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)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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…]