A few years ago I wrote an essay about nudity and near nudity in the design of various video game characters, both male and female, and what that signified about those characters’ vulnerabilities and strengths. I briefly touched on the very minimal clothing (essentially, a loin cloth) of the protagonist of the God of War series, saying that Kratos’s “near nudity makes him less than vulnerable. His physique communicates power and masculinity. The appearance of a desirable masculine trait, perfect musculature, makes him clearly stronger [than he would seem if he were clothed], not weaker” (“Boys Get Naked Better Than Girls”, PopMatters, 23 June 2011).
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The first time that I played Tharsis, a 10 turn disaster management space sim, I lost the game by turn two. It took me over a dozen games to finally win this brief, but difficult roguelike.
In Tharsis, you are tasked with directing the actions of four astronauts attempting to survive a 10 week trip to Mars. On each of the game’s ten turns, bad things happen in various modules of a spacecraft and the ship’s crew basically needs to do its best to attempt to put out these fires, while, of course, more and more fires erupt each and every turn. Like I said, this is a disaster management sim played out in a brutally short time frame.
I first played Sid Meier’s Pirates! on a Commodore 64 in 1987. I was kind of obsessed with it, and I remain kind of obsessed with it.
In an era when phrases like “open world game” and “sandbox play” weren’t familiar ones, Pirates! offered a more robust and unique gaming experience than anything that I had played before.
On January 6th, Louis Vuitton premiered a Spring-Summer collection called Series 4: The Heroine, designed by Nicolas Ghesquière. In the lead up to the event, the famous fashion house released a video featuring Ghesquière’s clothes modeled by a virtual heroine, Lightning of Final Fantasy XIII.
After completing Metal Gear Solid V, I went hunting for some explanation of why the second half of the game appeared to be so chock-a-block and unfinished and why the game features so many endings. While figuring that out, I got the impression (though I could be wrong, I didn’t read deeply enough to see if that was universally the case) that a number of players were not that happy with the “Truth” ending of the game.
Bizarre and outlandish as that ending is, it seemed to me personally to be the perfect ending to Hideo Kojima’s work on this series of games, as it does bring his epic series full circle, connecting this final game he will work on to the very first game that he created in the series from the perspective of the full arc of his storylines, but more importantly to me, it is thematically consistent with Kojima’s universe.
// Notes from the Road
"Co-presented by the World Music Institute, the 92Y hosted a rare and mesmerizing performance from India's violin virtuoso L. Subramaniam.READ the article