Yifat Shaik is an Assistant Professor in Computational Arts at York University and an indie game developer whose focus is on creating personal autobiographical work and the use of systems, data, and game mechanics in social interaction and political activism.… Continue Reading
Sonic Adventure makes me feel like the game is often asking me to suspend my disbelief, putting more effort in convincing me of its magnitude than detailing its nuances. It also seems to be asking me to keep my hands inside the ride most of the time, not letting me set my own pace. The game doesn’t seem to trust that I will enjoy it, so it tries to impress me again and again in order to manage my experience of it. Despite the developers’ intended experience, the actual experience is still enjoyable, even if some of that enjoyment is derived from a fascination with pushing up against its borders and boundaries. Continue Reading
Deficit is an interactive experience created to express a perspective of living with ADHD. The game is based loosely on some of my real-life experiences, and should not be considered a comprehensive example of what life is like with ADHD. Everyone’s life experiences vary greatly, and the lives of those with ADHD are no exception.
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
This commentary is framed as a response to an editorial in the journal Game Studies (of which I’m a member of the review board), and I hope it’s clear that it’s an agonistic one: an incitement to further discourse. A playful bite but a real bite all the same.
Since this commentary was written in December 2019, the renewed attention to sustained anti-Black violence by police and other social institutions in the U.S. and beyond, as well as the increasing prominence of violence and harassment directed at East Asians, has helped to bring public attention to how racism continues to inflect so many aspects of our social, economic, and political lives. As we ask “what can game studies do” in this moment to support meaningful social change, recall that white privilege and prejudice against Black, Indigenous, mixed-race and people of colour (BIMPOC) in game studies was already one context of this exchange, and it’s one we can continue to dismantle together. Continue Reading
In the story of the Pied Piper, it is always a town and thus citizens of a lower status that suffer from death or loss. In A Plague Tale, I encountered many empty towns and cities where those who are considered lowerborn are the first to suffer from the plague of the Macula. While at the time the Grand Inquisitor doesn’t hold the power to control rats, it is clear that he and his Inquisitors are still using their position as authority figures in order to pick and choose which individuals will be thrown into the jaws of death in order to profit off the plague itself. Is it any surprise that the common folk are considered ripe pickings, such as they were in the Piper story? With no money, no protection and no insurance of a profitable life—their being left to suffer seems a given. Continue Reading
FFXV makes use of a rather classic storytelling trend: that of the chosen one. But as opposed to a game like The Legend of Zelda where you might only have one chosen one, FFXV has two that are diametrically opposed throughout the entire game to a certain point. With that being said, the two chosen ones, Noctis Lucis Caelum and Ardyn Izunia, were handed their chosen one status by the gods of the game’s universe known as the Astrals. Both were given specific roles within the grand scheme of the story and were never really given much choice in the matter. This sort of setup was something that really caught my interest and helped further my love for both of these characters. Continue Reading