Unforgotten Fantasies

Romantic Play within the Game Art of Angela Washko and Nina Freeman

Bailey Cover Image

Within the last twenty years, the discussion around whether videogames are art has been in a state of rapid flux, with prominent debates focusing on topics of cultural legitimation and identifying relations to various historical avant-garde movements. Many of these conversations have relied on positioning videogames as a novel medium which needs to be both defined and defended, often in relation to other media forms with longer, established histories such as film and literature. As Aubrey Anable (2018) states, throughout much of gaming history a common assumption about what obstructed videogames from achieving the status of fine art was their apparent inability to “affect our feelings” with the recurring question as to whether or not they can make us cry (location 34). Continue Reading

Haunted Spaces, Lived-In Places

A Narrative Archaeology of Gone Home

Commentary - Haunted Spaces Lived In Places

As you explore this deceptively massive house, going from room to room and unlocking secret passageways that lead to even more rooms (a gatekeeping mechanism used to establish some sense of narrative linearity), you discover the personal domains of each of the family members and get to know their secrets, worries, pleasures, and vices. You stumble upon Dad’s stash of porno magazines, liquor bottles, and rejection letters from book publishers. You find out about Mom’s budding flirtation with a park ranger. You uncover a history of abuse perpetrated by your Great Uncle Oscar who died in this very house, leading Sam’s classmates to call it “the psycho house on Arbor Hill” and convincing her that the house is haunted. Continue Reading

Interview – Brendan Keogh

On Candy Box, Spec Ops, & the future of Game Studies

Interview - Keogh

In the second installment in our feature interview series, we chat with game critic, author, and PhD student Brendan Keogh. We cover a wide range of topics, from Aniwey’s Candy Box, to Spec Ops: The Line and the future of Game Studies. We reached Brendan via Skype last Thursday [May 9th, 2013]. Continue Reading

The Heroic Medium

Chris Dorner, Heroism, and Spec Ops: The Line.

Essay - The Heroic Medium

This is more of a thought experiment than a carefully crafted essay, so please bear with me. My research looks at how conceptions of heroism are negotiated across various media forms, with a particular emphasis on videogames. Videogames are teeming with heroes of all sorts, and they’re becoming an increasingly important space for defining who is, and who isn’t a hero. So when I saw that alleged murderer and cop-killer Chris Dorner had been hailed a “hero” by a surprising number of people, I couldn’t help but think – Could you make a videogame about Chris Dorner? If so, what would it look like? And if not, then why not? Continue Reading