“If you can read this, LEAVE!!!” Storytelling in Left 4 Dead and Zone One

Post-apocalyptic fiction continually attempts to project itself into the future by resisting endings; each ending becomes instead an opportunity for continuation. Storytelling is the main method by which post-apocalyptic fiction attempts to resist closure, and this method can be traced back to the roots of the genre itself. Mary Shelley’s The Last Man, published in … Continue reading “If you can read this, LEAVE!!!” Storytelling in Left 4 Dead and Zone One

The Gamer’s Dressing Room

[Originally posted on Game Church] In 1732, Jonathan Swift published a poem called “The Lady’s Dressing Room” about man named Strephon snooping through his lover Celia’s room. Swift opens the poem by telling the reader that after five hours of preparation Celia’s beauty is equal to a goddess’s. Understandably, the love-struck Strephon is excited to take … Continue reading The Gamer’s Dressing Room

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