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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.


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.


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