We’re Gonna Crash!

The Apocalyptic Surrealism of Cruis’n USA

Koester Cover

For all of the romantic language that’s been attached to it, driving is seldom the joyous experience that racing games try to capture. Automobiles are powerful and dangerous, so drivers must constantly be vigilant. The default mode of driving is a mix of anxiety and boredom. Vehicles isolate motorists from their real surroundings, which are abstracted by the new, powerful steel exoskeleton the driver wields. The body is now a zooming husk. Continue Reading

Folk-Music, Radical Politics, and Bliss

Far Cry 5’s Music as Western Hymnody

Badra cover image

Music has the unique ability to bring people together and speak to them on a fundamental, subconscious level (for more on this, see Ehrenberg and From Lullabies). This aspect of music plays an important role in the narrative of Far Cry 5 (Ubisoft, 2018), as Joseph Seed, the game’s primary antagonist, uses music as a powerful tool for recruiting people into his doomsday cult, the Project at Eden’s Gate. Indeed, Far Cry 5’s music ties more closely with its narrative than any previous game in the series; by exploring its music, we may better understand the populist belief system that underlies Joseph’s “fringe” doomsday preaching. Continue Reading