Will FPS ever be the same?
Probably, but the experience nonetheless caused the participants to consider the porous nature of the magic circle. How can we navigate the rhetoric of games that reward betrayal, dishonesty and colonial domination, all of which run contrary to our own principles? To what extent do we perform ourselves in the games that we play? How can we be ethical actors while still engaging in a spirit of play? Continue Reading
It occurs to me that some video games might have a “soul” or a thesis kept out of sight, locked away from interactive or procedural elements. And to access this soul one might have to look at these story elements not as a whole but working in their constituent parts.
Think about the painting, Conscience, Judas by Nikolai Ge, that depicts Judas in a moment swiftly following Christ’s arrest. Continue Reading
In the decade following the release of Resident Evil 4 (2005), each successive entry within Capcom’s flagship horror series began to become more focused on producing action set pieces rather than genuine scares. This all changed with the release of The Beginning Hour, a short demo released in 2016 for the then upcoming Resident Evil 7: biohazard (2017). Continue Reading
Tina Chan is currently a Masters of Science candidate at the University of Waterloo’s (UW) School of Public Health and Health Systems. Her areas of interest include computer based mental health solutions as well as peer to peer support and… Continue Reading
Dark Souls (2011-2016) is a challenging experience but also one that is solitary and quiet. The only sounds heard for the bulk of my time in Dark Souls were monsters wheezing, weapons clanging, and my character grunting in pain or death. When I pushed through a fog gate into a boss fight for the first time, I knew a special experience awaited me: not only was I facing down a considerable challenge, but music had also flooded into the space. The aural landscape shifted from being solely inhabited by diegetic noise to a mixture of diegetic and non-diegetic sounds. Continue Reading
At the start of each of Shovel Knight’s nine main levels, the game’s eponymous hero springs in from off-screen and lands on his feet, shovel held aloft, as if to challenge the enemies that await. In all but one of those levels, there seems to be a world outside the one he’s about to explore—a ledge that continues back beyond the edge of the screen, or a pathway that has begun to morph into the cliffs and valleys of the upcoming stage. Continue Reading
Geekiness is getting a makeover! The geeks, weirdos, and nerds who once stood at the fringes of consumer culture now find themselves at the center. In a poignant inversion, Dungeons & Dragons—a game once renown for its supposedly dark and cultish fanbase—has become mythic. It gives all of us who have once loved it the feels along with warm nostalgic memories. As our consumer culture reorients to position games at its center, the center disciplines and norms the fraught geeky bodies which were once positioned at its margins. Continue Reading