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by G. Christopher Williams

18 Jan 2017


This post contains major spoilers for This Is the Police.

Tragedy isn’t a genre that video games handle especially well. I’m talking about classical tragedy, a story about a protagonist that is going to lose, like Macbeth or like King Lear. You may already see where I’m going with this. Video gamers are not accustomed to playing to lose.

Winning is, generally speaking, the essential goal of games. Earn the most points, complete all of the challenges, or “beat the game”, these are all measurements of win-states. Lose-states are what the gamer intends to avoid.

by G. Christopher Williams

14 Dec 2016


I have found myself obsessed for the past several weeks by Kingdom Death: Monster. I’ve been reading reviews, Googling images of its miniatures and artwork, and watching playthrough videos.

I really shouldn’t be, though. It’s a tactical-battle miniatures game, and while I am an avid board gamer with faiy eclectic tastes, that’s simply not a genre that appeals to me generally speaking.

by G. Christopher Williams

7 Dec 2016


Mafia III (2K, 2016)

I just started playing Mafia III. It’s the first big budget game that I have played in over a year. The last such game that I played was Metal Gear Solid V, a game that released in September of 2015. Prior to that I can’t remember what big budget title I played.

This is pretty weird for a guy who spent the 2000s and much of the early 2010s playing nearly every big budget release that came out, from Assassin’s Creed to Call of Duty, from the Batman: Arkham games to every Grand Theft Auto since Grand Theft Auto III (including the Tales from X City titles to Chinatown Wars).

by G. Christopher Williams

16 Nov 2016


I beat Zero Time Dilemma, a 20+ hour game, in five minutes.

This actually wasn’t hard to accomplish. Zero Time Dilemma‘s narrative structure is based on a series of branching storylines, the root of which is a choice determined by a coin flip. I won that coin flip. The nine potential victims of the maniacal Zero were saved from having to experience his series of puzzles and death traps as the result of my lucky guess. The credits rolled.

by G. Christopher Williams

12 Oct 2016


The board game Posthuman offers its players two potential win-states, the first, a fairly common one, the victory of the individual, the second, an extremely unusual one in a competitive game, a communal victory. This is a really strange tension in a competitive game, and one that seems at odds with our expectations about the principles of competition. Essentially, Posthuman suggests that if a player can’t win, then they can damn well make sure that everyone wins.

This idea seems at odds with competitive play, perhaps even more so, since more often than not when folks do compete knowing that they can’t win, then it’s our expectation, perhaps, that they will choose a scorched earth strategy: if I can’t win, then no one should win. In both instances, the ideas that a single player should win a game or that “if you can’t win, then no one should win” both seem like ones that lean heavily on the central importance of individualism to the competitive experience.

//Mixed media
//Blogs

The Moving Pixels Podcast Explores 'This Is the Police'

// Moving Pixels

"This week we take a look at the themes and politics of This Is the Police.

READ the article