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

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


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 […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

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


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…]