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.1 Scimeca’s thesis is that, for all the horror and apocalypse fiction floating around (and there’s a lot), there’s an almost wistful longing for the end of all things because the world as … Continue reading And I Feel Fine