Fable 3' (Moving Pixels) [18.Nov.10]
Forced Alliances in ‘Fable 3’ (Moving Pixels) [11.Nov.10]
Epic vs. Episodic Adventure Games (Moving Pixels) [4.Nov.10]
'Project Legacy': My First Facebook Game (Moving Pixels) [14.Oct.10]
The Least Suicidal Suicide Mission Ever (Moving Pixels) [7.Oct.10]
'Dead Rising' Does Zombies Right (Moving Pixels) [23.Sep.10]
An Obsession with Progression (Moving Pixels) [19.Aug.10]
The Lasting Accomplishment of 'Max Payne' (Moving Pixels) [12.Aug.10]
Dreaming in 'Limbo' (Moving Pixels) [5.Aug.10]
Why Do I Cheer For War? (Moving Pixels) [8.Jul.10]
My Ending Is My Canon (Moving Pixels) [1.Jul.10]
How Open Is Your Open World? (Moving Pixels) [17.Jun.10]
Red Dead Redemption: A Linear Open World (Moving Pixels) [10.Jun.10]
A Good Menu Sets the Mood (Moving Pixels) [3.Jun.10]
Five Movie and Game Pairings (Moving Pixels) [13.May.10]
Achievements Change The Way That I Play (Moving Pixels) [6.May.10]
Are Wii Shooters Better Than The Rest? (Moving Pixels) [22.Apr.10]
Rubi vs. Bayonetta (Moving Pixels) [15.Apr.10]
I'd Rather Be Stealing Gold (Moving Pixels) [8.Apr.10]
Our Role as Actor in 'Heavy Rain' (Moving Pixels) [4.Mar.10]
DiRT 2: A Racing Sim for the Arcade Fan (Moving Pixels) [21.Jan.10]
Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 (Consuming Consumables) [17.Dec.09]
Dead Space: Extraction (Consuming Consumables) [10.Dec.09]
The Mystery of Assassin's Creed (Moving Pixels) [3.Dec.09]
Modern War in Modern Warfare 2 (Moving Pixels) [19.Nov.09]
It's A Mad Mad Mad MadWorld (Moving Pixels) [12.Nov.09]
Cut Scenes Can Work in Games (Moving Pixels) [6.Nov.09]
That Good Ol' Ultraviolence (Moving Pixels) [29.Oct.09]
Does This Hurt? A Look at Torture in Games (Moving Pixels) [23.Oct.09]
The Next Visual Leap in Gaming (Moving Pixels) [15.Oct.09]
Lost in the Past (Moving Pixels) [1.Oct.09]
War is (Fun As) Hell (Moving Pixels) [24.Sep.09]
Punishing in All the Right Ways (Moving Pixels) [17.Sep.09]
The State of Social Commentary in Gaming (Moving Pixels) [3.Sep.09]
The Boycott of Shadow Complex (Moving Pixels) [28.Aug.09]
Your Virtual Physical Self (Moving Pixels) [6.Aug.09]
Homelessness in The Sims 3 (Moving Pixels) [30.Jul.09]
Permanent Death in Far Cry 2 (Moving Pixels) [23.Jul.09]
The Future of Gaming is...Adventure Games? (Moving Pixels) [16.Jul.09]
Going HUDless for Immersion (Moving Pixels) [9.Jul.09]
Consequence Without Morality (Moving Pixels) [25.Jun.09]
Looking Ahead (Moving Pixels) [4.Jun.09]
Why You Should Care About Dom's Wife (Moving Pixels) [21.May.09]
A Case for Regenerating Health (Moving Pixels) [14.May.09]
Morality and Karma Systems (Moving Pixels) [8.May.09]
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