Latest Blog Posts

by Nick Dinicola

8 Apr 2011


This post contains major spoilers for the entirety of Dragon Age II. If you have even a slight interest in playing the game, do that before reading.

One of the chief complaints that I’ve heard about Dragon Age II is the relative lack of choice compared to the first game. In Dragon Age: Origins, you could change the fate of each little society that you visited: You could bring peace to the elves and werewolves or wipe out one side, you could save the mages or let them all die, and you could choose a king for the dwarves who would either modernize the people or steadfastly cling to tradition. (Your choices at Redcliffe aren’t as grand since the Arl sides with you no matter what happens.). In each instance, the choices that you made affected the world at large; your Grey Warden was a force of change that irrecoverably altered the lives of all he/she came into contact with.

Contrast that with the Champion of Kirkwall, who is unable to change any major plot point in the entire game:

by Rick Dakan

7 Apr 2011


Chapter 1 of Rage Quit is available here.
Chapter 2 of Rage Quit is available here.
Chapter 3 of Rage Quit is available in .pdf format here.

Randal left his team trying to replicate his bug and went in search of food. Free pizza was still well over half an hour away, but he was hungry now, and a good old-fashioned food raid on the upper levels would be a nice distraction. He already knew there wasn’t anything new or good in the cafeteria fridge on his floor, but he swung through long enough to grab a can of Coke before heading upstairs. He took the stairs instead of the elevator so he wouldn’t have to go through the main cubicle farm, but could instead come in from behind and raid the art department’s break room with a minimum of contact. He passed one of the artists coming out as he was going in. Randal couldn’t remember his name, but thought he was an animator. He just thought of him as Brace Guy because he always had one or the other of his knees in a thick, black plastic brace and yet always seemed to be wandering the halls. They nodded to each other as always, and then Randal had the break room to himself. He finished his Coke and tossed the can in the recycling bin before opening the fridge. Ahhh, cupcakes. A yellow box with a half-dozen left in it, five vanilla, one chocolate. Judging from the slight crust on the frosting and the dried out crumbs, they could be two days old, but he was betting only one. He took the chocolate and one vanilla along with a second can of Coke and sat down at one of the tables.

by Scott Juster

7 Apr 2011


Recently, I had to travel from England to the San Francisco Bay Area.  Because of my modest net worth and the unfortunate unreliability of matter-transport/teleportation technology, I faced a nearly 24-hour journey.  I figured that since I would already be stuck in a variety of vehicles and security lines, I might as well find a more productive use for my time and spy on people.  The information that I was after was nothing so trite as national secrets or personal financial information.  I wanted to see if anyone was playing video games and, if so, what they were playing.

After what amounted to essentially an all-nighter of observation, I came away from the project quite surprised.  I saw little of what I expected and much of what I did not.  Although it was hardly a scientific survey, my little gaming sightseeing adventure did affect the way I think about mobile gaming and made me even more interested in the future of the field.

by G. Christopher Williams

6 Apr 2011


Nearly a year ago, the Moving Pixels podcast considered why so many video games are preoccupied with war as a central topic.  One of the more obvious answers is that war is one of the simplest ways of representing recognizable conflict.  Games, like stories, thrive on conflict in order to justify the meaningfuless of narrative or—in the case of games more specifically—to create stakes for plot (or play) itself. 

Death seems a pretty high stake, even if it is just a virtual representation of such.  But that may be the point of games.

by Kris Ligman

5 Apr 2011


Note: This article contains spoilers for the Arrival DLC.

Ah, the batarians.

No species save humanity seems exempt from being a “racial spokesman” in the Mass Effect franchise, a problem when each species tends to get painted with a broad brush and rarely permitted to overcome that characterization. The asari are defined by their sexuality. The krogan are savages. The quarians are gypsies. The volus are Jews. But onto the batarians Mass Effect‘s writers have granted the special distinction of space Arabs, whose narrative role seems to consist almost entirely on their depiction as religious and/or political extremists who hate humanity and the American-dominated Alliance Navy in particular with bombastic fervor.

This has been evident in the games since their introduction in the Bring Down the Sky DLC, in which their codex entry first appears alongside a mission that has Shepard recapture a hijacked

plane asteroid from terrorists attempting to ram it into the World Trade Center

a human-colonized planet. In doing so, we’re repeatedly waylaid by the caveat, “not all batarians are like this.” But all the ones we see are.

//Mixed media
//Blogs

'True Detective': Maybe Tomorrow

// Channel Surfing

"True Detective, Season 2, Episode 3: Where does the kitsch end and the surreal begin?

READ the article