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by G. Christopher Williams

27 May 2015


I read an interview with John Carmack, the creator of Doom, some time ago in which he was asked what was the most important element of the success of Doom, the game that essentially soldered down the centrality of the first person shooter to American video gaming culture. His response was simple: speed.

What Romero said that what he set out to do with Doom was to create the fastest gameplay experience that he possibly could, and anyone who has played the game should easily understand this explanation. The player’s role in Doom is to essentially play as a roving gun platform, a really, really fast roving gun platform, that simply massacres monsters en masse and as fast as possible.

by G. Christopher Williams

22 May 2015


Pac-Man in the forthcoming film Pixels (Columbia Pictures, 2015)

A maze with dots. That’s about all it was, just a maze filled with dots.

You earned points for eating those dots. You were rewarded with a new level for eating all of the dots.

by G. Christopher Williams

20 May 2015


My parents made me play sports when I was a kid. I wasn’t an athlete. And I hated it.

I looked forward with dread to every gym class during my junior high school years. I felt a loathing towards going to basketball and little league baseball practices. I just wasn’t any good, and I couldn’t compete with the other boys my age who were stronger and faster than I was. I eventually became fairly decent at soccer after years and years of being dragged to rec ball practices and games. However, for most of those years, I generally found sports to be personally humiliating exercises in futility. They demonstrated my physical inferiority to other boys of my own age.

by G. Christopher Williams

13 May 2015


Secret Ponchos had me at “Hello,” with “Hello” being the image above. I love Westerns (there just aren’t enough of them in video games), I love super stylized art, and I love a skeletal figure in a sombrero.

I didn’t really know what the game was about, but, boy, did I want to play it. For the uninitiated, Secret Ponchos is a multiplayer twin-stick shooter available on Steam and the Playstation 4 that is being developed by and has been published by Switchblade Monkeys (hell’s bells, I even love the development company’s name). Players take on the role of variously Western themed characters (there is a Billy the Kid type character, an army deserter, a skeletal figure in a sombrero, a female matador, etc.) and are dropped onto Western themed maps to shoot at each other and stuff. Well, there isn’t a lot more to it than shooting at each other to be honest.

by G. Christopher Williams

22 Apr 2015


Mark Danielski’s novel House of Leaves is a horror story that begins with one of the novel’s protagonists, Will Navidson, discovering that his house is slightly larger on the inside than it is on the outside. This off putting detail, a bending of the laws of the physical universe, signals that which provokes fear, that which we can’t know or fully understand. As the novel’s story expands, of course, so too does the interior of the house, leading to a seemingly endless labyrinth that is undetectable from the outside of Navidson’s home, a space that defies the rules governing architecture and thus what we understand about spatial laws and mathematics.

Of course, the clever thing about the novel is that its title, which alludes only in part to Navidson’s house, is also a description of the thing held in its readers’ hands. The physical space of a book is defined by an architecture of its own. A book is two walls wrapped around a series of leaves (“leaves” being the term that bibliographers use to describe the front and backside of a page within a book), a house of leaves of a different sort. A book, then, metaphorically parallels Navidson’s house. Its interior (since it contains a whole world, its characters, its objects, etc.) is indeed “larger on the inside than it is on the outside.”

//Mixed media
//Blogs

St. Vincent, Beck, and More Heat Up Boston Calling on Memorial Day Weekend

// Notes from the Road

"With vibrant performances by artists including St. Vincent and TV on the Radio, the first half of the bi-annual Boston Calling Festival brought additional excitement to Memorial Day weekend.

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