Roguelites, Neoliberalism, and Social Media

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In this essay I argue that roguelites are popular because 1) they reflect the kind of neoliberal values embedded within CYOA books, but also that 2) their fundamental design principles simulate and exaggerate the systems that fuel addictions to social media. To put it another way, I contend that the recent popularity of roguelites is no accident; rather, that it coexists alongside both the powerful neoliberal imperatives to risk it all, work hard, and adapt, but also the more immediate excitements, disappointments, and worries of a media landscape within which many people constantly define and value themselves. Continue Reading

Heart Projector

A Kinder Culture for Games

Patterson - Image 1 by Matthew Chun

Heart Projector is a Vancouver-based arts collective that hosts semi-regular arcade events showcasing underground videogames from diverse creators. Since 2016, Heart Projector has curated arcades that blur the lines between games and art, and that highlight themes of queerness, indigeneity, and inequity. For this interview, I spoke to three of Heart Projector’s main organizers: Leanne Roed, Brendan Vance, and Ziggy. Continue Reading

Building Bridges with Call of Duty: Warzone

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After dodging their invites for a few weeks, I was playing the Modern Warfare campaign on a Tuesday night when my phone buzzed with a text from Chase: “Wanna Warzone?” I debated whether I should reply or pretend to be asleep, but finally responded with, “Sorry, can’t tonight. Going to bed soon. Next week maybe?” I didn’t have any intention of going to bed soon, but the prospect of playing online with my brothers-in-law wasn’t something I was ready to tackle yet. With that, I settled back into the comforts of the single-player campaign: predictable AI and nobody to watch me lose. A minute or so went by before a notification appeared in the corner of the TV: an invitation from Chase to play Warzone. I had to hand it to him: the kid was persistent. Since it was apparent I couldn’t avoid them any longer, I sent Chase a text that said, “Okay, sure. Let’s play.” Continue Reading

First Person Podcast Episode 38

Companions in Gaming

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Welcome back to First Person Podcast after our August hiatus. On this episode you are joined by, Giuseppe Femia, the FPS Podcast Producer, Sabrina Sgandurra, our new Editor-in-Chief/Book Reviews Editor, Lia Black, our new Co-Managing Editor/Commentaries Editor, and Patrick Dolan, our other new Co-Managing Editor/Essays Editor. In this episode, we’re going to be discussing the companions that venture forward with us into the night. Or, the ones that stand by us through the good and the bad. We will be examining and discussing the plot significance that the in-game companions have and what they undergo while keeping us company. Continue Reading

Queer Modding

Revealing a Place for Queerness in Games Through Alternate Reading, Play, and Remixing

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This paper will explore some key examples of players subverting the intended and heteronormative game meanings through queer modding. For the purposes of this paper, queer modding will be considered any modification made to a game’s intended meaning, including queer play, queer reading, or the direct altering or remixing of a game—usually done through modifying the game’s code. While the term ‘modding’ typically only refers to the altering of code, queer play and reading will be considered here as additional methods, as they achieve similar goals as code modifications and are more approachable to a wider range of people. Continue Reading

It’s Dangerous to Go Alone

A Tale of Three Editors

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Back in July betsy, Chris, and Rob said their farewells and hinted at some changes for the coming year. After some time at the character selection screen, Sabrina, Patrick, and Lia have been chosen to take up the mantle and continue the adventure that FPS started all those years ago. And what better way to start than with some introductions and an unveiling of those changes. Continue Reading

Don’t Leave/I’m Ready

A Farewell Editorial in Three Parts

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As you may or may not know, the editorial team at FPS is run by grad students. That means our team changes from year to year. This year, three longtime editors are stepping down from the publication: betsy brey, Chris Lawerence, and Rob Parker. What will FPS look like next year? Well, we already know, but you’ll just have to wait and find out. But, before our August publishing break, they commandeered the weekly post one last time. Here’s what they have to say. Continue Reading