Latest Blog Posts

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?

by Nick Dinicola

21 Aug 2015

I purposefully put off playing Life is Strange for a long time. The premise sounded interesting, but I was skeptical of how developer Dontnod would integrate a sci-fi story about time travel with a high school girl’s coming-of-age story. It seemed to me at first like a cheap way to make a more grounded and mundane story appealing to the gamer nerd crowd. Then I played episode one. There’s a scene early on that justifies this genre mixing, a scene that uses the sci-fi time travel elements to complement and support the coming-of-age story. Every first episode of an episodic series should have a scene like this, one that confidently establishes the game’s tone and its protagonist.

by Scott Juster

20 Aug 2015

This has been an unexpectedly multiplayer-focused summer. I’ve probably put more hours into Splatoon and Rocket League than some people have put into the The Witcher. I’ve gotten familiar with my teammates and competitors’ personalities, but not because I’ve been talking with them. Splatoon and Rocket League downplay verbal communication and the result is an interesting mixture of emergent cooperation and trolling.

by G. Christopher Williams

19 Aug 2015

A game whose dominant activity is searching a database may sound terrible. However, Sam Barlow’s Her Story manages to use what would seem like basic database management skills to weave an intriguing mystery that explores the nature of storytelling, fairy tales, and identity.

This week we discuss the tactics and strategies of searching databases, solving mysteries, and how to determine the veracity of the stories that we tell ourselves and the stories that we tell each other.

by Nick Dinicola

14 Aug 2015

Lifeline is an intriguing high-concept game for mobile devices (even including the Apple Watch). You receive a distress text from the survivor of a crashed spaceship, and over the next few days in real-time, you must help him survive and escape the desolate moon by providing advice and support.

Her Story is a similarly high-concept game: You use a virtual search engine to find police interview clips of a woman who is a suspect in the disappearance of her husband. Watch the clips and piece together the story at your pace, in your own order.

//Mixed media

Indie Horror Month 2015: 'Dark Echo'

// Moving Pixels

"Dark Echo drops you into a pitch back maze and then renders your core tools of navigation into something quite life threatening.

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