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

Eric Swain
Image: Eric Swain

Eric Swain is a self-educated game critic. One day he had the crazy idea that video games could be put under the microscope with the same amount of respect and thought that books and movies are only to discover he was not the first person to think of this. He set out to learn all he could and hopefully add to the growing field of game criticism. He has no idea how far he’s come or if he’s moved forward much at all. He graduated from Boston University with a B.A. in English. You can read more of his work at .


Monday, April 6 2015

Tales from the Borderlands, Episode 2: Atlas Mugged

Yeah, the manic murder fantasy playground of Borderlands gets more subtle moments of humanity than the grand tragedy of Telltale's catalog, The Walking Dead.

Friday, March 27 2015

Morningstar: Descent to Deadrock

Morningstar plays like a Star Trek episode that forgot to add in a moral message about the nature of humanity at the end.

Monday, March 9 2015

Game of Thrones, Episode 2: The Lost Lords

Game of Thrones is giving us something different in the adventure game genre. We are finally engaging with intrigue.

Tuesday, February 24 2015

Life Is Strange, Episode 1: Chrysalis

Max wants to make friends, survive high school, and impress her famous photography teacher to jump start her art career, the kinds of human and relatable stories not often seen in video games.

Friday, February 13 2015

Dreamfall Chapters, Book One: Reborn

Players of the Dreamfall Chapters may find that more than a little research is necessary to enjoy the game's finer points.

A Golden Wake [1.Dec.14]
1954: Alcatraz [4.Jun.14]
The String Arcade [16.Apr.14]
The Room Two [13.Apr.14]
Beyond: Two Souls [15.Nov.13]
Face Noir [29.Aug.13]
Scurvy Scallywags [12.Jul.13]
Thomas Was Alone [5.May.13]


Tuesday, April 14 2015

'Valiant Hearts': The Unneeded Narrator

In the midst of all this human drama is the narrator, lavishing us with needless exposition.

Tuesday, April 7 2015

Slaughtering a Sacred Cow, Revisiting 'Grim Fandango'

Grim Fandango has been called "the greatest adventure game of all time". At one point, that may have been the case.

Tuesday, March 31 2015

The Party Games of IndieCade East 2015

With the party game, the real experience is having fun in the company of others, not winning.

Tuesday, March 24 2015

The Visual Games of IndieCade East 2015

Visuals tend to get a bad rap in video games. However, there are plenty of games in which the visuals are in part the point of the game.

Tuesday, March 17 2015

The Offbeat Games of IndieCade East 2015

Indiecast East 2015 offers players a chance to build IKEA furniture, become a chameleon, and to examine their unconscious assumptions.

'80 Days' and the Limits of Fiction (Moving Pixels) [3.Feb.15]
Five of the Best Mobile Games of 2014 (Moving Pixels) [10.Dec.14]
My Downward Spiral with 'Watch Dogs' (Moving Pixels) [8.Oct.14]
'Quest for Infamy': A Second Opinion (Moving Pixels) [29.Jul.14]
The Size and Wisdom of 'Myst' (Moving Pixels) [12.Jun.14]
The Games of IndieCade: Part 3 (Moving Pixels) [11.Mar.14]
The Games of IndieCade: Part 2 (Moving Pixels) [5.Mar.14]
The Games of IndieCade: Part 1 (Moving Pixels) [26.Feb.14]
At Play at IndieCade East (Moving Pixels) [19.Feb.14]
'9.03m': A First Person Walker Critique (Moving Pixels) [5.Feb.14]
The Denouement of "Dead Man's Switch" (Moving Pixels) [28.Jan.14]
A Change of Pace in Episodic Gaming (Moving Pixels) [21.Jan.14]
Baiting the Hook (Moving Pixels) [12.Dec.13]
'Memoria': Stories and Truth (Moving Pixels) [26.Nov.13]
'Silent Hill 2': A Test of Age (Moving Pixels) [8.Oct.13]
Syria's Endgame in 'Endgame: Syria' (Moving Pixels) [24.Sep.13]
This Is the Story of a Crusader King (Moving Pixels) [10.Sep.13]
'Gemini Rue': A Matter of Memory (Moving Pixels) [19.Aug.13]
An Exercise in Extinction (Moving Pixels) [6.Aug.13]
Porpentine of the Twine (Moving Pixels) [8.Jul.13]
The Many Forks in the Road of Twine (Moving Pixels) [11.Jun.13]
A Look Down the Interactive Fiction Road (Moving Pixels) [7.May.13]
PAX East: A Primer, Part the Last (Moving Pixels) [29.Apr.13]
PAX East: A Primer, Part the Second (Moving Pixels) [23.Apr.13]
PAX East: A Primer, Part the First (Moving Pixels) [15.Apr.13]
'Proteus' and the Simple Act of Being (Moving Pixels) [18.Mar.13]
'The Plan' and Expressionism (Moving Pixels) [26.Feb.13]
'Deponia' Is No 'Monkey Island' (Moving Pixels) [4.Feb.13]
A Commentary on 'Primordia' (Moving Pixels) [18.Dec.12]
When 'Mark of the Ninja' Clicks (Moving Pixels) [10.Dec.12]
The Unfinished Artist (Moving Pixels) [26.Nov.12]
Discovering the Familiar in 'Journey' (Moving Pixels) [5.Nov.12]
The Haunting of 'Dear Esther' (Moving Pixels) [9.Oct.12]
Drake's Greed and Fortune (Moving Pixels) [11.Sep.12]
'Among Thieves': Honor or No Honor? (Moving Pixels) [4.Sep.12]
What is the Deception and Who is Drake? (Moving Pixels) [27.Aug.12]
'Driver: San Francisco' and 'Drive' (Moving Pixels) [6.Feb.12]
'Desert Bus': The Cultural Event/Game (Moving Pixels) [6.Dec.11]
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