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Sunday, September 25 2011

The End of the World Makes Sense in ‘Bastion’

The multiple endings in Bastion all feel like natural conclusions to the story.


Sunday, August 28 2011

On Costumes, Video Games, and the Art of Pretending

A little nostalgia goes a long way. Sometimes, you get so lost in looking at a thing that you forget that it's not real. Or at least, you want to forget that it's not real.


Monday, August 22 2011

Why Video Games Might Not Be Art

Roger Ebert might have a point when he claims that 'games can never be art'. At least, Aristotle and T.S. Eliot would have agreed.


Wednesday, July 20 2011

Death Is Boring: Immortality as Character Development in Video Games

The infinite lives of video game characters present an interesting narrative conundrum: how does a writer create tension when the hero is essentially immortal?


Thursday, June 23 2011

Boys Get Naked Better than Girls

In games like Kabod Online, male characters expose themselves to an audience. This makes them look stronger, more powerful, more manly than they do with their clothes on.


Wednesday, May 18 2011

The Narrative Pastiche of Games

Beyond the cinematic presentation of many games, their pacing and storytelling has more in common with novels and television than with film.


Thursday, April 28 2011

Rewind to Advance: Jordan Mechner’s Games with Time

Games feature the ability to constantly challenge the forward momentum of time, rewinding (as it were) to reconsider the best route to reach a more optimal solution, challenging what we know about time and how we consider consequence.


Monday, April 4 2011

Kickstart the Presses

In the past month, two friends of mine have undertaken major print projects. How are they covering the costs of what some might call a foolish endeavor? By going online for funding, of course.


Monday, March 28 2011

The Assassins’ Politics

Through a series of puzzles Assassin's Creed: Brotherhood paints a picture of corruption and conspiracy throughout the US government from the 1700s to the present.


Thursday, February 24 2011

Horror in Video Games: There’s Seeing—and Then There’s Realizing What You’re Seeing

My wife is right. The Necromorph known as a Slasher is extremely gross. But even though I played Dead Space for hours, I never noticed it.


Thursday, January 20 2011

Civil Violence in the Old West: ‘Red Dead Redemption’

Red Dead Redemption shows us over and over again that the bonds of society do little to quell man’s violent nature. Rather, man’s violent nature shapes the civilizations that we live in, creating a world of constant conflict on a personal and national level.


Tuesday, January 18 2011

‘Glee’ on the Wii

Video games and cross-promotional marketing yield the inevitable: console karaoke for Gleeks.


Monday, January 10 2011

Frankie Goes to Hollywood & Gets There Behind the ‘Wheel’ of a Classic Commodore 64

'Frankie Goes to Hollywood' on the Commodore 64 is a surrealist nightmare in 16 colours, where GTA-style freeform roaming rules, and the band's sexual imagery forms a hedonistic scavenger hunt for aponia, the Epicurean absence of pain.


Sunday, January 9 2011

Instant (Mixed) Messaging: How to Keep Online Chats from Becoming Personal Spats

Instant messaging is a quick and convenient way to chat, but a lot can be lost in translation.


Sunday, November 28 2010

The Best Flash Games of 2010

This has been an incredibly fruitful year for independent game design, featuring games that are beautiful to look at, funny as hell, and even a few that provoke pleasure even as they make us more than a little uncomfortable.


Sunday, November 7 2010

How Can I Be Me?: The Gamer’s Role in Interactive Fiction

As an interactive medium, the roles that we play in video games are just as dependent on how we approach a game as they are up to the developer. Neither side has total control over the experience, so there’s a constant tug-of-war between authority and autonomy.


Sunday, October 3 2010

Shattered Horrors: Fragmented Perspectives in ‘Fatal Frame 2’

Leaving the dark unspeakable evil unexplained is best because the moment that you reduce such horror to words or images, the player’s imagination no longer feeds it.


Monday, August 16 2010

Mountains of Men: The Mythology of the Male Body in Video Games

People like to talk about the changing dimensions of Lara Croft's chest over the course of years, but have you noticed the upper arm development of Ryu over just four Street Fighter games?


Monday, July 26 2010

Morality in Mystery Dungeon: ‘Shiren the Wanderer’

The moral of Shiren the Wanderer is one of the few that only a game can truly teach; aspects of the story, new locations, items, and characters all have far more emotional resonance if we have to struggle for them.


Sunday, July 11 2010

How Does One Beat the Heat? Try Descending Into Icy Madness

To cope with the heat wave, advisories suggest visiting 'cooling centers' or public pools. To achieve a truly chilled-out state of mind, however, why not open the door to your mind and let the iceman cometh inside?


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