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Tuesday, September 9 2014

What Happens When an Interactive Horror Experience Figures Out the Fourth Wall?

P.T. has the digital world bleeding out into the real, hands flailing in search of something to hold onto so it can pull itself out of the game and into your living room.


Thursday, August 14 2014

From Nietzsche to Hegel: Perspectives on Humanity in ‘Dark Souls’

Despite putting on display both the virtues and vices of man, Dark Souls does not make a judgment call about humanity, but rather leaves that up to the player.


Wednesday, July 30 2014

The Assassins’ Propaganda

Black Flag isn’t interested in breaking the world into two opposing ideologies. It’s interested in how those ideologies sell themselves to a broken world.


Thursday, July 17 2014

The Benefits of Not Really Living: On Let’s Plays in Videogaming

With Google looking to buy Twitch, we take a look back into an early form of videogame spectating and what it means in the context of that acquisition.


Thursday, June 26 2014

Fleeing the Familiar, Embracing the Abject in ‘Beyond Two Souls’

Within the spaces of darkness or the unknown, Beyond Two Souls asserts that we can exist without being shaped, manipulated, or brutalized by outside forces.


Tuesday, May 27 2014

Puzzling Personas: Puzzles as Character Development in ‘The Raven’

The type of puzzle you specialize in solving says a lot about you as a person.


Wednesday, April 23 2014

The New Puritanism, or, Some Troubling Tendencies in Video Game Criticism

Is the role of the video game critic to protect us from that which we may find offensive?


Wednesday, March 26 2014

There Are No Villains, Only Victims with Power

I Have No Mouth and I Must Scream argues that there's no such thing as a true villain, just people who have been wronged and have the power to exact revenge.


Monday, February 24 2014

Blood, Bugs and Gore: ‘Gears of War 2’, Postpartum Edition

Gears of War is not about narrative. It's about gut instinct. Pure, primal, primitive emotion. It paints on a big canvas, and uses thick brushstrokes, but the result is an unfiltered, expressionistic roar. It's just like a newborn baby.


Wednesday, February 19 2014

Tick, Tick, Tick: The Temporal Cost of Free-to-Play Gaming

Free-to-play game developers are playing a game of their own. The object of that game is to gain ownership of your time.


Monday, January 27 2014

The (Mis)Education of the Player

Players can approach a game however they wish, but a developer has a responsibility to provide some sort of guidance through their virtual world.


Tuesday, January 7 2014

We’re Not Computers, We’re Physical

The Room understands that we are gamers, geeks who like to look at a thing, take it apart, and figure out how it works. We aren't mere computers.


Tuesday, November 19 2013

‘Arkham Origins’ Constantly Rigs the Odds Against Batman

This game revels in watching Batman struggle, throwing villain after villain and crime after crime in his way, trying to overwhelm him, trying to break him -- and it almost does.


Wednesday, October 16 2013

‘Grand Theft Auto’: The Game with Plenty to Say

If Grand Theft Auto has nothing to say, as the participants of Slate's recent Culture Gabfest purport, then they must be playing with the sound turned down.


Monday, October 7 2013

‘Beyond Good & Evil’, Beyond Art & Not-Art

Culture, civility, and empathy. When crafted with the elegance and care of Beyond Good & Evil, videogames exceed every arbitrary 'requirement' for Art demanded by those who would deny them worth.


Thursday, September 19 2013

The Video Game Trilogy Deathmatch

Which has the better ending? Assassin’s Creed 3 vs. Gears of War 3 vs. God of War 3 vs. Halo 3 vs. Mass Effect 3 vs. Modern Warfare 3.


Thursday, August 22 2013

Fountains of Youth and the Undying Baby Boomers

"I expected a monster to greet me at the dias; a foe of unimaginable strength. But when I entered the castle and saw my father -- the king -- sitting atop the dias with goblet in hand, I knew all was lost. He would never die... and I would never be heir."


Tuesday, July 30 2013

The Problem with Emergent Stories in Video Games

Emergent stories are missing the key component of any good story. They’re not about anything.


Thursday, June 20 2013

Danger, Romance, Adventure and the Health Bar, or How I Learned to Love the HUD

In the game world, we can't feel the pain of taking a bullet or check our wallet to see what's in it. There just isn't a button for that.


Monday, May 27 2013

The Sword Is Mightier Than the Gun

In gaming, there’s a story within a sword fight that’s missing from the kind of story told by a gunfight.


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