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Sunday, June 17 2012

E3 2012: The Crowd, the Blood, The Screen

Pay attention to the rumblings of E3 2012 and you'll hear what may be a series of forthcoming storms.


Sunday, May 20 2012

To Build a World or to Tell a Story?

Plot just provides us with a win condition, it is not necessary for the act of play. I can enjoy a game without plot, but I can’t enjoy a game without world building because that is a game without rules.


Sunday, April 22 2012

A Love Letter to ‘Ms. Pac-Man’

Ms. Pac-Man speaks to the most essential nature of what a video game is, clarifying what makes a video game a video game and not any other type of game.


Thursday, March 22 2012

The Method to the Madness of ‘Modern Warfare’

In a series in which World War III is just a subplot, it’s clear that Infinity Ward is more concerned with character resolution than it is with plot resolution.


Wednesday, February 29 2012

Labyrinths of Childhood: Exploring ‘The Path’

Herman Kern says that “a certain level of maturity is required to understand the shape of as well as to make the decision to venture into, a labyrinth." The girl who enters Grandmother’s house in the labyrinthian game, The Path, has just what it takes.


Wednesday, January 25 2012

Batman Is Boring in ‘Arkham City’

Batman is a bit player in his own story, and I think a lot of that stems from his desire to save everyone.


Tuesday, January 3 2012

The Best Flash Games of 2011

These games taught me: the danger of following the rules; the pleasing presence of unexpected personalities; the pleasures of a well paced and meditative process; the joys of a frantic and chaotic twitch-fest and; the satisfaction derived from a game that brings out my inner masochist.


Thursday, November 17 2011

If You Can’t Help Me, Just Die: Survival in ‘Dead Island’

Dead Island is old-school survival-horror game, a subgenre that seems to have largely disappeared from the medium with the ascension of the action-horror game.


Monday, October 24 2011

Other Princesses, Other Castles: The Problem with Playing Romantically in Video Games

The insensibly repetitious nature of romance present in both video game plots and in their mechanics leads to all too familiar storytelling.


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.


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