Hit Him Again: For the Sadists in the Audience

[Warning for discussions of violence and genocide] What the hell kind of political dynamics are at work in Star Wars: The Force Awakens? This kind of question normally annoys me but sometimes there is such a failure to suspend disbelief that it just can’t be ignored. Spoilers or whatever. In The Force Awakens, the First Order (the villainous organization … Continue reading Hit Him Again: For the Sadists in the Audience

Stranger Danger

Right away, the cinematography of The Gift implies something is not right with the film’s central couple, Simon and Robyn (Jason Bateman and Rebecca Hall). As Jim Hemphill writes in his review of the film for Paste: [Director Joel] Edgerton’s eerily still and angular compositions, in which Simon and Robyn are repeatedly framed through glass, … Continue reading Stranger Danger

Multiplayer, Multispeaker: How We Talk About Games

As editor of the second edition of “Critical Discourse” for Critical Distance (please hold your applause to the end) on Danger featuring Gita Jackson, Aevee Bee and Nick Dinicola, I was a part of another exciting letter series.1 I’ve never had any direct contact with Dinicola even though he is a colleague of mine at PopMatters but his work … Continue reading Multiplayer, Multispeaker: How We Talk About Games

Review: Dream

[Originally posted on PopMatters] HyperSloth describes Dream as a “Walking Simulator,” a term not universally appreciated among game critics,1 but still implies a certain kind of recognizable game. A walking simulator is deliberately slow, and it refrains from typical “gamey” conventions like objectives and challenges. A walking simulator is an introspective character study, the minimalist art … Continue reading Review: Dream

Review: Kyn

[Originally posted on PopMatters] As useful as it is to not judge a book by its cover, some covers simply reveal everything there is to know. Take a look at the cover of a Dungeons & Dragons manual and you’ll have a pretty good idea of what to expect out of its contents. Similarly, looking at … Continue reading Review: Kyn