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by G. Christopher Williams

17 Aug 2016


The Scarecrow in Arkham Knight

One of the central conceits of the Batman mythos is the idea that fear can be a powerfully useful tool for justice. This idea emerges as a conclusion drawn by Bruce Wayne when he first decides to take on the mantle of the Batman. Additionally, this conclusion becomes the motivating factor for taking on a particular identity in order to wreak vengeance on criminality, as he observes in Detective Comics #33: “[C]riminals are a superstitious cowardly lot. So my disguise must be able to strike terror in their hearts.”

This same conceit has also been central to Rocksteady Studios’s design philosophy for their Batman: Arkham series. Rocksteady’s success has been in creating a game that evokes a fairly authentic feeling of “being the Batman,” which is related to a host of well implemented design decisions, both in terms of how the character of Batman is not merely portrayed in their games, but in how Batman is “played” in these games. One of their best gameplay systems that supports this sense of being Batman is their “stealth-combat” room sequences.

by G. Christopher Williams

10 Aug 2016


I’ve never really felt that strongly about the Batmobile. In comic book worlds full of flying men, who shoot lasers from their eyes, and men and women who are masters of seven different forms of martial arts and are also probably the world’s greatest detectives, a car is, well, a car. It gets you from point A to point B.

As a man who doesn’t swing from webs or leap hundreds of feet into the air, the need for a Batmobile makes some sense though. In the comics, Batman’s use of a “super” car seems strangely quite practical. Having some form of very efficient locomotion in a world where you’re competing with people who can fly seems like a means of evening up the odds. In video games about super heroes, or more specifically in an open world video game about a super hero, it also seems useful to have an efficient means of moving through a large world.

by G. Christopher Williams

27 Jul 2016


I’ve been following my wife and daughters around as they play Pokemon Go for the last three weeks, and it seems pretty clear to me that of the three teams that players can choose from, Team Valor (red), Team Mystic (blue), and Team Instinct (yellow), that it is Instinct that largely gets the shaft.

From what I’ve read, red-blue dominance in Pokemon Go seems the norm around the country. I’ve heard that there are pockets of blue-yellow dominance, but around where I live, this seems an unlikely turn of events. Indeed, there are a number of internet memes that suggest that yellow is the team that struggles with membership and gym dominance.

by G. Christopher Williams

20 Jul 2016


What I like best about Pokemon Go is the uncertainty. I like the rumors, and I like the lies.

Playing the Legend of Zelda, as I did on its release in 1986, was kind of like this. The game came with a sealed fold-out pamphlet that was to only be opened if you wanted to have some of the game’s secrets spoiled for you. It was a point of pride that I never unsealed mine.

by G. Christopher Williams

13 Jul 2016


I’m not playing Pokemon Go. I don’t have a cellphone full of Pokemon because, well, I don’t own a cellphone.

Though I should really say that I am not playing Pokemon Go directly. Instead, I have been tagging along on Pokehunts for the past couple of days. However, I think that in some way that still makes me a participant because the game is not merely the game, the virtual part, the digital part. Much of the game is what occurs around the game, physically, socially, and economically.

//Mixed media
//Blogs

The Specter of Multiplayer Hangs Over 'Door Kickers'

// Moving Pixels

"Door Kickers is not a multiplayer game, but for a while there, I couldn’t tell the difference.

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