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by G. Christopher Williams

23 May 2012


I like shooting galleries.  Or, at least, in the last few years, I’ve learned that I like shooting galleries.  My parents took me to a Bass Pro Shop a few years ago, which is about the last place that an “indoorsmen” like me would ever want to go.

There is not a single item that a person like me (who believes that a night at the Super 8 is roughing it) would ever desire to purchase at a Bass Pro Shop.  So, to assuage my boredom with perusing kerosene lanterns and fly fishing nets, I dropped a few quarters into the slot at the shooting gallery.

The Bass Pro Shop shooting gallery isn’t like a carnival shooting gallery, with targets that move or pop up that you might need to lead or aim quickly at.  Instead, it is a rather complex animatronic display of cougars, crows, and outhouses with little targets that you can aim and fire at to make the landscape come to life.

by G. Christopher Williams

21 May 2012


As an escapist medium, video games offer an experience that other mediums do not. You can imagine being Luke Skywalker or Spider-Man or any one of countless super humanly powerful or charming or interesting individuals from the movies or books or comics. However, you can only play witness to their heroic acts.

Video games allow you to be these people, though, not just thrill to their amazing feats from afar. What happens, though, when those people in video games are people that we would never want to be?

by Nick Dinicola

18 May 2012


There have been three iterations of Alan Wake, even though there’s only been one canonical game. There’s the original Alan Wake, the downloadable content, and the downloadable Alan Wake’s American Nightmare (which is probably canonical, but we can’t be sure until a sequel comes out and confirms it since there’s a frame story that could render everything moot). Over these three games, Alan Wake has evolved in an appropriate way, acknowledging his faults and growing as a character, but what’s more interesting is how the mechanics have evolved with him.

by Scott Juster

17 May 2012


The Demon’s Souls multiplayer servers are going offline at the end of the month. Soon, the game’s unique online components (asynchronous messaging, death replays, and a mixture of competitive and cooperative multiplayer features) will disappear, leaving behind a game best known for its obscure systems and punishing difficulty. When I heard about this in April, I took it as a sign to finally embark upon my long delayed playthrough. One of the game’s major draws was its online component, so I thought that I would burn through the game and have the complete experience.

A month and half and countless deaths later, it is becoming increasingly clear that I’m not going to beat Demon’s Souls before June 1st. Even after all the hype, I underestimated how difficult and deliberately paced the game would be. I’m just glad that I’m getting a sense of the game’s full potential, as some of the most memorable moments so far have involved the online components. It’s hard to preserve a virtual world. After all, videos, walkthroughs, and written accounts can only convey so much. Still, I figure that the best way to remember Demon’s Souls multiplayer is to make sure it lives on in other media. Here are a few of my travel logs:

by G. Christopher Williams

16 May 2012


The title of my article is a bit unfair because in truth No One Lives Forever is so much more than just Doom with a female protagonist.

Arriving two years after the original Half-Life, No One Lives Forever shared with that much celebrated game a more careful attention to environmental detail as well as a sense that the FPS could be so much more than a genre about a roving gun hunting monsters or hunting Nazis or hunting monstrous Nazis.

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