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by G. Christopher Williams

12 Oct 2016


The board game Posthuman offers its players two potential win-states, the first, a fairly common one, the victory of the individual, the second, an extremely unusual one in a competitive game, a communal victory. This is a really strange tension in a competitive game, and one that seems at odds with our expectations about the principles of competition. Essentially, Posthuman suggests that if a player can’t win, then they can damn well make sure that everyone wins.

This idea seems at odds with competitive play, perhaps even more so, since more often than not when folks do compete knowing that they can’t win, then it’s our expectation, perhaps, that they will choose a scorched earth strategy: if I can’t win, then no one should win. In both instances, the ideas that a single player should win a game or that “if you can’t win, then no one should win” both seem like ones that lean heavily on the central importance of individualism to the competitive experience.

by Jorge Albor

11 Oct 2016


Image of the League of Legends World Championship from lolesports.com.

At the League of Legends World Championship group stages event in San Francisco last weekend, I worried a staff member with my sign. On a white board in bright pink and red marker, I had written the phrase “WAKE UP EU!” The person managing the sign-desk asked if “EU” stood for “European Union”, which it did—in a sense. “There are no political signs allowed,” she told me.

Of course it wasn’t a politically charged message, even though I love the idea of using a competitive eSports event as a venue for sending out a hilarious vague treatise on Brexit. It was meant, instead, as a rallying cry for the European teams competing in the event. The three teams from the region (H2K, G2, and Splyce) have lost seven of their eight collective games so far. Worlds matches have nothing to do with politics… mostly. Well, at least not explicitly.

by G. Christopher Williams

10 Oct 2016


Love it or hate it, No Man’s Sky was one of the most anticipated game releases of the year.

This week, Nick Dinicola and Erik Kersting consider the possible successes and perceived failures of No Man’s Sky.

by Nick Dinicola

7 Oct 2016


When I saw Don’t Breathe in theaters (which is a really good movie by the way, highly recommended), there was something wrong with the speaker on the right side of the screen. It rattled when there was a low tone, as if a screw had come loose, and the deep bass sounds shook the speaker against its supports. It wasn’t anything that really hurt the movie-going experience, but it did serve to highlight certain changes in the score.

Most of the music consisted of low drones, drawn out for such an extended period of time that I eventually ceased to notice them. They became part of the background noise, an artificial baseline for what sounds normal—a fake silence. This made the scenes of actual silence stand out, since they “sounded” impossibly quiet.

The Final Station is a game that sees horror in all forms of silence. From the literal silence of sound to the abstract silence of answers, all of its horror and suspense is built around what’s missing.

by G. Christopher Williams

5 Oct 2016


No! I am not Prince Hamlet, nor was meant to be; 
Am an attendant lord, one that will do 
To swell a progress, start a scene or two, 
Advise the prince; no doubt, an easy tool, 
Deferential, glad to be of use, 
Politic, cautious, and meticulous; 
Full of high sentence, but a bit obtuse; 
At times, indeed, almost ridiculous— 
Almost, at times, the Fool. 
—T.S. Eliot, “The Love Song of J. Alfred Profrock”, 1915


The premise of Westworld is made clear pretty early on in its first episode. Westworld is a kind of theme park, whose visitors lay out a big chunk of change to visit. Westworld simulates the Wild, Wild West through the creation of an environment that resembles our conception of 19th century America and a host of robots that appear like the citizens of an Old West town.

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That Ribbon of Highway: Sharon Jones Re-shapes Woody Guthrie's Song

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