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Wednesday, August 6 2014

Thrift Shop: Finding Balance in the Free-to-Play Game Market

Hearthstone offers a Free-to-Play model that Candy Crush Saga and Tetris Blitz have only claimed to do.


Wednesday, July 16 2014

The Success and Failure of Silence: Gordon Freeman in ‘Half-Life’ and ‘Half-Life 2’

How can a character without voice or choice connect with players on an emotional level?


Monday, July 7 2014

Why Don’t Videogames Have Their Own Criterion Collection?

Though the video game industry bases itself on forward progression, the rich history of the medium is being underserved by the lack of preservation for older, essential games.


Friday, April 18 2014

The Success and Failure of Silence: Gordon Freeman in ‘Half Life’ and ‘Half Life 2’

In terms of silent protagonists few come bigger, or quieter, than Dr. Gordon Freeman, whose beard, glasses, and crowbar cut an iconic figure, which has left an imprint on video game culture, reaching the tops of popularity polls.


Monday, September 23 2013

Real Simulation, False Prophecy

Real political and economic issues hamper gargantuan projects, and that’s where SimCity 2000 breaks down.


Thursday, April 11 2013

eGods: Faith Versus Fantasy in Computer Gaming

"If humans are by nature lovers of fantasy, then little may be lost if they consider all their gods to be fantasies."


Tuesday, April 9 2013

Assigning Gender to the Non-Human

What makes SHODAN so fearful to men and, to a lesser extent, women is that her vulnerabilities lie in code, not physicality. Her "body" cannot be dominated, abused, or battered, and she cannot be intimidated. For that reason, she eludes many of the methods men have used to control women.


Tuesday, February 5 2013

People Are Sickening: The Bug’s Eye View of Pandemic Games

Pandemic sims like Plague, Inc. create a marvelous kind of satire with ecological undertones.


Monday, January 14 2013

The Best Games of 2012

Coming as no surprise to gamers, the world didn't end this year. We've been staving off such disaster for decades now in the arcade and at home, so here are a few of the best titles of this otherwise apocalypse-free year.


Thursday, January 3 2013

Identity Crisis: The Search for Character and Self in Videogames

Modern games seem intent on treating our imaginations as if they were as hostile as the projections in Inception.


Wednesday, October 24 2012

Fit to be Tied: An Interview with Philippe Petit

Best known for being the subject of Man on Wire, wire-walking, knot-tying, street-juggling, magician Philippe Petit talks to PopMatters about his forthcoming book Why Knot?.


Wednesday, October 10 2012

The Good, the Bad, and the Moral: An Exploration of Ethical Questions in the Gaming World

Modelled after the introversion of the comics on which it’s based, The Walking Dead tries to deal more with exploring the human condition rather than bathing in the fantasy of a zombie apocalypse.


Tuesday, May 15 2012

Podcasting for Laughs

Perhaps the jury is still out, but in the sheer number of them available, one can assume that comedy podcasts represent another pivotal moment in the history of American comedy.


Monday, May 7 2012

Virtual Worlds, Real Choices: What Blowing Up Megaton (or not) Taught Me About Myself

Developers of games like Heavy Rain, Mass Effect, and Fallout 3 take pride in their ability to provide players with the experience of deciding for themselves exactly how plot lines will develop in their games. So why are we gamers fixated on the idea of making and playing such games?


Monday, February 20 2012

Man and Mega Man: Better Living Through Retro Game Demos on YouTube

Mega Man blipped back to his control center and I blipped too. I got pulled out of myself, out of my kitchen, and was thrust back into something wholly new yet remarkably the same. This is not the story of my decline. This is the story of how to make it through life without taking any damage.


Tuesday, February 7 2012

Does Silence Speak in the Loudest Voice?: Misconceptions about Silent Protagonists in Video Games

Granted, Link does “hiyah,” “eyah,” and “ahh” his way through all of his post-64-bit adventures, but no amount of elfish interjections can change his status as a silent protagonist. Is a failure to communicate much, a failure to communicate?


Sunday, February 5 2012

Not-So-Central Casting: Kevin Smith and the Birth of the Reality Podcast

Filmmaker Kevin Smith may be in a celluloid slump, but his new podcast network is on point.


Sunday, January 29 2012

The Best Games of 2011

This year was a year when something called Lesbian Spider-Queens of Mars could be celebrated alongside the latest Gears of War game. This was a year in which one of the most reviled games, Dragon Age II, was also one of the most revered.


Tuesday, October 25 2011

Is Virtual the New Reality?

Are the massively multiplayer (and massively successful) online games Second Life and World of Warcraft addictive escapes from reality, or brave new worlds which improve upon -- or even replace -- social and individual identity?


Tuesday, October 18 2011

20 Questions: Shudder to Think’s Craig Wedren

Former Shudder to Think frontman Craig Wedren tells us about his uber-ambitious multi-media album project and we're surprised to also find out about his affinity for the "amoral but ultimately just" Willy Wonka...


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