Columns > Multimedia

Tuesday, September 20 2016

‘Inside’ the Lie of Ambiguity

Inside is too literal to be expressionistic, but too vague to be a narrative. It's so ambiguous that it fails to be anything.


Wednesday, August 17 2016

The Dangers of Playing in Unfinished Houses: Considering Early Access Video Games

Playing a game in its alpha or beta form is like living in an unfinished house; it's habitable, but some things seem off or don't work or might get better (or worse).


Thursday, July 28 2016

What Defines an “Old School” JRPG?

There’s a common assumption that a story starring kids is also for kids, and that a kid’s story is inherently less complex, less nuanced, and simply lesser in quality.


Thursday, June 23 2016

In Episodic Games, Space Should Matter More Than Time

The most successful episodic games have mimicked television episodes. What could a purely game-like "episode" look like, though?


Tuesday, May 24 2016

‘The Swords’ Is a Short Game With a Simple Title That Hides a Wealth of Beauty

Our drawing moves in circles and spirals, around us and our enemy, then swings from side to side quickly, as if dancing a jig.


Friday, April 15 2016

‘Hardcore Henry’ Tells Gamers Sorry, There Is No Princess

Hardcore Henry questions gamers' instinctual need to fulfill a particular role within the context of a presumed masculine identity.


Tuesday, March 15 2016

The Dark Side of Pacifism in ‘Undertale’

What does mercy mean to someone who hates herself? How can pacifism combat depression? How does euthanasia fit into Undertale's moral code?


Friday, March 11 2016

Wriggling Down the Rabbit Hole Again With ‘The Esquire’, the Follow-up to ‘The Institute’

Arye Michael Bender reprises his role as defrocked '70s guru Octavio Coleman in the upcoming part spin-off, part sequel, part prequel and completely mind-bending film, The Esquire.


Thursday, February 25 2016

How Do Video Games Force Us to Gain Perspective?

Sometimes “hard” in a video game isn't just a difficulty setting.


Thursday, January 28 2016

Should Hideo Kojima Just Go Make a Movie, Already?

In Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain, Kojima uses the language of cinema in ways that are only possible in a virtual game.


Friday, November 20 2015

‘Dying Light’, ‘Evolve’ and ‘Battlefield’ Deserve a Replay

These three 2015 early releases are maligned and misunderstood -- and worthy of reconsideration.


Wednesday, October 7 2015

Meaning is Fleeting in ‘The Moon Sliver’

The Moon Sliver is a jigsaw puzzle constructed from jigsaw puzzles.


Thursday, August 20 2015

Why the Arcade Matters

The arcade snatched video games from the rarefied spaces of industry and academia, making playing video games into a truly populist pastime.


Monday, July 27 2015

Lovecraft Was Wrong: Knowledge Is Power in ‘Bloodborne’

Bloodborne is not about the horror of knowledge, but the horror of unfettered knowledge.


Friday, June 12 2015

Look at You, You Big Silly, Says ‘Assassin’s Creed 3’

Assassin's Creed 3 is an enormous, beautifully rendered sandbox game designed to kick sand in your face.


Wednesday, June 3 2015

As ‘The Longest Journey’ Makes Clear, a Good Story Is Not Timeless

The Longest Journey isn’t just dated because it has obtuse puzzles and blocky graphics. It’s dated because it tells a serious story that it doesn't know how to take seriously.


Monday, May 11 2015

Where Did All the (Action Figure) Girls Go?

The scarcity of the Black Widow action figure on toy shelves has me thinking about what we think we know about gender identity in play, be that play with toys or play in video games.


Wednesday, April 1 2015

The Deconstruction and Destruction of a Hero

Shadow of the Colossus begins as a game about a hero rescuing a princess, but by the end, there are no heroes and there are no princesses.


Tuesday, March 17 2015

The True Dogs of War: Nation, Language, and Identity in ‘Valiant Hearts’

Valiant Hearts challenges the barbaric connotations of the appellation “the dogs of war” by making a dog, the only creature blind to the “essential” identity markers of nationalism and language, the hero.


Thursday, March 12 2015

The ‘80s Jazz Fads Return!

Two unique jazz phenoms of the Reagan '80s -- tapping guitarist Stanley Jordan and falsetto scatting legend Bobby "Don't Worry, Be Happy" McFerrin -- are back.


//Mixed media
//Blogs

Authenticity Issues and the New Intimacies

// Marginal Utility

"The social-media companies have largely succeeded in persuading users of their platforms' neutrality. What we fail to see is that these new identities are no less contingent and dictated to us then the ones circumscribed by tradition; only now the constraints are imposed by for-profit companies in explicit service of gain.

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