Imagine the Power: Disembodied Violence in Fantasy Traditions

Violence is paramount to maintaining fantasy fiction and disembodied violence is a pillar of the fantasy genre. Disembodied violence is the celebration of violent power, or the expression of violent power against unthinking but vaguely human-shaped antagonists; it’s the kind of violence that isn’t really violent because it doesn’t take place against another person. Take Iron Man 2: in … Continue reading Imagine the Power: Disembodied Violence in Fantasy Traditions

The Narration and Abstraction of the Camera in Games

Quite a bit of early (or at least earlier) videogame criticism strove to prove videogame exceptionalism. Videogames had a gift, and it was called interactivity. And while the concept of interactivity eventually proved more suffocating than liberating, for a time it felt like videogames actually were unique and by playing them players actually were using … Continue reading The Narration and Abstraction of the Camera in Games

From Game to Play: Roland Barthes, Videogames and Criticism

Roland Barthes’ “Death of the author” line of criticism has carried a lot of weight in videogame circles. In large part because it’s just an attractive, empowering theory. Barthes was a French literary critic writing in the 1960’s; a time when literary criticism—particularly from French authors—was a new, dynamic and popular discipline. In killing the … Continue reading From Game to Play: Roland Barthes, Videogames and Criticism

And I Feel Fine

Dennis Scimeca wrote an article for Unwinnable‘s fear theme week that I enjoyed reading and I encourage others to read it as well (“I’m not Afraid of Zombies, I’m Afraid of Us.” Nov 1, 2013.). Scimeca’s thesis is that, for all the horror and apocalypse fiction floating around (and there’s a lot), there’s an almost … Continue reading And I Feel Fine