Back to where we began in Quake

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In which I ram­ble a tiny bit about Quake’s sym­bolic world and its mom­my issues, along with a tenu­ous com­pari­son to Dark Souls. […Read more…]

Guns & Gowns

Hedda and Dusk, fashion twins.

Some­thing of a ram­ble about what made me stop play­ing Knights of the Old Re­pu­blic II for a while, about play­ing dress-up with guns and gowns and what that has to do with role­play­ing, and about what Ian Bo­gost wrote in The At­lan­tic today on games and the re­pre­sen­ta­tion of in­di­vi­duals. […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…]

The Iterations of Punxsutawney Phil

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Remember Groundhog Day? It’s that 1993 film about Bill Murray’s char­acter, Phil, who keeps reliving the same day, Feb­ruary 2nd, in the Penn­sylvania town of Punx­sutawney, where on that day, the groundhog Punx­sutawney Phil will pre­dict when winter’s going to end. […] It’s an awful lot like the way we tend to play video games these days. Faced with chal­lenges in a game, we have the quick­save and quick­load but­tons close at hand, ready to revert to an earlier point in the game to try again. If you get to replay a sec­tion of a story over and over again, any chal­lenge inherent in the ori­ginal situ­ation quickly morphs into a matter of trial and error. Like Phil in Groundhog Day, we get to try out every inter­action, every conver­sation option the world allows us. More im­por­tantly, in a typ­ical collap­sing together of char­acter and player, Phil – like us – retains (meta)­knowledge of every­thing he did earlier. […Read more…]