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Games

'The Witness' Sees Investigation As the Most Important of Human Virtues

The Witness always loops back on a single article of faith, a faith in observable phenomenon, a faith that with enough sensory observation, solution is possible.

Recent
Games

Putting My Girl Back Together Again

Sometimes an instruction as simple as "Press X" in a video game can lead to something profoundly familiar, profoundly intimate.

Games

Killing Spree: The Inconsistency of Video Game Violence

Bioshock Infinite is problematic because, unlike the battle for Hyrule or Jacinto, the massacre at Wounded Knee actually happened, as did violence against interracial couples. It becomes extraordinarily uncomfortable for a game to treat enemies as obstacles to be removed with a gun in the context of actual, still relevant wars.

Games

There's always a lighthouse. There's always a man. There's always a city.

We follow that disembodied tutorial voice without ever asking why. And even when we don't, when we insist on attempting to ignore those prompts, we find that ultimately we are chained to the elements necessary to drive the plot of Bioshock Infinite (or any game) forward.

Games

In the Third Person: Against Player Authority

The critical consensus is that the main character in a game has to either be an extension of or a substitute for the player. The whole world must be at the player’s disposal, and the world has to be built around the player’s actions (or inaction). The more the player can play with, the better the game respects its medium. This “me-first” approach to video game storytelling is tragically limited.

Games

A Tale of Two Shooters: 'Spec-Ops: the Line' and 'Black'

Spec-Ops: The Line has been critically lauded as a game that takes a hard, self-aware look at the shooter genre. But all good shooters are self-aware. It's how they're able to distill conflict into something fun that matters.

Games

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.

Stephen Beirne
Games

Self Actualization and the Mini-Roguelike

There is something, somehow less deterministic about the mini-roguelike, something more like an advocacy of choice and control being made actually significant when placed in the hands of the player.

Games

Shootin' Dudes and the Importance of a Good Plot

The effect that a game's story can have on its mechanics and systems should not be underestimated.

Games

To Build a World or to Tell a Story?

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.

Games

Defining Our Relationship to the Software: Jonas Kyratzes's 'Alphaland'

In order to play, the player needs the game, and in order to exist as a game, the game needs to be played.

Games

Killing Kids Is Scary

Any world built upon the bodies of children must be a hellish, nightmarish, or dystopian world. Sometimes it's one in which the player takes on the role of monster.

Games

All This Useless Interactivity

While we seemingly get lots of choices in a game about how we get from place to place, how to kill enemies (and with what weapon), and even how we make moral decisions, when the game prompts us we usually get down to doing what it tells us to do.

Games

Father's Day Is Over, But Daddy Issues Remain in 'Bioshock 2' and 'Red Dead Redemption'

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”.

Games

You Say Apocalypse, I Say Retro Chic

Much like telling an erotic story within a Victorian backdrop seems ever so sexy, human depravity juxtaposed against a seemingly golden age of good, moral values is darkly comic and that much more disturbing.

Games

An Intimate Moment With the Computer

I cared about GlaDOS only because she was the one directing me. Oh, and then I really cared about her because she wanted to kill me.

Games

Of Philosophy in 'Bioshock 2': Some Words from the Devs

“I wouldn't say that games are the ideal way to experience literature. I think literature has done that quite well. That being said, games offer the opportunity to ask interesting questions and allow the player to answer them in a way that transcends previous mediums.” -- Jordan Thomas, Creative Director, Bioshock 2

Games

TWiG 2008-10-20: The Return of Pretty Much Everything

New releases for the week of 2008-10-20...

Games

To Ken Levine

L.B. has an odd lapse into remorse and gives a shout-out to some of Ken Levine's best games. Spoilers abound.

Games

The Difficulty with Difficulty in Games

L.B. Jeffries goes over the various problems with gauging how hard a game should be for developers and some potential solutions.

Games

Zarathustran Analytics in Video Games, Part 1: Finding Identity

L.B. Jeffries kicks off his ambitious series on the state of gaming with the question of how a game can develop its own unique identity.

L.B. Jeffries
Games

The Zerg Through the Eyes of Marx

In this week's edition of Banana Pepper Martinis, L.B. Jeffries takes a look at the use of academia in the discussion of video games.

L.B. Jeffries
Reviews

Bioshock

The implications of spliced human beings going insane with addictions for genetic material are enough to sit with you long after you're done playing.

Arun Subramanian
Reviews
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