Latest Blog Posts

by Mark Filipowich

6 May 2015


Herald, developed by Dutch designers Wispfire and currently seeking funding on Kickstarter, is, in the developers’ words, “an interactive period drama about colonialism”. Herald is an adventure game, one of the few video game genres that might appropriately convey the complexities of the colonial identity. The demo, now available for potential kickstarter backers to try before pledging their support, takes only a few minutes to play but lays out its ambitions fairly honestly.

by Eric Swain

5 May 2015


In the second and third parts of The Charnel House Trilogy, the screen effectively gets black bars at the top and bottom of the screen. The effect conforms the field of view to match that of the train car by highlighting the length of the place and it’s enclosed nature. In doing so, the game creates a portal by which we look at the action through, highlighting how everything is framed as a performance to whomever is looking through that portal. Which is true of any game, really.

by G. Christopher Williams

27 Apr 2015


Action is most often the word that one expects to hear when talking about console games released by big publishers.

Square Enix’s effort to release a game focused on investigation rather than on gunplay resulted in what is generally considered a failure, the ghost detective game Murdered: Soul Suspect. This week we consider what went right and went wrong in the resulting product.

by Nick Dinicola

24 Apr 2015


Much has been written about silent protagonists in games, and whether or not their silence really aids in our immersion. However, regardless of what you think of them, they almost always share a certain important personality trait. They’re followers. From Gordon Freeman to Link to the amnesiac hero of Bioshock, the silent protagonist is one who takes orders. They’re told what to do and how to do it. This makes perfect sense. If we can’t talk, we certainly can’t give orders, so we may as well be the one taking them instead.

Battlefield 4 breaks this mold, giving us a silent protagonist that others often turn to for advice. It’s awkward, bizarre, and unintentionally funny, but also kind of fascinating when you try to piece together what exactly makes it so awkward and bizarre and unintentionally funny.

by Jorge Albor

23 Apr 2015


Last week here on PopMatters, Scott Juster compared playing Bloodborne to exercising. He’s right. Playing the game can feel like a gradual and painful investment towards self-improvement. But what of the social elements of Bloodborne? How do the in-game and meta social interactions surrounding the game contribute to the experience of play? To me, Bloodborne is a lot like walking on flaming hot coals.

It sounds strange, but hear me out. Firewalking and and playing Bloodborne really are quite similar, and not just because both sound excruciatingly painful. If you want to compare the two, you can pretty easily create your own firewalking experience at home. First create a small bonfire, traditionally made of hardwood. After a few hours, rake the coals into a rectangular bed of about eight or so feet in length if you’re looking to take a short stroll or upwards of twenty feet for a longer jaunt. Now step onto the coals and walk as briskly as possible without losing your dignity.

//Mixed media
//Blogs

'Staircase' Is Gay in a Melancholy Way

// Short Ends and Leader

"Unfairly cast aside as tasteless during its time for its depiction of homosexuality, Staircase is a serious film in need of a second critical appraisal.

READ the article