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Music

I Am Not Afraid: An Interview with Owen Pallett

When not doing strings for the likes of Grizzly Bear or Arcade Fire, Owen Pallett is putting out his own gorgeous string- and synth-laced pop, like his latest, In Conflict, which he gives PopMatters a guided tour of.

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Games

The Secret to Sequels

The key to a good sequel is trying not to erase or even compete with what has come before. A sequel ought to complement its predecessor, not improve upon it.

Games

Alas, Poor 'Final Fantasy', I Knew You Well

More games deserve the kind of “death” that Final Fantasy has apparently had -- one where a dedicated effort is made to keep it available, preserved, and talked about.

Games

We Are One: JRPGs, the Group Journey, and the Mechanics of Cooperation

One of the core mechanics of JRPGs is party management, which has interesting implications for how the game conveys the journey of a cohesive group over that of an individual. In the JRPG, the player doesn’t control a single character. They’re in control of the whole party all at once.

Games

Is Catherine the Last of the Manic Pixie Dream Girls?

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.

Games

Identity Crisis: The Search for Character and Self in Videogames

Modern games seem intent on treating our imaginations as if they were as hostile as the projections in Inception.

Johnny Kilhefner
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

Finite Fantasy: The Problem with JRPGs

Not long ago there wasn't a need to distinguish between western and Japanese RPGs. But the more that JRPG developers get stuck in their glory days, the more the genre suffers.

Games

The Undead Author: Artistic Ownership of Games

If, as Roland Barthes writes, “the birth of the reader must be at the cost of the death of the author,” than what happens when the author can return to life?

Games

Women, the Ensemble, and Narrative Authority in the 'Final Fantasy' Series

What makes some of the games in the Final Fantasy series interesting is how much the women share narrative responsibility with other characters.

Games

Anti-Escapism and 'Final Fantasy Tactics Advance'

It’s odd to think of such an expensive hobby that is so often associated with a privileged class as designed purely for escape. What could such an audience have to escape from?

Games

The Moving Pixels Podcast Reconsiders the Cutscene

This week the Moving Pixels podcast crew discuss the history of the cutscene in video games, what they may or may not have evolved into, and whether or not they still have a place in video game storytelling.

Music

Gigi: Maintenant

Nick Krgovich and Colin Stewart assemble an all-star cast to craft a paean to early '60s pop, the Pacific Northwest indie-pop scene, and unrequited teenage love.

Music

Owen Pallett: Heartland

It is nothing short of astounding that Pallett’s music never comes off as precious, humorless or impenetrable, despite trappings that would seem to guarantee all of the above.

Jer Fairall
Reviews

Final Fantasy Tactics A2: Grimoire of the Rift

In Final Fantasy Tactics A2 there isn't really a point at which you can stop grinding and say, "I'm ready to hear the plot now".

Games

Mystified by the Cult of Chrono Trigger

Excited as anybody by the upcoming DS re-release of Chrono Trigger, I'm curious as to what makes it such a well-regarded and influential game.

Reviews

Crisis Core: Final Fantasy VII

Crisis Core: Final Fantasy VII is a multi-million dollar, audio/visual fan fiction.

Joe Bernstein
Games

Final Fantasy: Crystal Chronicles

It's a little like each person holding a separate piece of a treasure map -- the best way to success is for everyone to let each other know what's going on.

Sean Trundle

Reviews
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