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by Kris Ligman

11 Oct 2011


Culver City is one of the more curious neighborhoods of the Los Angeles sprawl, a sort of industrial version of Pasadena with much of the filmmaking history of Hollywood but with only a fraction of its tinsel. Despite being wedged between Santa Monica and downtown, it feels distinctly suburban here, even just a tiny bit upscale—but still definitely middle-class, white-collar knowledge labor, not the town of either executives or bohemians. Even having lived almost exclusively in Los Angeles for the last five years, I’ve only visited two, maybe three times, and never before on (what might loosely be defined as) business.

I knew better than to expect anything on the scale of a major expo. The IndieCade independent games festival is only in its fourth year and is very much defined by its outsider status. While it does deliver a slick presentation, it isn’t the audio-visual heart attack of E3. The term “adhocracy”—which Naughty Dog’s Richard Lemarchand used to describe his team’s development process at a Saturday panel—would seem to apply well to the overall structure of IndieCade. Games here exist pervasively and at the margins as much as they do in defined spaces, which well suits some of its featured games’ attempts to deconstruct and reconfigure play and space.

by G. Christopher Williams

10 Oct 2011


Nothing says vacation quite like a beach full of zombies. 

After the controversy and excitement surrounding the release of its trailer earlier in the year, many gamers wondered whether that possibly exploitative, possibly sophisticated bit of a teaser for Dead Island was really representative of what this open world, survival horror hybrid would be.

This week the Moving Pixels podcast attempts to answer that question as well as considers other elements of the zombie-infested beach fronts of Dead Island.

by Nick Dinicola

7 Oct 2011


A new piece of DLC is coming for Dragon Age II called Mark of the Assassin. But I’m done with Dragon Age II. I played it, enjoyed it despite some flaws, beat it, and plan to go back to it eventually (i.e. sometime before Dragon Age III). However, this coming DLC has piqued my interest due in no part to its content, but rather to its creator.

by Mark Filipowich

6 Oct 2011


Mr. Bleszinski,

First, congratulations on the conclusion of the Gears of War series. As someone who has shared more than a few toasts of rum and coke with the esteemed series, I can honestly say that it’s been a great run from start to finish. However, I was a little taken aback by your reaction to Jim Sterling’s review of the game on Eurogamer. As I understand it, the score of eight out of ten upset you somewhat, and you are convinced that Gears of War 3 deserves a perfect (or indistinguishable from perfect) review. While I agree that Gears of War 3 ought to be perfect, I would like to respectfully argue that it isn’t.

To begin with, let’s look at the first two games before I point out the imperfections of the finale. When the first Gears of War was released, there wasn’t anything quite like it. There were plenty of hive-minded aliens, rugged fridge-man hybrids, and even a few third-person over the shoulder shooters. But combining cover-based shooting, co-op, and a small group of heroes that truly felt alone against an endless onslaught was a unique chemistry that hadn’t been tested before and the mix worked very well.

by Scott Juster

6 Oct 2011


Marcus Fenix doesn’t come across as a particularly complex character.  His bombastic attitude and beefy proportions complement the type of game he inhabits.  He is, however, an imposing character and the Gears of War series stands as one of the giants of this console generation.  The games symbolizes important trends of the last few years, offering a look at conventions that shaped the medium as well as glimpses of what the future might hold.  Certainly, Gears‘s successes are impressive and their characters have become iconic, but Gears of War 3 has revealed a deeper metaphorical layer underneath its characters’ bravado.  As important as Marcus and the rest of his crew were, their uncertain future acts as an allegory of the Gears series and its uncertain future.

//Mixed media
//Blogs

20 Questions: Rachael Yamagata

// Sound Affects

"After a four year break since her last album, Rachael Yamagata reveals a love of spreadsheets, a love for Streisand, and why it's totally OK to suck at playing guitar.

READ the article