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by Jorge Albor

3 Dec 2015


I think I backed That Dragon, Cancer shortly after its Kickstarter went live in 2014. The game is a memorial of sorts to Joel, a son lost to cancer at a very young age.

I must have known about my brother-in-law’s bladder cancer diagnosis by then. I must have. But for the life of me, I can’t remember how I found out. I know I walked with him at a bladder cancer awareness walk in May of earlier this year. We were Team Paul, as we supported him at the race, all of us decked out in orange t-shirts supplied by the organizers of the event. He got to wear a special “Survivor” badge, proudly displaying his membership in a group that he never imagined he’d join.

by G. Christopher Williams

2 Dec 2015


This post contains spoilers for Cibele.

At first, playing Nina Freeman’s Cibele can feel creepy. You find yourself looking onto a very pink, very anime-themed desktop, poking through the files, images, and folders stored there by a teenage girl.

It is, however, a smart and clever way to present the backstory of the player character, a young woman named Nina and a doppelganger of sorts for the game’s developer, Nina Freeman. It just feels a little intrusive, a little too personal, rifling, as you are, through someone else’s old high school photographs, teenage poetry, and the thoughts of an adolescent about sex and anime.

by G. Christopher Williams

25 Nov 2015


I’ve finally gotten around to playing Hotline Miami 2, so I’ve been thinking a lot about blood lately.

For those unfamiliar, Hotline Miami and its more recent sequel Hotline Miami 2: Wrong Number are horrific games full of carnage… and, well, more carnage. In the first game, you play as a psychopath who receives messages on his answering machine that provide locations for him to commit mass murder in. In Hotline Miami 2, you play as a series of psychopaths doing much the same.

by Erik Kersting

24 Nov 2015


Note: This article contains spoilers for Fallout 4.

Compared to traditional media like novels and film, video games are very bizarre in terms of pacing. A film plays out over a specific period of time with nearly every second curated by the editor, who makes sure that no scene is too long. This desire to move the plot along in a timely fashion seems to flow from the nature of film as a communal experience. We don’t tend to watch movies alone, but rather with others. Thus, they should be an event that we complete in one sitting.

Video games are more like novels, which a person usually does not finish all at once. A person can read a novel at their own pace, and they can easily jump back and read a section again. Yet, even the most linear of video games are not nearly as linear as a novel or a film is. The player has the autonomy to continue the story at their leisure. This is both good and bad. On the one hand, the player has all the time in the world to soak in the story of the game and its qualities as a game. On the other hand, the director of a story-rich game gives up being able to tell his or her story in the exact way that he or she wants to tell it. I have to imagine that this would be frustrating for an auteur-like director like Hideo Kojima of the Metal Gear Solid series [And, perhaps, his infamously lengthy cut scenes, especially in Metal Gear solid 4 bear witness to that frustration—ed.].

by G. Christopher Williams

23 Nov 2015


This week we conclude our nearly year long discussion of Life Is Strange.

Delving into the nitty gritty of episode five, we consider the overall arc of this story, its final choice, and how the game has handled relating its seemingly disparate plot points into one unified whole.

//Mixed media
//Blogs

Violin Virtuoso L. Subramaniam Mesmerizes in Rare New York Performance (Photos)

// Notes from the Road

"Co-presented by the World Music Institute, the 92Y hosted a rare and mesmerizing performance from India's violin virtuoso L. Subramaniam.

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