Hit Him Again: For the Sadists in the Audience

[Warning for discussions of violence and genocide] What the hell kind of political dynamics are at work in Star Wars: The Force Awakens? This kind of question normally annoys me but sometimes there is such a failure to suspend disbelief that it just can’t be ignored. Spoilers or whatever. In The Force Awakens, the First Order (the villainous organization … Continue reading Hit Him Again: For the Sadists in the Audience

The Narration and Abstraction of the Camera in Games

Quite a bit of early (or at least earlier) videogame criticism strove to prove videogame exceptionalism. Videogames had a gift, and it was called interactivity. And while the concept of interactivity eventually proved more suffocating than liberating, for a time it felt like videogames actually were unique and by playing them players actually were using … Continue reading The Narration and Abstraction of the Camera in Games

Invasion Tactics

Somewhere right now there’s a guest author at some university telling an enthralled gathering of undergrad wannabes “all stories are conflicts.” That isn’t true, but fiction in European, expansionist traditions treats conflict as the foundation of storytelling. Of course stories can and do exist without conflict, especially outside the aforementioned traditions (“The significance of plot … Continue reading Invasion Tactics