Call for Feature Essays About Any Aspect of Popular Culture, Present or Past

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The New Puritanism, or, Some Troubling Tendencies in Video Game Criticism
Is the role of the video game critic to protect us from that which we may find offensive? [23.Apr.14]
Beautiful Disasters: The Surprising Fun of 'Bridge Constructor'
By Erik Kersting
Bridge Constructor's trial and error format yields miniature dramatic struggles against gravity that -- in their brevity -- are stressful, engaging, and beautiful. [22.Apr.14]
'Fez': Revisiting Exceptional Design
Curiously, getting lost in Fez's pixelated world becomes the game's greatest pleasure. [21.Apr.14]
The Success and Failure of Silence: Gordon Freeman in 'Half Life' and 'Half Life 2'
By Ciarán Ó Muirthile
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. [18.Apr.14]
Place and Space in 'Device 6'
Device 6 does a wonderful job conveying the physical layout of an environment, but does a relatively poor job conveying the unique characteristics of a location. [18.Apr.14]
Reviews
Curiously, getting lost in Fez's pixelated world becomes the game's greatest pleasure. [20.Apr.14]
Where Cloudbuilt really shines is at the intersection of art and level design. Art and science operate in a delicate dance, blurring the lines between the two. [17.Apr.14]
This isn't an exercise in nostalgia or recognition, but a journey into new territory. [16.Apr.14]
While it is true that a mystery loses all interest once it is explained, it is also true that continually implying something significant without providing a payoff can render it meaningless. [13.Apr.14]
LUFTRAUSERS excels by offering balance in its mechanics and majesty in its presentation. [04.Apr.14]
Year Walk ritualizes the acts of exploration, gathering data, and solving puzzles because it recognizes that within those acts lie the ability to lay bare meaning and significance. [02.Apr.14]
Clementine is an 11-year-old girl in an incredibly hostile world, and often her only tool to aid in her survival is language. Escaping danger, saving lives, condemning others are all based on the careful application of words. [31.Mar.14]
By Erik Kersting
Generally speaking, gamers aren't big fans of escort missions. Yet, Yoshi's New Island and the rest of the Yoshi's Island series doesn't seem concerned with that, as the entire game is an escort mission. [27.Mar.14]
Line of Defense’s lack of ambition harms it in the end. It’s the gift card you give a distant cousin on their birthday. It’s the free coffee you get with an oil change, appreciated for what it is but quickly forgotten. [25.Mar.14]
Strider in 2014 isn't just fun. It feels relevant[23.Mar.14]
The game's Berlin based expansion adds quite a bit to the game: new tile sets, weapons, enemies, and other additions to expand the game's toolbox. It also adds a storyline that doesn't follow the mold of the first installment of Shadowrun Returns. [20.Mar.14]
By Erik Kersting
Predictably, reviews of Dark Souls II have, as usual, revolved around its difficulty. However, what reviewers often ignore is the compelling qualities of the game's plot. Just like its combat, Dark Souls II does not spoon feed the player its story. [19.Mar.14]
From The Blogs
Columns
Moving Pixels
Is the role of the video game critic to protect us from that which we may find offensive? [22.Apr.14]
Moving Pixels
I Have No Mouth and I Must Scream argues that there's no such thing as a true villain, just people who have been wronged and have the power to exact revenge. [25.Mar.14]
Themenastics
Gears of War is not about narrative. It's about gut instinct. Pure, primal, primitive emotion. It paints on a big canvas, and uses thick brushstrokes, but the result is an unfiltered, expressionistic roar. It's just like a newborn baby. [23.Feb.14]
Features
By Ciarán Ó Muirthile
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. [17.Apr.14]
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