The Ludic Rashomon

A Rashomon, named after Akira Kurosawa’s 1950 film, is a story repeated several times from different characters’ perspectives. Each retelling adds more information from each character until, in the end, a full story emerges. The Rashomon effect is a psychological phenomenon wherein multiple witnesses view the same event but describe it with different or even … Continue reading The Ludic Rashomon

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

Cities of Magic

I’m not sure how to define cyberpunk. Oh, I can recognize it, but I’m not sure if I know how to pare it down to a digestible one-sentence review. I know that I can easily look the answer up online, but I’m more interested in how people categorize it not as a list of features … Continue reading Cities of Magic

A Place of Refreshment: A reading of the bathroom scene in Binary Domain

About two-thirds of the way through Binary Domain, the player enters the evil Amada Corporation’s tower of evil. It’s a sleek, modern, generic company headquarters. The player walks by a bathroom and a teammate, Shindo, halts the team’s progress so he can step inside to make use of it. During this time, security attacks the rest … Continue reading A Place of Refreshment: A reading of the bathroom scene in Binary Domain

“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