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by Erik Kersting

1 Sep 2015


A few weekends ago a few friends and I went to a live-action version of the “Escape the Room” genre of video games. This one was called Trapped in a Room with a Zombie: Still Hungry. For the uninitiated, “Escape the Room” games are a form of puzzle game in which the player is locked in a room and must escape. Often times the room will at first appear normal, but over time and after exploration of the room, the player finds clues and riddles that will lead them to a means of escape. The live-action equivalent, which I had not heard of until a friend told me about it early this summer, is very similar, but instead of being set in a virtual space, it is set in a physical one.

What makes the live-action version much more tense is that there is a time limit and often the puzzle is far too grand for a single person to solve in a reasonable amount of time. Thus, a group of players must work as a team if they want to escape. The extra twist in the version that I experienced, Trapped in a Room with a Zombie: Still Hungry, was that the room included a guy dressed up as a zombie who would remove any player from participating (outside of standing in the corner and talking) in the game if he touched them. He was chained to the wall, but his chain would grow longer every five minutes. So, the players had to not only solve the riddles but avoid the zombie in the process.

by G. Christopher Williams

31 Aug 2015


This week we begin a series of five episodes about the episodic choice-driven point-and-click adventure game Life Is Strange.

By way of introduction, this week we’re talking about the first episode but focusing mainly on how the game’s mechanics work in contrast to other games in the genre, like Telltale’s The Walking Dead, and how the mechanics support the coming of age story that seems to be the game’s central focus.

by Nick Dinicola

28 Aug 2015


Grow Home (Ubisoft, 2015)

I was never a very outdoorsy kid. I didn’t climb trees or jungle gyms. The one time that I tried to jump from the top of a tall slide, I landed in such a way that my knee hit my jaw, and I burst into tears. The one time that I tried to jump from a swing, my shirt got caught in the chain and tore as I leapt away. Yeah, I wasn’t a very outdoorsy kid.

I bring this up because it seems the most natural explanation for why I’m so fascinated by climbing in video games. I love climbing in games. It’s part of why I always enjoyed Prince of Persia as a kid, and it’s one of the central reasons that I fell in love with Assassin’s Creed.

by Jorge Albor

27 Aug 2015


Warning: This post contains spoilers for Everybody’s Gone to the Rapture.

I know what I want from Everybody’s Gone to the Rapture. I want someone to be angry at.

I know, I know, it’s an inspirational story in some ways. The latest game from The Chinese Room drops you into the sleepy little hamlet of Shropshire, a quiet rural town nestled in the Yaughton valley. There we discover everyone has disappeared, leaving clues to the their story scattered about in the form of memories, light trails projecting their last moments on earth like ephemeral home recordings.

by Sean Miller

25 Aug 2015


Generate (Hybridity Media, 2015)

Former Yale professor and author of Excellent Sheep: The Miseducation of the American Elite and the Way to a Meaningful Life, William Deresiewicz, wrote an essay for the latest issue of Harper’s called “The Neoliberal Arts: How College Sold Its Soul to the Market”. It’s a thoroughly damning portrait of the corporatization of higher education in America. But to be honest, nothing new here. Puritanical preachers have been railing against the insidious creep of Mammon-worship since the inception of our fair colonies.

It’s also nothing especially new for those of us who are refugees from academia. As Marc Bousquet has so elegantly put it, when you’re “expunged from a system as waste”, one benefit is a heightened capacity to sniff out the bullshit emanating from said system.

So where can we exiled life-of-the-minders, expunged from the academic system as waste, take our once-cloistered but now liberated creativity?

//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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