Latest Blog Posts

by Aaron Poppleton

10 May 2011

Note:  It should go without saying that there are some spoilers for a few Star Wars events in here, specifically for Bioware’s Knights of the Old Republic.  If you haven’t played it yet, what is wrong with you? Go play it and come back later.

Intergalactic Star Wars Day was last week, which of course brought the whole Star Wars juggernaut to my mind. I’ve had a soft spot for the original trilogy ever since I first saw it as a wee lad and was (briefly) terrified of Darth Vader as a boy of five or six (or however old I was when my parents doomed me to a life that would forever feel hollow because there are no lightsabers in real life).  Nor am I exactly alone in my love for the series and my own inclination to discuss it here.  It’s a topic of discussion that everyone comes to sooner or later, and the best thing about Star Wars is that the size and scope of the world—a literal galaxy with its own millennia-spanning history painstakingly constructed (sometimes sloppily) by multiple sources, all ostensibly under the benevolent eye of George Lucas, that there’s almost always something worth discussing.

by G. Christopher Williams

9 May 2011

A few weeks ago the Moving Pixels podcast crew revisited 2007’s Portal in anticipation of the impending release of its sequel.

Well, the sequel has arrived, so we have gotten together once again to consider how well the follow up works in terms of its extended narrative and its various gameplay tweaks.

by Nick Dinicola

6 May 2011

Goldeneye 64 is a classic. It’s a game that deserves a remake. It’s one you can’t go back to, yet nostalgia would drive many back to it. It’s easy to be cynical about Activision’s remake, especially since it’s so clearly made from the same template as Call of Duty, but developer Eurocom made an impressive effort to createa game that’s referential, reverential, yet capable of standing on its own. While they got a lot right, the updated story succeeds because of one decision: the decision to update the character of Bond along with the rest of the story because in many ways Daniel Craig’s version of James Bond is the perfect FPS protagonist, and that’s not a good thing.

by David Masciotra

6 May 2011

Harold Goldberg, author of a new history of video games called All Your Base Are Belong to Us, makes the claim that after spending 100 hours playing certain games, “you’ll almost feel as though you’ve read a great work of prose”, comparing games to novels. Salon, which ran an interview with Goldberg, seems to agree, announcing in its headline, “They’ve become sophisticated, beautiful – and as smart as literature.”

Anyone who make would such a bizarrely illiterate claim—be it the editors of Salon or Harold Goldberg—has all of his work in media studies ahead of him. Authors of such a statement would change their minds if they spent three weeks in a 111 course in communication theory.

Marshal McLuhan’s maxim, “the medium is the message”, is not merely some clever quip or cute exhibition of wordplay. It is a foundational principle for understanding media and technology.

by Scott Juster

5 May 2011

Back in 2009, I joined 138,813 other people in hopping on the Humble Indie Bundle bandwagon.  It was the perfect opportunity to justify the purchase of more games. I wasn’t just hoarding games and adding to my ever-expanding backlog; I was making a statement by supporting independent developers!  I happily bought a collection of games I knew very little about.  I had played (and loved) World of Goo but had never even seen screenshots of the the rest of the collection.

2011 rolled around, and I realized that I still hadn’t played any of the games for which I so righteously paid.  For no reason in particular, I installed Lugaru HD and proceeded to experience something I hadn’t felt since I played my first video game on my Dad’s early-1980s Zenith computer: total ignorance.  Aside from its title and its menu icon, I knew nothing about the game.  This lack of knowledge drastically affected my response to every portion of Lugaru HD and prompted me to reexamine my approach to video game analysis as well as the pitfalls of knowing too much about a game before playing it.

//Mixed media

The Thoughtful Absurdity of 'Spaceplan'

// Moving Pixels

"Spaceplan is a goofy game that still manages to pack a potent emotional punch.

READ the article