A Garbage Wanderer’s Guide to the Apocalypse

In the past I’ve raged against some cable exclusives distinguished (even if on occasion rightly) for being “good” TV like The Walking Dead and Game of Thrones because they endorse a really anti-social understanding of human relationships.1 These texts discuss an “inevitable” and desperate microsociety in the context of the world’s end (in the case of the former), or the … Continue reading A Garbage Wanderer’s Guide to the Apocalypse

Resource Based Humanity

I can’t remember how many turn-based strategy games I’ve played in a row but these days it seems like the games that excite me the most involve commanding sprites along a grid in small, squad-sized skirmishes. Case in point, the most recent I played was The Banner Saga. In The Banner Saga, the player guides two separate caravans … Continue reading Resource Based Humanity

…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

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

Who Needs Interactivity?

[Originally posted on PopMatters] Jake Rodkin, a developer and writer who worked on The Walking Dead: Season One, compared the much lauded series to Twine games at the Practice Conference in New York earlier this month, saying that “Walking Dead is basically the world’s most expensive Twine game.” The statement makes sense. As important as the … Continue reading Who Needs Interactivity?

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