Latest Blog Posts

by Jorge Albor

17 Nov 2015

I like to think I have lived a life without regrets. But wow, I didn’t really get things right the first time, did I? No one really does. Coming of age, that long and never ending process, is more like stumbling through a half lit home than walking a beaten path. We fumble and grope around in the dark, hoping to find something we think we want and trying to compose ourselves as better people.

Nina Freeman’s Cibele is a window into that personal process, a game that manifests the borderlands of youth in the shiny pink and purple screen of a young woman’s computer. Cibele is very much an autobiographical story, but it resonates with an almost unsettling familiarity, especially for those who lived through the early internet era of chat rooms and livejournal.

by Sean Miller

16 Nov 2015

An image generated by
Serkan Ozkaya's MyMoon

New York based artists Seth Carnes and Serkan Ozkaya, along with gallerist Paulina Bebecka, recently created a petition to get Apple to add an Art category to the App Store. Carnes’ justification for the tweak is simple: art is central to culture. As a pivotal arbiter of culture, Apple should recognize the importance of art by recalibrating “how arts-centered apps are perceived, defined, and discovered in the App Store”.

Currently, there are 24 categories in the Apple App Store. When an app artist submits artwork to the App Store, which is the only way to distribute apps to Apple device owners, she must choose between the categories Education, Entertainment, or Lifestyle. None of these labels fit the bill.

by Nick Dinicola

13 Nov 2015

Party Hard is a rare kind of a game: a genuine dark comedy. Usually comedy in games is absurd in nature—think Monkey Island, Sam and Max, Stanley Parable, or Saints Row The Third—because the mechanics of any game are already absurd when taken at face value, so it’s a natural fit. What game mechanics represent are often pretty dark when taken at face value—casual murder, theft, and trespassing, to mention a few—and comedy helps undercut that darkness so that we don’t dwell on it. Be honest, did you even remember that the earth was destroyed at the end of Saints Row IV, or did you just remember that elaborate dance scene?

by Erik Kersting

10 Nov 2015

Nearly all competitive games get “patched.” The NFL updates its rules every year. FIFA recently added goal line cameras to competitive matches. In fact, the only games that I can think of that don’t get updated are turn based, like Chess. Despite these small changes, the games themselves are rarely affected. This past year, the NFL updated a rule concerning running backs charging forward. Prior to this change, a player could run headfirst (literally) into an opposing player, but after the rule changes if the “crown of the helmet” made contact with an opposing player, then the runner’s team would be penalized. Despite a lot of buzz about this new rule, it has barely been called this season, resulting in little to no difference in the play of the game.

I think that this is an example of a “good patch.” It probably changed the way that players were coached to run with the ball, but ultimately it made little difference in the overall look and feel of the sport. This is because American Football has rules that are mostly set in stone. Since the advent of the forward pass, not much of the game has changed. Soccer, long known as “The Beautiful Game” due to its simplicity, has barely changed in a hundred years. Because the rules in these games are roughly fixed, the emphasis of competition is on putting together talented players, managers, coaches, and strategists in order to win.

by G. Christopher Williams

9 Nov 2015

While the concluding episode of Life Is Strange was recently released, we are only just nearing its conclusion with our discussion of the fourth episode of the series.

This week we continue to consider our commitments to certain choices made in the game and our revisions of reality and the consequences of both on the life of Max Caulfield.

//Mixed media

Because Blood Is Drama: Considering Carnage in Video Games and Other Media

// Moving Pixels

"It's easy to dismiss blood and violence as salacious without considering why it is there, what its context is, and what it might communicate.

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