Letting Go

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. […Read more…]

Ontological Geek Podcast: Episode 3 — Moral Bodies (+ Bonus)

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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. […Read more…]

Ontological Geek Podcast Ep. 2 — Asylums

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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. […Read more…]

Ontological Geek Podcast Ep. 1

riskofrain

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. […Read more…]

Sound, Space, and Play: an interview with Jessica Curry

Early art for ‘Everybody’s Gone to the Rapture’
© The Chinese Room

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. […Read more…]

Right Up Yonder

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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. […Read more…]

Haunted by the Past: Retromania and Fear

wicker

Ein Gespenst geht um… Haunto­logy is one of those buzzwords that get thrown around in an attempt to put a finger on cer­tain cul­tural trends. Deriving ulti­mately from Jacques Der­rida, in ref­er­ence to the opening sen­tence of Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels’ Com­munist Mani­festo, the term nowadays is used to refer to the ‘ghosts’ haunting our cul­ture; the […Read more…]

Harlequin Valentine, or Lustprinzip & Todestrieb

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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. […Read more…]

Ruins: Digital Dream Poetry

Agatha explores the ruins of her dreams

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. […Read more…]

Kein Bestandteil Sein

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In my cur­rent lin­guistic studies, I am focusing on the way in which verbal forms are spread by people throughout their com­mu­nic­ative net­works. These net­works are basic­ally abstrac­tions of the ‘forces’ that tie people together: meeting, talking, touching; com­mu­nic­a­tion in the broadest sense. But net­works func­tion as a model of a great many things, and […Read more…]