Latest Blog Posts

by Scott Juster

22 Mar 2012


I’m not what you’d call an optimist when it comes to human nature.  All too often, it seems like people default to some state between passively self-absorbed and actively obnoxious.  I can’t help but think that the fact that I frequently play multiplayer video games influences this predisposition.  Spending a lot of time on the Internet probably doesn’t help either.

Imagine my surprise then when I found myself feeling unambiguously positive about my fellow humans.  By the end of Journey, thatgamecompany’s most recent title, I found myself more than appreciative of my fellow gamers’ company.  The game’s quiet, simplistic communication system helped me see the only the best that my fellow gamers had to offer.

by G. Christopher Williams

21 Mar 2012


It might be just me (and admittedly I hear that thanks to a very different vocal performance by Jennifer Hale that playing as a female Shepard creates a very different tone for the Mass Effect series) but on loading up Mass Effect 3 all I could think was, “Damn, this is a macho game.”

Okay, it wasn’t on loading the game up.  It was really a sense that emerged when participating in the first in-depth conversation (in-depth conversation being a hallmark of the series and of the Bioware oeuvre)  in the game with one of Shepard’s crew members, James, that I started getting this very macho vibe from the game.

by Brady Nash

20 Mar 2012


When I was a kid, I would dream about driving around an endless road map of streets paved like Rainbow Road from Super Mario Kart. Just cruise around on rainbow turnpikes, drive under rainbow overpasses, cross over rainbow bridges. Not for any real purpose, just for the experience. Rainbow Road really was a fantastic course, wasn’t it? If not for all of the turtle shell battling and frantic tingy-tangy Nintendo music, it would be like some wonderful surrealist dream. Since I was a kid, I wanted a video game like that. Cruis’n Rainbow Road or maybe just The Game Where You Soar Through Space on a Go-Kart. I wanted to travel without purpose, to have the experience. Just to have the experience.

Twenty years later, I think I may have found a contender. It’s not a driving game, but it still gets the feeling right. I’m talking about thatgamecompany’s Journey. I’m not going to go into detail about the content of the game or tell you to go buy it right away. There are plenty of reviews that already do  that. And besides, this isn’t a review. I’d like to discuss why I think Journey is so important as a game and as a work of art.

by G. Christopher Williams

19 Mar 2012


Stoic lone gunmen?  Check.

Delicate and sensitive female healer?  Check.

Rogue with a heart of gold?  Check.

Video games, like most media, draw on some fairly stock types to build their characters.  However, since so much of games’ plots and characterization just feel tacked on in spots, sometimes these stock types remain just that—never given the opportunity to grow as characters that we can relate to or representing ideas that we might, likewise, relate to.

Archetypal characters and stereotypical ones populate games, and it may be a fine line that developers walk between characters that personify an idea and characters that are merely simplistic placeholders for more legitimately developed ideas.

by Nick Dinicola

16 Mar 2012


In Assassin’s Creed, the protagonist is always portrayed as a Master Assassin. His allies respect him. His enemies fear him. In the later games, he recruits new Assassins, trains them, and presides over their “graduation.” He’s clearly the leader, and he’s clearly a capable leader. But as the combat changes from game to game, so do the character traits that it implies.

The one-hit kill counter system that has been in place since the first game says a lot about the Assassins as a group, since this seems to be their default fighting style. It’s defensive in nature, emphasizing technique and technical mastery over aggressive flailing, which is to say: button timing over button mashing.

//Mixed media
//Blogs

The Moving Pixels Podcast Becomes the 'Beholder'

// Moving Pixels

"It's easy to think that we would never be complicit with the dictates of an authoritarian regime, but Beholder reveals how complicated such choices can become.

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