Latest Blog Posts

by G. Christopher Williams

2 Sep 2015

In Game  Art, Matt Sainsbury is asking questions of video game developers that one might ask a movie director or a novelist or a painter.

Tengami (Nyamyam, 2015)

When I started writing seriously about games in 2002, most of what was being written about video games came largely in the form of previews and product reviews. Video games were still largely being covered as a form of entertainment, but largely anyone, like myself, pondering whether or not the medium might be more than a frivolous way of passing time existed only in fairly small numbers in pockets of the Internet.

As the decade progressed, though, more and more bloggers appeared asking questions similar to my own about whether or not video games were not just a pastime, but also an art form. Many mainstream gaming web sites began including essays of a more critical (that is, “critical” in the sense of art criticism) nature alongside the more traditional offerings of screen shots and consumer information about video games. Infamously, Roger Ebert declared that video games were not art, but by the mid 2000s, there were an awful lot of writers, some journalists, some academics, and some enthusiasts, talking about video games, their stories, their mechanisms, and even their possible aesthetics using that very term.

by Steve Horowitz

1 Sep 2015

British hip-hop master  Wiley and UK electronic musician Zomby join forces on "Step 2001".

Steve Horowitz: This track is crammed. The lines range from everything from the biographical (“You want to know me I put my life in a song”) to the existential (“No love in the land of the lazy”) to the mundane (“I like rice, Basmati”) without ever dropping the beat or straying from the icy landscape of the sonic construction. There’s something happening here. Resolution may not be reached, but it’s a step. No wonder it ends with a sour vocal. Growth is painful. [7/10]

by PopMatters Staff

1 Sep 2015

Brilliant UK hip-hopper  Roots Manuva released his new single "One Thing" last week.

Adrien Begrand: The UK hip-hop great’s new single is so simple in approach—a murky, nasty dub groove that creeps along menacingly—but it gives Rodney Smith ample room to deliver a pointed diatribe against the allure of money and society’s (music especially) perpetual willingness to bleed people dry. “How could we hate the Queen, when the social bill seems so obscene and it helped to create the scene that put the people where the people be here?” It’s food for thought. [7/10]

by PopMatters Staff

1 Sep 2015

Justin Bieber's "What  Do You Mean?" somehow lives up to the hype of its who's-who celebrity promotion.

Steve Horowitz: Justin has got him self a nice little pop song here. If one doesn’t listen too carefully, the carefree spirit takes the listener on a joy ride. The narrator wants to be wanted, but then again, he’s not sure. He likes the game of the relationship, the push and pull of attraction. The Brad Furman video nicely captures the ambiguity well and carefully pulls back before ever getting too serious. The roll of cash, the cigarette lighter, the scary masks set the atmosphere without taking things too far. It may be a little dumb, but that fits the lightness of the material. [8/10]

by PopMatters Staff

1 Sep 2015

Metal greats Slayer  offer up a brand new single, "Cast the First Stone", in partnership with Adult Swim.

Paul Duffus: Only two original members left, but the fire remains undimmed. “Cast the First Stone” is relatively mid-tempo for these heroic warlocks. Over the years they have been up, they have been down, but they have never backed off. And so it continues. This compares favourably with their past. [8/10]

//Mixed media
//Blogs

Double Take: The African Queen (1951)

// Short Ends and Leader

"What a time they had, Charlie and Rosie. They'll never lack for stories to tell their grandchildren. And what a time we had at Double Take discussing the spiritual and romantic journey of the African Queen.

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