Life at the Grindstone: the small significance of grinding

The Magus by John Fowles follows an entitled, selfish English graduate as he escapes his failed ambitions and relationships to a Greek island. There he meets Maurice Conchis, a billionaire intellectual who may be (but probably isn’t) connected to a supernatural force. The novel, set just after the Second World War, explores post-war masculine anxiety, … Continue reading Life at the Grindstone: the small significance of grinding

I Am Many: Multiple Identities in Persona 3

[Originally posted on Medium Difficulty] Ever notice how most fiction treats a breakdown of identity as just about the worst thing that can happen? Oedipus’s tragedy stems from not knowing who he “really” is, Mad Men is all about characters creating and escaping their “real” selves, Philip K. Dick asked Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? because … Continue reading I Am Many: Multiple Identities in Persona 3

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

[originally posted on PopMatters] Somewhere during the first third of Final Fantasy VII, as the party grows and events begin coalescing, the protagonist, Cloud, complains that he’s turning into a “three-ring circus.” This is a cute bit of meta-humor as the game followed the then common convention of having party members travel around inside the body … Continue reading We Are One: JRPGs, the Group Journey, and the Mechanics of Cooperation

Deconstructing Another Castle: How the Damsel in Distress Trope Fails to Move Plots

I’d like to expand on some of what I’ve said in my article for The Border House on sexism in a scene of Breath of Fire 4 (“Sexism and Power Dynamics in Breath of Fire IV.” The Border House. Mar 13 2013). In the scene, a main character, Nina, must work for a minor character, … Continue reading Deconstructing Another Castle: How the Damsel in Distress Trope Fails to Move Plots