Recent Features
History, Commentary, and Religiosity in ‘No Man’s Sky’

The universe of No Man's Sky may be calm, but it’s certainly no utopia.

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“It’s All a Big Action Movie”: An Interview with Hungrybox

You've heard of video game competitions before, but no one player's life has been as filled with drama or redemption as that of Juan "Hungrybox" DeBiedma.

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24 Oct 2016 // 1:00 AM

Can Transparency Motivate Gamers?

Transparency means that I can always find enjoyment in improving my personal high score when I play a game, whether or not I win or lose.

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‘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.

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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).

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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.

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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?

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‘Undertale’ and Immanuel Kant: Ethics in Video Games

Undertale invokes (consciously or not) the ethics of Immanuel Kant, and in doing so, it ushers in a new era of video games as art.

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‘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.

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‘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.

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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?

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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.

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Watching People Play: An Introduction to Board Game Videography

Doug Mann offers a brief introduction to the best video reviews and playthroughs of board games available on YouTube and Vimeo.

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25 Feb 2016 // 2:30 AM

How Do Video Games Force Us to Gain Perspective?

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

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I Will Never Be Alone Again: Periscope and the End of Creative Solitude

Periscope brings you the world as a sandbox, filmed through an army of camera phones. Being alone will never be the same, again.

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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.

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14 Jan 2016 // 6:29 AM

In Defense of Board Games

Board games show us a path out of our addiction to the on-screen desert of gaming by making the real world a tactile oasis for entertainment. You’re playing against people, not code and you might even learn some history, biology, or economics while you're at it.

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

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

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19 Oct 2015 // 6:00 AM

Party of One

Scott Hughes shares a few thoughts about the future of multiplayer and single-player game experiences. Will these types of games eventually become products that are "separate, but equal"?

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Meaning is Fleeting in ‘The Moon Sliver’

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

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More Recent Features
//Mixed media
//Blogs

Exposition Dumps Don't Need Dialogue in 'Virginia'

// Moving Pixels

"Virginia manages to have an exposition dump without wordy exposition.

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