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Games

In 'Mass Effect' While You Stare into the RPG, the RPG Stares Back into You

Just as you interrogate your companions and enemies in order to understand them and their worlds, the game reveals itself to have been questioning you. What kind of player are you? What kind of person?

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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

Paying Too Often for Sex in Video Games

In film, the salacious is something to see. In video games, however, the salacious needs to be something to do.

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

Virtual Worlds, Real Choices: What Blowing Up Megaton (or not) Taught Me About Myself

Developers of games like Heavy Rain, Mass Effect, and Fallout 3 take pride in their ability to provide players with the experience of deciding for themselves exactly how plot lines will develop in their games. So why are we gamers fixated on the idea of making and playing such games?

Nicholas Christophi
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

Bioware Finally Gets the Morality Meter Right in 'Mass Effect 3'

Mass Effect has always had trouble presenting its morality system to players -- that is, until Mass Effect 3.

Games

The Fallible Morality of 'Mass Effect 3'

I like the ending because it doesn’t just ask us to make a choice, it asks us to question the very process that we use to make that choice.

Games

The False Dichotomies of 'Mass Effect'

Since the first entry into the franchise, the most interesting dichotomy of Mass Effect 3 has not been between synthetic and organic, but between Paragon and Renegade.

Games

Death of a Quarian

In a Mass Effect game, I can rewrite dramatic choices; I can slip away from consequences.

Games

Why the Ending of 'Mass Effect' Should Not Change

It’s appropriate that the final boss of Mass Effect is a conversation.

Games

Moving Pixels Podcast: The 'Mass Effect' Effect

With the ability to carry over story data from one game to the next, we consider how this system in Mass Effect affects the way we play the game and how much control we assert over getting "our" Mass Effect experience just right.

Games

Machismo and 'Mass Effect'

For characters in Mass Effect, sometimes working out their feelings about their past requires hitting someone or being hit by someone.

Games

Other Princesses, Other Castles: The Problem with Playing Romantically in Video Games

The insensibly repetitious nature of romance present in both video game plots and in their mechanics leads to all too familiar storytelling.

Games

Scary Transmedia Synergy Within the 'Gears of War' Universe

Perhaps in this age of serialized television, franchise-driven films, and transmedia everything, the very idea of a stand-alone product is antiquated.

Games

Thematic Confusion in the Branching Narratives of Video Games

Maybe David Cage of Quantic Dreams had the right idea when he suggested people play through Heavy Rain one time only. After all, you can’t recognize the inconsistency of branching plots if you only see one of them.

Games

Collaborative Conflict in 'Mass Effect'

Gaming is a process of collaborative storytelling, and as I tried to write conflict into the story of Mass Effect, I ran into conflict with my writing partner, Bioware.

Games

Watching As Gameplay: 'L.A. Noire' Merely a Visual Novel?

Watching becomes a rather central and active occupation in most games and very often requires more time than “doing something”.

Games

Let's Play: Interactivity by Proxy in a Web 2.0 Culture (Part 4)

The ways gamers customize their gameplay and then document that play has the potential to significantly affect how certain titles and their surrounding culture of players are perceived.

Games

Space Jihadists: 'Mass Effect 2: Arrival' Just Keeps Digging Its Hole Deeper

Arrival demonstrates an almost appalling similarity to American media, not just in the way that we create our own enemies, but in how we manage to disregard the ensuing violence as the Other's doing, surely not our own.

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

Consequence Without Morality

Consequences are better represented through story than karma systems.

Games

Zarathustran Analytics in Video Games, Part 5: The Four Forms

L.B. Jeffries continues the Zarathustran Analytics series, putting together his pillars of game design and calling for sense in classification.

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
Reviews

Mass Effect

One of the major themes of Mass Effect is xenophobia and the reasons that certain species hate or mistrust the others.

Reviews
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