Monthly Archives: April 2012

What If the Double Fine Adventure Sucks?

Let’s just get this out of the way first: There’s no reason for it to suck. Double Fine are moving into production of their new adventure title, invigorated by the success of their Kickstarter and four smaller, download-only titles, and we’re going to witness a game made by a creative team arguably in its prime.

Even so, what would happen if it didn’t turn out to be The Adventure of Yore that we’re all pining for? Would the games press be forced to take back its claims about Double Fine revolutionizing game publishing? Continue reading

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The Pros and Cons of Being Indie

What do we talk about when we talk about “indie” games? It is clear that we don’t mean simply “independent” — there are way too many connotations and associations to the word to simply leave it at that. This article unpacks the term through its short history in games and music culture, and proposes a new understanding for the function of this controversial word. Continue reading

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What’s Wrong With Game Reviews?

What’s wrong with game reviews? I could complain what a useless measure game scores have become, since the current range of 8-10 scores is too restricted to have any meaning. Imagine how difficult it would be to talk about height if everybody’s height was described as a number between eight and ten. Worse, I find that the most interesting games tend to score in about the 85s, so imagine that sometimes people who were 10 feet tall were actually shorter than people who were eight feet tall. Even if the range of scores were better distributed, though, it still seems like the least interesting titles would still rise to the top. Why is that? Continue reading

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Bad at What? The Question of Skill and Games Criticism

What does it mean to be bad at a video game, and what are you actually bad at when you can’t do something as simple as whack a stationary target with a melee weapon? What does it mean to be Really Good At A Videogame? What consequences does this have for criticism and design? Continue reading

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EQUIP WOLF SHIRT>USE: WHISKEY// On Unboxing and Late Capitalism OR: Cause I Ain’t Daddy’s Little Boy No More

If I were going to explain the whole of American Consumer Culture through the lens of our present, as if explained to a fucking space alien, I’d say “Unboxing Videos”. Continue reading

Posted in Columns, EQUIP WOLF SHIRT>USE:WHISKEY, Humour | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Gender Swaps: More Than Fanart?

by Cameron Walker Alpha Protocol is sort of an underappreciated game. I mean, the gamey part, where you run around and shoot things, isn’t particularly good. I played on easy with the “stand in a room and just pour bullets … Continue reading

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Genre and Girl-on-Girl Action: Feminism and Skullgirls

You know that joke where a boy walks into his parent’s bedroom and catches them having sex? The one where the punchline is something like “What you’ve seen you can never unsee?” I’m not even sure if there is a joke like that but it pretty much sums up my experience with day-to-day things after my liberal arts education exposed me to many facets of feminism. I can see sexism. I can never unsee it. I’m not imagining it and it’s everywhere. I’m glad I see – I am a politically aware, socially active woman – but damn, it ruins shit for me that I used to enjoy.

So when I volunteered to write an article on Skullgirls it was not without an amount of trepidation or masochism. The game could very well enrage me.

Now, I don’t take myself too seriously and I like a good off-colour joke. But it really depends on the context of that joke. It’s the difference between, say, Chapelle’s Show and Fox News. It’s about awareness: of your art, of your medium, of your audience — most of all, of your genre. Continue reading

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Mythologizing the Gamer Grrl

by Valerie Valdes You’ve seen a video like it, or a comic, or read a story. Some poor dude is being berated by his girlfriend or wife for spending too much time playing one of those gosh darn video games. … Continue reading

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The State of Music Games

by Adil Sherwani Red-Red-Red-Red-Yellow-Yellow-Green-Green. This is the button sequence for the opening riff to “I Love Rock N Roll,” the first song in the original Guitar Hero. In 2005, this sequence (and the game) ushered in both a new way … Continue reading

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EQUIP WOLF SHIRT>USE:WHISKEY// On ‘Wikis And ‘Tubers: The Height of The Martial Art of Ludology/Strongly-Intensely

By Michelle Perez Every so often, a news article will pop up telling you people lie 6 to 20 or so times a day, and that a dude (dude meaning male, in the clinical sense) will lie more. The Tim … Continue reading

Posted in Columns, EQUIP WOLF SHIRT>USE:WHISKEY, Humour | Tagged , , | 3 Comments