The Ludic Rashomon

A Rashomon, named after Akira Kurosawa’s 1950 film, is a story repeated several times from different characters’ perspectives. Each retelling adds more information from each character until, in the end, a full story emerges. The Rashomon effect is a psychological phenomenon wherein multiple witnesses view the same event but describe it with different or even … Continue reading The Ludic Rashomon

…When All You Have is a Hammer

Continuing from my previous thoughts, Spec-Ops and Hotline Miami, perhaps the two most visible “violent games about violent games,” have player-characters who only use violence to interact in the world. While Spec-Ops is far more on-the-nose about how destructive that attitude is, both put the player in a scenario where violence is the only language they have to communicate … Continue reading …When All You Have is a Hammer

Representation and the Power of Media as Discussed through Exit Fate: Part 3: Consequences of Misrepresentation

As interesting or as varied as many characters are in Exit Fate, the raw numbers tell a pretty compelling story. The fact that there are so few non-white non-men suggests that white men belong in the Elysium army more than anyone else. Again, the player is managing an institution that quickly and obviously becomes far … Continue reading Representation and the Power of Media as Discussed through Exit Fate: Part 3: Consequences of Misrepresentation

Representation and the Power of Media as Discussed through Exit Fate: Part 2: Representation and Language

The thing to take into account is that the fictional world of a videogame (or a whatever) is not the only language of a piece. There is also the language around the piece, what the audience brings to and understands from a game. Exit Fate is not isolated from the rest of the world: in fact … Continue reading Representation and the Power of Media as Discussed through Exit Fate: Part 2: Representation and Language

Representation and the Power of Media as Discussed through Exit Fate: Part 1: on (Mis)Representation

I love Exit Fate. A lot. It’s weird, clever, sentimental, dramatic, subversive, funny and charming; its characters are endearing, believable and dynamic and its world comes alive with details. I can’t recommend enough that you go to the creator’s website, download the free game (available for Mac, here courtesy of a programmer named Barış Şencan), support … Continue reading Representation and the Power of Media as Discussed through Exit Fate: Part 1: on (Mis)Representation

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