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Games

Addicted to Death: More Thoughts on Gaming and Masochism

Maybe I'm addicted to critique, to learning through failure, or maybe I'm just addicted to the simple, clear reminder that video games give me sometimes: “Pay more attention, stupid!”

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Games

Every Blade of Grass: The Pros and Cons of Photorealism in Video Games

The dream of creating photorealistic video games seems odd to me when considering the medium itself, especially in contrast to other artistic mediums.

Games

'The Binding of Isaac: Rebirth' and the Transformative Power of the Monstrous Body

In The Binding of Isaac: Rebirth, the body is wrecked and made ugly for the sake of freedom from fear. Instead, it becomes something fearful in its own right.

Games

'The Binding of Isaac: Rebirth': More Grotesque, More Fun

Grotesque, strange, and difficult, Rebirth offers a fantastic vision of what might be the ideal roguelike.

Erik Kersting
Games

Six Little Horror Games That Would Like to Play With You This Halloween

Here are a few little games to put you in the spirit of the spooky season. How you will come out of the other side is up to you.

Games

Dead at Last: Notes on the Consequences of Death on the Virtual Body

In games that feature perma death, by melding narrative consequence to mechanical consequence, a great deal of meaning is added to even the most routine of skirmishes. Death makes play matter.

Erik Kersting
Reviews

'Runers': What's My Motivation?

Shoot better and better and better. Then, shoot some more.

Games

The Pleasures of the Apocalypse, Fantasies of Pain

We don't want utopia. We already have that. We need dystopia, something less familiar, something challenging, something painful.

Games

'FTL' and the Failure of Text Narratives in Roguelikes

While it is possible for a roguelike to tell a story, textually based narratives are a burden to the genre.

Erik Kersting
Games

Gaming and Masturbating, Masturbating and Gaming

Edmund McMillen's A.V.G.M. is a test of fortitude and relies on the assumption that gamers are unwilling to resist their own masturbatory instincts.

Games

Enjoying the Social Death

Sometimes failing in front of an audience is a good thing.

Games

Playing to Suffer, Suffering to Play

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.

Games

Thinking About 'Cunt'

I had known of Cunt by reputation only. I knew that it bore the stamp of Edmund McMillen's central aesthetic, the grotesque, and thus, that it wasn't going to be pretty.

Games

Brevity, Death, and Replay Value

I find myself more discouraged by the games that encourage me and more interested in letting brief failure teach me patience, better strategy, and to appreciate the few victories I squeeze out of hours and hours of play.

Games

The Pleasures of Playing in an Economy of Pain

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.

Games

Moving Pixels Podcast: Back to Isaac's Basement

The Moving Pixels podcast discusses the troubling, provocative, and alluring world of The Binding of Isaac.

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