…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

Everything Looks Like a Nail…

One of the things I find most fascinating about the conversation about videogame violence is the nebulous threshold that separates “inappropriate” from “provocative” portrayals, “excessive” from “effective” ones. Reactions to Spec-Ops: The Line fluctuate widely, with some praising its harsh frankness and others ridiculing its shallow pretensions. People are either captivated or duped by it: it … Continue reading Everything Looks Like a Nail…

Life at the Grindstone: the small significance of grinding

The Magus by John Fowles follows an entitled, selfish English graduate as he escapes his failed ambitions and relationships to a Greek island. There he meets Maurice Conchis, a billionaire intellectual who may be (but probably isn’t) connected to a supernatural force. The novel, set just after the Second World War, explores post-war masculine anxiety, … Continue reading Life at the Grindstone: the small significance of grinding

My Last Princess: Women as Objects in The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds

“That’s my last Duchess painted on the wall, Looking as if she were alive.” Robert Browning, “My Last Duchess” (1842) *SPOILER WARNING* In the latest Legend of Zelda title, Link saves a total of nine people from the villain, Yuga. They are (in no particular order): Gulley, the blacksmith’s son and Link’s childhood friend Queen … Continue reading My Last Princess: Women as Objects in The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds