“You are not alone”

The unlikely intersection between Dark Souls, Burial, and... writing the dissertation

During my MA, I grew attached to the music of the UK electronic artist Burial. His music helped me a lot throughout the writing process of my Major Research Project (MRP). His music is ethereal and spectral, simultaneously steeped in the depths of loneliness and pulsating with a comfort that draws listeners out of that loneliness; it is the kind of music that reflects the push and pull of (academic) isolation I experienced at the time and still deal with today. Take this beautiful remix of his, for instance, which is drearily pulled back slow and yet soothingly shimmers. It’s a song I had on nonstop repeat during my MA. Continue Reading

A review of The Video Game Debate:

Unravelling the Physical, Social, and Psychological Effects of Digital Games

When I told a friend that I was reviewing The Video Game Debate, I was asked, “What debate?” I briefly explained––perhaps too generally––that the “debate” in the title referred to all that talk about whether or not video games are good for us. You know, whether video games make us lazy or prone to committing violence or are rotting our brains or making us antisocial weirdos, etcetera, etcetera, that kind of stuff. My friend responded, “I thought that debate was over.” Continue Reading

Persuasive Games

The Expressive Power of Videogames

Before I begin this review of Ian Bogost’s Persuasive Games (PG), I have to make two points that address the nature of this review. One, I am relatively new to game studies, and PG may very well be the first book of video game scholarship I have read. Two, PG is not altogether new (but I hesitate to say “old”), since it was published in 2007. So, as I am writing this review, I am aware of the delayed context of the review and that some, if not most FPS readers are already familiar with Bogost’s text and Bogost himself. At the same time, not everyone can read all the things, and so this review will hopefully be helpful to those who are considering perusing PG. This review, then, can be a useful but brief return to Bogost’s text for those who have already read PG; it can be an introduction for those unfamiliar with the text and it can perhaps provide a different perspective from a newcomer to the field of game studies. Continue Reading