A personal piece about waking dreams, mysticism, and verticality in Scandinavian theatre and videogames. I discuss Henrik Ibsen’s The Master Builder and When We Dead Awaken, next to a special level from Nifflas’ Knytt Stories.
After a hiatus, we’re back with Ontological Geek podcasts again. This time, Aaron Gotzon and I had former editor-in-chief Bill Coberly and Amsel von Spreckelsen as guests, and our main topic was bodies as a locus of morality in games, particularly sections where control in taken away from bodies and they are destroyed in a spectacle, which at the same time is the outcome of a moral judgment, such as at the end of a duel, like in Mortal Kombat’s ‘finish hem/her’ sections. Besides that, we talk about Darren Korb’s music in Bastion and Transistor, and a variety of other games.
On the second Ontological Geek podcast episode, Aaron and I are joined by Amsel von Spreckelsen and Rowan Noel Stokvis to discuss the portrayal of mental health asylums in videogames, as well as some other related topics. Among the games discussed are Amnesia: the Dark Descent, the Thief games, Batman: Arkham Asylum, Dark Souls, Outlast, Brothers: a Tale of Two Sons, and To the Moon.
With my fellow writer at The Ontological Geek, Aaron Gotzon, I’ve been working on setting up a regular podcast dedicated to games, with a particular focus on music and drama in games. Our first episode went up last month, and we’re aiming to make the podcast a regular feature.
The first episode focuses on the music of composer Chris Christodoulou, specifically his soundtrack for the game Risk of Rain. We also discuss the musical trope generally known as the ‘one woman wail’ and deliberate a bit about where it came from and how it works.
I recently interviewed composer Jessica Curry of videogame studio The Chinese Room about her music, its relation to (virtual) spaces, and her current work on the upcoming game Everybody’s Gone to the Rapture.
Check out the interview over at Evening of Light.
Throughout human history, in art and religion, we find a longing for deliverance, the view of a promised land just out of our current reach, whether somewhere else on some part of (mythologised) Earth, or in a world beyond.
Recently I had a dream wherein I was repeatedly meeting a dark-haired woman, predominantly in my workplace and other day-to-day environments. On a very literal level - as far as any such thing exists in dreams - it was just someone who appeared to take pleasure in my company and who came to see me often, me enjoying her company and the attention it brought, but not desiring any relations beyond friendship. My self-effacing side would say she was a projection of latent narcissism. However, on an emotional and symbolic level, there was a deeper attraction, but at the same time a mortal fear or sense of danger. This seemingly normal woman was at some non-apparent level a femme fatale.
This is going to be a very brief impression, but there’s another game I wanted to share with you. Ruins, developed by Cardboard Computer, is a new digital art piece in which you control a dog, Agatha, who chases a number of white rabbits in a dreamlike landscape which is dominated by ruins, trees, fog, and piano.