How Fantasy Games Deal with Race

As Demonstrated by The Elder Scrolls

cover image (Gray Quarter)

Video games have politics. With many developers insisting that their games are not political in any way, and with recent games desperately trying to say as little as possible about their subject matter, many critics find that there is once again a need to stress this point. The ability to be political stretches across genres and settings, though some genres and settings lend themselves to being seen as more overtly political than others. For instance, criticising racialised depictions in games set in the ‘real world’, like Rockstar’s Grand Theft Auto series, is often quite straightforward, especially given the shallowness and harsh stereotyping these depictions usually entail (Dyer-Witheford & De Peuter, 2009, p. 164-70; Gray, 2014, p. 24-26). Continue Reading

An Interview with David Brevik – Part 2

It Lurks Below

Jeffery Klaehn: What possibilities afforded by the contemporary gaming landscape most excite you? I’m thinking of technological developments and digital distribution platforms such as Steam (2003) and GOG (2008), which are still relatively “new” in relation to the history of digital games.

David Brevik: It’s an extremely exciting time to be a developer. Being able to create something and distribute it all around the world from your own home is amazing. But because it’s so easy, the market has been flooded with people doing just that. There are hundreds of games a day on mobile app stores, and 30+ games a day on Steam. There is so much content right now, it’s impossible to wade through all of the games. Continue Reading

World of Warcraft and Getting out into the World

Argüello Cover

During the summer break of 2010, back when I was a 13-year-old student about to start his first year in high school, I decided to start playing World of Warcraft. I had no prior experience with a Massively Multiplayer Online Roleplaying Game (MMORPG) nor even the basic knowledge to understand the lore of the game. I chose to play in the Horde only because the idea of creating my own Orc seemed tempting, as they were bound to become fearsome warriors or living shields that would protect allies from danger. Continue Reading

Video Games: The Future of Documentaries

Sampaio - Header Image

Technology has changed the world. Every year, devices become more powerful and they will continue to do so, according to Steven Kotler and Peter Diamandis (10). This reality has changed the practice of many professions (Frey and Osborne 2) and journalism is not an exception (Bogost et al. 8). The digital era has given journalists more options to reach their goal of telling real-life stories, including multimedia articles, interactive content, and hyperlink texts (Pena 183). Although these developments are mostly positive, they also create hardships. Continue Reading

An Interview with David Brevik – Part 1

graybeardgames

Jeffery Klaehn: What led you to launch Graybeard Games?

David Brevik: After working at Gazillion as the CEO for several years, I wanted to get away from management and back into making games. When I was a kid I wanted to be a game maker, not run a business. So after I left, the goal was to create a company where I could get back to design and programming. Continue Reading

FPS Special Issue: Call for Papers

Queer Making and Design

Call For Papers

CFP: In The Queer Art of Failure, Halberstam suggests, “Under certain circumstances failing, losing, forgetting, unmaking, undoing, unbecoming, not knowing may in fact offer more creative, more cooperative, more surprising ways of being in the world.” In reimagining what it means to fail and what it means to succeed, queer games can offer rich experiences that move beyond the goals and practices of the hegemonic status quo of mainstream games. Queer design perspectives, particularly when they fail to meet the expectations of the status quo, can bring “difference” to “our discussions of video games and the experience of play” (after Ruberg 2015), and we want to hear all about it. Continue Reading

The Therapy and Anxiety I Recognized in Celeste

Stanley Cover

It’s early morning, and I’m trapped by an unlocked door, the front entrance to my home, during a year I’d rather forget. Through the window, a breeze rustles trees heavy with leaves so green and vibrant it pains me to stare at them for too long. They stood bare the last time I stepped outside.

This thought lodges a gag of shame in my throat as I slip on a pair of worn tennis shoes and convince myself that a stroll around the neighborhood is something I do all the time, a decision made in impulse and not in agony. It’s only a door, just a door, I repeat. My anxiety – no, let’s be honest, my full-blown agoraphobia at this point – would not get the better of me today. Continue Reading