Recent Features

8 Feb 2017 // 4:00 AM

‘The Witness’: A Game of Wandering and Wondering

This game's core themes -- attentiveness, curiosity, the value of Zen -- are conveyed intuitively through gameplay, allowing them to be internalized in a way that's personally meaningful.

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The Sanctity of Endings in ‘Dark Souls III’

The Sable Church tells us to work towards the Darkness, yet it also tells us not to let the First Flame go out; it tells us to take the flame for ourselves.

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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 // 2:00 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 // 3:30 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 // 7:29 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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More Recent Features
//Mixed media
//Blogs

Tibet House's 30th Anniversary Benefit Concert Celebrated Philip Glass' 80th

// Notes from the Road

"Philip Glass, the artistic director of the Tibet House benefits, celebrated his 80th birthday at this year's annual benefit with performances from Patti Smith, Iggy Pop, Brittany Howard, Sufjan Stevens and more.

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