Back to where we began in Quake

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

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

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

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…]