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by G. Christopher Williams

23 Jun 2015


Metal Gear Solid V: Ground Zeroes (Konami, 2014)

I said, ”Footsteps in movies.”
“Footsteps.”
“Footsteps in movies never sound real.”
“They’re footsteps in movies.”
“You’re saying why should they sound real.”
“They’re footsteps in movies,” she said.
Point Omega (Scribner, 2010)

The preceding conversation from Don Delillo’s novel Point Omega occurs between a documentary filmmaker, Jim Finley, and the daughter of a man who is the subject of Finley’s latest documentary in progress, a woman named Jessica Elster. It is probably no surprise that a documentarian would raise the issue of how reality may or may not be successfully depicted in film. Representing reality as authentically as possible would seem to be the bread and butter of most documentary filmmakers.

by G. Christopher Williams

22 Jun 2015


This week, the Moving Pixels podcast crew discuss the high contrast world of White Night.

White Night tells the story of a haunted house and a decaying American economy.

by Nick Dinicola

19 Jun 2015


Dark Echo (RAC7 Games, 2015)

A good menu can set the tone for the rest of the game to come. I’ve
written five times before, and thankfully I have reason to write about them again. Hopefully (and doubtfully), this won’t be the last time.

by Jorge Albor

18 Jun 2015


Deep into E3 and my ears are still buzzing with the sound of explosions. There’s an itch in my throat that is the telltale sign of a convention pox, and earlier in the day, I overheard an exhibitor say loudly, “I hate E3.” Understandably, at a consumer event that feels like the oppressive churning of an impossibly hungry machine, the games industry can feel like a strange mix of unbridled excitement (I’m looking at you The Last Guardian) and deep cynicism. It’s with this mixed message in mind that I want to make a concerted effort to celebrate some of the non-gaming moments that I find hopeful from the show.

Almost more shocking than the reveal of Shenmue 3 was the appearance of a surprisingly diverse group of protagonists featured in some of the most exciting games of this coming year. It seems some developers are finally learning that female protagonists do not doom a game from selling big.

The heroine of Recorp.

The heroine of Recorp.

Of course Faith returns in the much anticipated Mirror’s Edge 2, as does Lara Croft in Rise of the Tomb Raider. They are joined by the heroines of Recorp and Horizon Zero, both brand new franchises (robot infused franchises at that). Meanwhile, Gigantic, a MOBA-like third-person action game, features a strong woman of color that looks entirely badass, as well as an old woman and a young girl. None of these games hypersexualize these characters, yet all explore entirely different aesthetics. These are not hastily created token characters made to check a box. Rather, they seem built from the ground up out of a genuine enthusiasm to include diverse and interesting protagonists in games.

by G. Christopher Williams

17 Jun 2015


While love, sex, and romance are topics considered in most mediums, games have not always had the greatest success in doing so.

That isn’t to say that the pursuit of the object of one’s attention is not a central concern of gaming. After all, from gaming’s earliest days, from Donkey Kong to Super Mario Bros., the idea of love as a central motivator for the protagonist of a game has been a mainstay. That being said, Mario’s quest to rescue Pauline from Donkey Kong or Mario’s search for Princes Peach are merely narrative devices in those old Nintendo titles. They suggest a reason to ascend a tower of girders to face off against a giant ape or to vault chasms in quest of a princess, but the game mechanics that these goals promote are ones related to action, not romance. They are narrative justifications for gameplay activities. The activities do not reflect these goals themselves.

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