Latest Blog Posts

by Mark Filipowich

18 Jul 2011

When the Blight rose in Ferelden, most fled or pretended it didn’t exist. Fortunately, Virginia Cousland, a new recruit to the Grey Wardens, turned out to be the best hero the country could have hoped for. She balanced pragmatism with benevolence. She could be coercive and callously calculated, but she never lost her compassion. There was context to her decisions and her moral character grew out of her choices. She always had the option to choose otherwise—she could have tainted Andraste’s ashes as easily as she preserved them—but she stuck to her principles even when an easier path forked away from them. Virginia’s successor, Mira Hawke, did not make her own choices even when there was room in the story to do so.

Both the Warden and Hawke’s moral strength can be judged by their actions, but Hawke’s actions, unlike the Warden’s, are largely out of the player’s control. Judging Hawke’s moral character, then, is done on the basis of actions that can not be avoided. Hawke is racially and economically privileged; she’s ushered into the ruling class, and she exploits the underprivileged citizens of Kirkwall.

by G. Christopher Williams

18 Jul 2011

As a follow up to a game released over a decade ago, Alice: Madness Returns reimagines American McGee’s Wonderland mythos as well as the somewhat retrograde genre of the action platformer.  This week the Moving Pixels podcast crew discusses Alice‘s imagery, mechanics, and overall presentation of insanity.

by Rick Dakan

15 Jul 2011

Chapter 1 of Rage Quit is available here.
Chapter 2 of Rage Quit is available here.
Chapter 3 of Rage Quit is available here.
Chapter 4 of Rage Quit is available here.
Chapter 5 of Rage Quit is available here.
Chapter 6 of Rage Quit is available here.
Chapter 7 of Rage Quit is available here.
Chapter 8 of Rage Quit is available here.
Chapter 9 of Rage Quit is available here.
Chapter 10 of Rage Quit is available here.
Chapter 11 of Rage Quit is available here.
Chapter 11 of Rage Quit is available here.
Chapter 13 of Rage Quit is available here.
Chapter 14 of Rage Quit as a PDF.

by Nick Dinicola

15 Jul 2011

Conflict is key to a good story. That’s something I kept in mind as I played through Mass Effect and Mass Effect 2 again. Because this time I wasn’t playing as a Player, I was merely seeking to enjoy some futuristic role-play or even as a Character, an idealized version of myself tasked with saving the galaxy. This time, I played as a Writer. It seemed as easy task at first since, as a fan of the franchise, I knew what choices get carried through to the sequel and what actions have what consequences. Over the course of the game, I purposely let bad things happen because that would lead to more conflict, which makes for a more interesting story. But gaming is a process of collaborative storytelling, and as I tried to write conflict into the story, I ran into conflict with my writing partner, Bioware.

by Scott Juster

14 Jul 2011

When it comes to the Uncharted series, I’m a bit of a wet blanket.  I’ve derided Nathan Drake as a more generic, murderous version of Indiana Jones.  I’ve accused Uncharted 2 of inconsistent levels of freedom.  I’ve even criticized them as potentially dangerous to the medium’s long term health.  I say all of this not as attempt to demonstrate my sophistication or elitism, but rather to emphasize the unlikelihood of my next statement: I can’t wait to play Uncharted 3.

What is the cause of my sudden enthusiasm, you ask?  Even though the game is almost universally renowned as the epitome of single-player games, it was the Uncharted 3 multiplayer beta that has turned me into a believer.  Not only does the game incorporate and iterate on the competitive modes and rules of other shooters, it turns many of the aspects I see as weaknesses in the single-player game into strengths.

//Mixed media

'The Chamber' Keeps the Drama and Suspense Going

// Short Ends and Leader

"The Chamber is the filmic equivalent of a fairground ride, the stimulation of emotion over ideas.

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