VA-11 HALL-A

Queer Spaces and Drug-dream Fantasy

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I first played VA-11 HALL-A (pronounced Valhalla, like the Norse hall of gods) the day it released while I was living in an indoor patio used to house dog kennels. I only had a mattress to my name and ate instant noodles just to survive. Such is the life that VA-11 HALL-A’s protagonist, Jill, lives in her pursuit to pay rent by the end of the month during a financial crisis plaguing Glitch City. This title is as much about escapist-fantasy as it is about survival all while trying to maintain a positive outlook on life. It’s a bittersweet title that wastes no time strapping its player into a queer world of cyberpunk nostalgia, winding conversations about life, and flirtatious drink-mixing. VA-11 HALL-A is preoccupied with the question of what does capitalism ultimately give us, and what do we receive in exchange for not just our physical labor, but our emotional labor, too. Continue Reading

First Person Podcast Episode 12

Horror Games with Special Guest Michael Lutz

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This month on the First Person Podcast Betsy, Rob and I are joined by our first-ever special guest Michael Lutz to discuss some of the latest trends in horror games including indie horror, glitch horror, interactive fiction and VR. What is the role of jump scares in the modern horror game? What kind of fears does glitch horror prey on? Is P.T. really a failed project and how might Resident Evil 7 be following in its footsteps? We also talk to Michael about his work and how he manages to balance his academic and creative projects. Continue Reading