Working at Play

Alienation, Refusal, and Every Day the Same Dream

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There is, perhaps, no more of an innocuous fantasy video games can absolve than playing hooky from work for a day. And yet, in Paolo Pedercini’s Every Day the Same Dream, that refusal to concede to the droning and humdrum quotidian nonetheless feels subversive. A theory of alienation and its political potential, as it were, can help make sense of that affective experience of totally rejecting what is all too familiar: workplace boredom. Continue Reading

A Game of Gazes

A Closer Look at Killer Is Dead’s “Gigolo Mode”

Commentary - Killer Is Dead

Given that Goichi Suda so thoroughly and openly engages in reflexive gaming commentary within his many eclectic works, the generally negative reception with Grasshopper Manufacture’s latest effort Killer Is Dead arrives as a genuine shock. Much of the gaming world’s aversion towards the game stems from its so-called “Gigolo mode,” a minigame that finds its protagonist ogling a potential romantic flame for the promise of sex and a weapon upgrade. Some critics have charged this segment as misogynist, often with reductive analysis that eschews examination below surface level. Obviously, representing sex in games remains a serious issue that the medium has frequently struggled with. Continue Reading