Monthly Archives: February 2013

Ride or Drive: Mr. Neeble and DiRT 3

Learning to drive a car can be a stressful experience. When I was in high school I took driving lessons from a certified instructor named Mr. Neeble, a stern old man with the relentless cadence of a film noir mobster. … Continue reading

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Dismantling The Default: Homophobia, Feminity, Misogyny and The Default in The Gaming “Community””

For a community of outcasts screaming for mainstream legitimacy, the gaming world is remarkably exclusionary: especially towards women and queer gamers. From the aggressively inarticulate teenagers on headsets to the famously putrid comment sections across the gaming blogosphere, homophobia runs … Continue reading

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With Friends Like These: Screw Ups and Patterns of Power in the Games Industry

Randy Pitchford is a happy man. Sure, the last couple of major titles he’s overseen as head of Gearbox Software have had their share of detractors, but that’s not going to be any skin off of his nose. If someone … Continue reading

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Between Pleasure and Reality: Theorizing Video Games as Transitional Objects

When I was young, I had a yellow blanket with a smooth satin lining around the edges. But it wasn’t just any blanket—it was my “blanky,” my ever-present companion in sleep and in play. Most people I talk to can … Continue reading

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Fast Fingers, Brain Off: Hybrid Puzzle Games

A few years ago I bought Puzzle Quest on the Xbox 360. This was a terrible idea. If you’ve ever played Puzzle Quest, you know it isn’t a fast-paced game. It’s essentially a match three gems game, but with a … Continue reading

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Journey and the Myth

Journey is a game that tells so much by saying so little. There are signs all around your character as you make your way through the desert. The notes you and your partners emit, the tapestries floating in the air, … Continue reading

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(More Than) Moving Pictures: The Importance of Emotional Engagement in Games

When I was a kid, I loved all kinds of video games. What captivated me the most, however, was sprawling, epic JRPGs such as Chrono Trigger, Final Fantasy VI, Final Fantasy VII, and Xenogears. I was drawn into their larger-than-life … Continue reading

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Monkey Watch: Rhythm Heaven and the Worth of Small Victories

Two pilots fly over forested wetlands. Tree roots twist and pale beneath the water, obscured by many leafy tops. The machines race on, cresting the growth below, until one pilot speaks without extending a glance to his companion. “You know … Continue reading

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Contemplating The Mirror: Manhunt Revisited

Memories Rockstar’s Playstation 2 games were the video nasties of my generation. I remember my father reading an article in USA Today about prostitution in Grand Theft: Auto Vice City and telling me that I couldn’t have it. Likewise, the … Continue reading

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Holding Pattern

You may have noticed Medium Difficulty’s prolonged absence. This is largely due to an unfortunate combination of events including, but not limited to, the intellectual labour required by a server change and the fickle demands of “real life.” This post … Continue reading

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