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by G. Christopher Williams

11 Oct 2010


The Moving Pixels Podcast crew decided to follow up on last week’s discussion of “Real Evil in Video Games” with a discussion of the various villains in games that are of a more idealized nature than the simulations of real life villainy that we had previously concerned ourselves with.

The resulting discussion took several different forms, including discussion of how gamers view conflicts within games themselves, the “evils” of various forms of antagonism within game narratives and also game mechanics themselves. 

As a result, some of this discussion may be concerned with villains that represent more abstracted forms of evil but may also confront the more “malicious” obstacles embedded in the design of a game.

by Nick Dinicola

8 Oct 2010


At the climax of Mass Effect 2, you lead your team in an attack on the Collectors’ base. This mission has been hyped up throughout the game as a crazy, dangerous, near impossible suicide mission. People can die, people will die, and it all depends on you.

My first time through this end game was a thrilling experience, knowing that my squad could die gave every fight a heightened tension. In that regard, Mass Effect 2 accomplished the very thing that most war games try and fail at, character development through conflict. I had bonded with these characters through firefights and missions, so I didn’t want anyone to die. I cared about all of them. However, none of that tension holds up a second time through the suicide mission because of how the mission is structured. If I have even a vague sense of what to do, it’s easy to keep everyone alive, and this supposedly dangerous mission ends up as the least suicidal suicide mission ever.

by Scott Juster

7 Oct 2010


On every analytical level, Minecraft is a game about building.  While inhabiting the game world, a single player is building tools that are then used to create an environment in which to play. The player concurrently builds a more ephemeral structure in the form of the individual story that they experience. On a broader scope, legions of people are playing (and sometimes fighting) with one another in collaboratively built worlds. Minecraft‘s potential for facilitating player driven stories has helped spawn thriving communities of players who delight in swapping tales. 

If we pull the camera back even further, so that we can see the entirety of the game and its place amidst its peers, we see that Minecraft has also built something else. Because of its unique structure, design, and creation, Minecraft has constructed a snapshot of the medium as a whole. The game’s player driven structure, rigorous difficulty, and rise to popularity represent an amalgamation of historical and contemporary trends in gaming while also offering hints at what the future holds.

by G. Christopher Williams

6 Oct 2010


The product that this review is based on was provided by Nintendo of America.

The experience of playing a Professor Layton game reminds me of the experience of playing Diablo.

Seriously.

by Kris Ligman

5 Oct 2010


I still can’t decide if I like SEGA’s Valkyria Chronicles series, which is potentially a problem considering I’ve invested over a hundred hours in both the PS3 original and its PSP sequel by this point. Were I still a teenager, this wouldn’t be so much of an issue. I can remember being in high school and sinking whole months into games I found absolutely irredeemable just out of a conviction that I had to finish whatever I started. It was only later in life that I realized I could actually stop if I disliked something and it wasn’t a sign of poor character.

Yet I haven’t stopped playing the Valkyria series. The games occupy this strange place in which I don’t necessarily know if it’s time well-spent, but it keeps pulling me back in anyway. On the one hand, Valkyria is a generally fun turn-based strategy game with memorable characters. On the other, it’s a trite anime-styled melodrama about nuclear weapons and the Holocaust. Nukes I’ve come to expect out of Japanese fantasy, but racism—even race awareness—is a rare bird in a Japananese RPG and possibly the aspect of the series that never ceases to intrigue me.

//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