Tuesday, May 28 2013
In gaming, there’s a story within a sword fight that’s missing from the kind of story told by a gunfight.
Wednesday, April 24 2013
I have found myself struck with admiration recently by games that I have played that have put me in less than empowering positions, games that celebrate difficulty and hardship, struggling and deprivation, rather than empowerment and excess.
Tuesday, April 2 2013
Even voiceless and often invisible, the characters of Little Inferno manage to ooze more personality than most video game characters.
Monday, February 25 2013
I feel guilty for things that I have done in God of War. Pushing that caged man over a bed of flames to solve that block puzzle? Still not over that.
Tuesday, February 12 2013
The last four games in the series have criticized totalitarianism by showing us what would happen if the “select few” in charge didn’t care about the people, but Assassin’s Creed III argues that if the “select few” in charge really do care about those beneath them, then society might flourish.
Monday, January 28 2013
The Manic Pixie Dream Girl not only teaches men how “to embrace life and its infinite mysteries” but also to violate taboos, the mundane, and all that which represents the prison of order and responsibility.
Monday, November 26 2012
Modern video games feature a plethora of antiheroes. But there are times when this archetype is taken too far, when the antihero becomes just an asshole.
Tuesday, October 16 2012
In film, the salacious is something to see. In video games, however, the salacious needs to be something to do.
Friday, September 28 2012
When members of humankind pray, they pray not out of worship, but because they understand that their help is needed to protect the world.
Friday, August 17 2012
The greater the failure of the video game player, the greater the financial reward of the video game machine’s owner. More frustration, more 'death', used to mean more quarters per hour. These days, it means something else, entirely.
Wednesday, July 18 2012
Fez may argue that games are just meant to be played, but it makes that argument with such impressive thematic consistency that it also makes an argument for the artistry of play.
Monday, June 18 2012
Pay attention to the rumblings of E3 2012 and you'll hear what may be a series of forthcoming storms.
Monday, May 21 2012
Plot just provides us with a win condition, it is not necessary for the act of play. I can enjoy a game without plot, but I can’t enjoy a game without world building because that is a game without rules.
Monday, April 23 2012
Ms. Pac-Man speaks to the most essential nature of what a video game is, clarifying what makes a video game a video game and not any other type of game.
Friday, March 23 2012
In a series in which World War III is just a subplot, it’s clear that Infinity Ward is more concerned with character resolution than it is with plot resolution.
Thursday, March 1 2012
Herman Kern says that “a certain level of maturity is required to understand the shape of as well as to make the decision to venture into, a labyrinth." The girl who enters Grandmother’s house in the labyrinthian game, The Path, has just what it takes.
Thursday, January 26 2012
Batman is a bit player in his own story, and I think a lot of that stems from his desire to save everyone.
Wednesday, January 4 2012
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.
Friday, November 18 2011
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.
Tuesday, October 25 2011
The insensibly repetitious nature of romance present in both video game plots and in their mechanics leads to all too familiar storytelling.
Monday, September 26 2011
The multiple endings in Bastion all feel like natural conclusions to the story.
Tuesday, August 23 2011
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.
Thursday, July 21 2011
The infinite lives of video game characters present an interesting narrative conundrum: how does a writer create tension when the hero is essentially immortal?
Friday, June 24 2011
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.
Thursday, May 19 2011
Beyond the cinematic presentation of many games, their pacing and storytelling has more in common with novels and television than with film.
Friday, April 29 2011
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.
Tuesday, March 29 2011
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.
Friday, February 25 2011
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.
Friday, January 21 2011
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.
Monday, November 29 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.
Monday, November 8 2010
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.
Monday, October 4 2010
Leaving the dark unspeakable evil unexplained is best because the moment that you reduce such horror to words or images, the player’s imagination no longer feeds it.
Tuesday, August 17 2010
People like to talk about the changing dimensions of Lara Croft's chest over the course of years, but have you noticed the upper arm development of Ryu over just four Street Fighter games?
Tuesday, July 27 2010
The moral of Shiren the Wanderer is one of the few that only a game can truly teach; aspects of the story, new locations, items, and characters all have far more emotional resonance if we have to struggle for them.
Monday, June 21 2010
Baby Boomer films such as Star Wars taught us about the corruptible and corrupting influence of an authoritarian father; now games like Bioshock 2 and Red Dead Redemption explore Generation X's “daddy issues”.
Tuesday, June 1 2010
When you get to know those hallways during your game experience, when you think of them as hubs wherein change occurs rather than mere passageways, that’s when the transition from a designed space to a personalized space begins.
Friday, May 7 2010
Do a Google Image search on virtually any American subject and you’ll get a whole lot of superheroes and villains.
Tuesday, April 6 2010
By integrating itself into Facebook’s social network, Farmville magnifies a sense of accomplishment because the challenges come from the way that you are perceived by a community, rather than on the whims of an unknown developer.
Tuesday, February 16 2010
While Suda 51's public persona is one manufactured within the kind of punk sensibility of a Johnny Rotten, it's still as carefully crafted as the celebrity auteurship of Alfred Hitchcock.
Tuesday, February 2 2010
A game isn’t just its content or game design alone, but rather, the space created when all these pieces come together.
Thursday, January 14 2010
The Assassin's Creed games are interested in presenting a secular form of faith, suggesting that rationalism and faith can coexist despite their seemingly and sometimes contradictory elements.
Monday, December 7 2009
Philip K. Dick’s fiction is a defense of the validity of video games because despite the fact that they are not real, his stories argue that there is still something valid in the artificial.
Friday, November 6 2009
Can Gen X parents bond with the newest generation of gamers given the ways that cooperative gameplay has changed over the years?
Tuesday, October 6 2009
Super Metroid is unique in that it is the only game in the series that addresses something distinctly female about Samus besides her looks: motherhood.
Thursday, September 17 2009
Williams considers how the release of Bioshock has affected the way that apprehension and terror are evoked through the little details in video games.
Tuesday, August 11 2009
As the only Star Wars game that has you serving under the Empire without remorse, TIE Fighter lets you experience being a servant to a massive government just after a terrorist attack.
Friday, July 10 2009
Williams considers the often strange roles that masks serve in Suda51's games and how they implicate us as players of video games.
Thursday, May 28 2009
Sixteen years after its release, King's Quest VI it is still one of the high water marks of the adventure game genre.
Friday, May 1 2009
Like Edwin S. Porter realizing that a series of shots was how you structured a film, games have to abandon the presumption that they need to obey a linear narrative or controlled message and just let the player loose.
Thursday, April 2 2009
This is a game that is incessantly hostile. It is constantly pushing the player to become more efficient at destruction.
Thursday, March 5 2009
The world of Half-Life 2 depicts the aliens, most of them still unintelligent, overtaking our planet and destroying the norms of civilization.
Thursday, December 11 2008
The Secret of Monkey Island is one of the '90s' best examples of interactive fiction, and it accomplishes this by using a variety of narrative and game design techniques to deliver a Joseph Campbell experience.
Tuesday, November 11 2008
The disparity in the approaches Capcom took to Mega Man 9 and Bionic Commando beg the question: what do we want out of a "retro" experience?
Wednesday, September 17 2008
They might make you think, they might make you cringe, they might inspire revulsion or admiration, but are they "art"? A look at some borderline videogames.
Wednesday, July 9 2008
L.B. Jeffries talks to "Boner", a gamer who has managed to build a following simply by allowing an internet audience to watch him play.
Tuesday, June 3 2008
Let's set aside judging a game purely by the game play or plot, and analyze the actual experience of the game, instead.
Thursday, May 1 2008
"Interfacing" is Moving Pixels' way of taking a look at the tenuous relationship between the gaming world and the real world, and the awkwardness and enlightenment that the intersections between the two can achieve.