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by G. Christopher Williams

30 Mar 2016


Given the fast approach of April 1st, I decided that this week I would play the Fool.

We don’t often celebrate the Fool, as indeed he is usually the butt of our jokes or he makes us the butt of his own clowning. However, Cliff Johnson’s 1987 classic, The Fool’s Errand, is certainly an example of an homage to the tradition of the Fool in literature, folklore, and culture generally.

by G. Christopher Williams

23 Mar 2016


Rain is wet. Puppies are cute. Pizza is good. Duke Nukem is sexist.

That’s kind of the point of the game.

Okay, now that we have that out of the way, let’s talk about 1996 and the arrival of Duke Nukem 3D.

by G. Christopher Williams

16 Mar 2016


I don’t know too much about dating sims and virtual boyfriends, but I was pretty fascinated by an article over at Vogue called “Why Women Are Choosing Virtual Boyfriends Over Real Ones” written by Pip Usher. In the article, Usher interviews several women who play dating sims or are users of My Virtual Boyfriend alongside interviews with developers of these types of games and apps.

Usher seems to be making the case that cultural changes, such as the fact that there are now more single adults in the United States than married ones and that a large percentage of Japanese millenials claim to be “not interested in relationships” are related to the popularity of these kinds of games in Asia and their increasing popularity globally (“Why Women Are Choosing Virtual Boyfriends Over Real Ones”, Vogue, 5 March 2016). Additionally, she suggests by the end of the article that maybe these games and apps are useful “practice” for real life relationships.

by G. Christopher Williams

9 Mar 2016


Dungeon of the Endless (Amplitude Studios, 2014)

I used to say that my favorite games were puzzle games and RPGs. Then, for awhile, I was all about open world games. In more recent years, though, my favorite games, the ones I keep coming back to again and again, include The Binding of Isaac, FTL, and This War of Mine. More recently, I have really gotten into both Darkest Dungeon, Tharsis and The Flame in the Flood. This week, thanks to a sale in the Humble Store, I have started playing an unhealthy amount of Dungeon of the Endless.

So, yeah, I’m kind of addicted to death, my own.

by G. Christopher Williams

2 Mar 2016


The cold of space smote the unprotected tip of the planet, and he, being on that unprotected tip, received the full force of the blow. The blood of his body recoiled before it. The blood was alive, like the dog, and like the dog it wanted to hide away and cover itself up from the fearful cold.
—Jack London, “To Build a Fire”

Whenever I am teaching the philosophy of the American Naturalists in my literature classroom, this passage is the one that I try to focus my students’ attention on in order to exemplify the attitude that the naturalists held about man’s place in the universe. A lot of my students make the mistake of assuming that a writer who is a naturalist simply likes to tell stories about nature, which is, I suppose, easy to do if you are looking at stories like London’s “To Build a Fire” or something like Stephen Crane’s “The Open Boat.” However, the term actually derives from the discipline of the naturalist, one way of describing a species of scientists of the nineteenth century.

//Mixed media
//Blogs

Culture Belongs to the Alien in 'Spirits of Xanadu'

// Moving Pixels

"The symbols that the artifact in Spirits of Xanadu uses are esoteric -- at least for the average Western gamer. It is Chinese culture reflected back at us through the lens of alien understanding.

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