We Are One: JRPGs, the Group Journey, and the Mechanics of Cooperation

[originally posted on PopMatters] Somewhere during the first third of Final Fantasy VII, as the party grows and events begin coalescing, the protagonist, Cloud, complains that he’s turning into a “three-ring circus.” This is a cute bit of meta-humor as the game followed the then common convention of having party members travel around inside the body … Continue reading We Are One: JRPGs, the Group Journey, and the Mechanics of Cooperation

“You Presume Too Much”: Love and Sex in Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time

[Originally posted on Medium Difficulty] She said “my love.” I know she did! I didn’t dream it—at least I think I didn’t. It’s quite natural really: her Kingdom’s conquered, she has nothing, no one to protect her. She needs me! I can see it in the way she looks at me. All I’d have to do … Continue reading “You Presume Too Much”: Love and Sex in Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time

Deconstructing Another Castle: How the Damsel in Distress Trope Fails to Move Plots

I’d like to expand on some of what I’ve said in my article for The Border House on sexism in a scene of Breath of Fire 4 (“Sexism and Power Dynamics in Breath of Fire IV.” The Border House. Mar 13 2013). In the scene, a main character, Nina, must work for a minor character, … Continue reading Deconstructing Another Castle: How the Damsel in Distress Trope Fails to Move Plots

To Explore or Conquer: Colonialism in Expeditions Conquistador

[Originally posted on PopMatters] When characters in Expeditions Conquistador talk about savages and slaves, they aren’t talking about monsters, androids, aliens, elves, mages, demi-humans, mutants or zombies like other games that approach colonial themes. Expeditions Conquistador is talking about actual people that were actually dehumanized, kidnapped, and forced to work themselves to death. And the game … Continue reading To Explore or Conquer: Colonialism in Expeditions Conquistador