Latest Blog Posts

by G. Christopher Williams

17 Jun 2015

While love, sex, and romance are topics considered in most mediums, games have not always had the greatest success in doing so.

That isn’t to say that the pursuit of the object of one’s attention is not a central concern of gaming. After all, from gaming’s earliest days, from Donkey Kong to Super Mario Bros., the idea of love as a central motivator for the protagonist of a game has been a mainstay. That being said, Mario’s quest to rescue Pauline from Donkey Kong or Mario’s search for Princes Peach are merely narrative devices in those old Nintendo titles. They suggest a reason to ascend a tower of girders to face off against a giant ape or to vault chasms in quest of a princess, but the game mechanics that these goals promote are ones related to action, not romance. They are narrative justifications for gameplay activities. The activities do not reflect these goals themselves.

by G. Christopher Williams

16 Jun 2015

League of Legends is one of the most popular games in the world. It also has the reputation of having one of the ugliest and most toxic communities in online gaming.

League is an unforgiving game. Playing as a team often with strangers to take objectives,while fending off and executing the opposing team, can be highly stressful and often brings out the worst in others. Since the power of a team is most often measured in the amount of gold that they have acquired, and much of a team’s gold income is based on gold acquired for getting kills, teams can be less than kind to their weakest links. The community is unforgiving to “feeders,” those who die often in game and are seen then as feeding the other team gold leading to the opposing team’s victory. Verbal harrassment and other toxic behaviors are the rule of the day in League.

by G. Christopher Williams

10 Jun 2015

A selfie and a mirror have something in common. Both are objects that by reflecting the self allow one to reframe the self. They are both ways of preparing one’s face to meet the world and to show others who you intend yourself to be.

As we arrange ourselves in the mirror before we go out, so the photographer of the self prepares, poses, and retakes the photo until the digital representation of the self becomes what that photographer wants it to be—or at least the best that that individual can do at the moment.

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.

//Mixed media

Because Blood Is Drama: Considering Carnage in Video Games and Other Media

// Moving Pixels

"It's easy to dismiss blood and violence as salacious without considering why it is there, what its context is, and what it might communicate.

READ the article