Author Archives: Kyle Carpenter

About Kyle Carpenter

I'm a PhD candidate at Simon Fraser University in Burnaby, BC. My research focuses on posthuman studies and Lacanian psychoanalytical theory, exploring how communication technologies shape our sense of self and relations to others. For me, games and games studies still straddle the line between "hobby" and "addiction." I'm the Submissions Editor of Medium Difficulty, and one of its founding members. I'm also a Dave Van Ronk look-alike.

Waiting for the Crash: The Masochistic Mediation of Trials Evolution

Moments of strange synchronicity exist in life. Sometimes, experiences that seem disparate also seem to have an underlying order to them, a point of comparison that unlocks each to the other. We’ve all had these moments in school, when your … Continue reading

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The Incredible Machine: Auto-Amputation and Incredipede

What happens to your body when you play games? Or, more specifically, how do you think of your body when you enter a game space, when you begin to identify with not your own self, your “meat,” but rather with … Continue reading

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Why Are You Doing This? Hotline Miami and Drive

Hotline Miami is a violent game. It is also an incredibly original game, bearing the mark of Jonatan Söderström’s (AKA “Cactus”) fascinatingly hideous punk sensibilities. This distinction sets Hotline Miami apart enough that people are willing to ask if it … Continue reading

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La Mulana and The Archaeology of Design

The remake of La Mulana has finally been released, and it is good – probably the optimal way to experience this impressive game. Consider that the review portion of this article, and go buy it: now let’s jump into why … Continue reading

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Offensive Play: The Politics of Cards Against Humanity

A joke has two functions. First, it reveals something hidden; even the lowly pun will reveal a connection between two words that wasn’t obvious (what do you call an alligator in a vest? An investigator.) Some claim the shock of … Continue reading

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Papo & Yo and The Limits of Control

In his review of Papo & Yo for Paste Magazine, Brian Taylor observes that the game doesn’t function as escapism, but rather that it is about escapism. In the game, which is famously an analogy about its director’s life with … Continue reading

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Game Objects: Resonance, The Dream Machine, and The Objective

“Be more objective.” This has become a common refrain both in internet and public discourse, a suggestion in discussions that someone’s position doesn’t matter because it isn’t “rational.” However, I think few people stop to think about what they’re saying … Continue reading

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The Hagiography of Phil Fish

Indie Game: The Movie has been released to rave reviews across the board, and for good reason – it is a solid piece of human drama, and a fascinating glimpse into the working process of some very interesting people who … Continue reading

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Horror Done Right: Alan Wake, Language, and Control

by Kyle Carpenter Alan Wake is an interesting game, one that received largely favourable reviews from critics but never seemed to quite find its audience. When people criticize the game, it is largely because of gameplay issues; most laud the … Continue reading

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Spreading the Virus: A Forensic Review of Prototype 2

Recently, Medium Difficulty EiC Karl Parkenings and I had an interesting experience that I have to recommend to all of you: we got to play a game with a person who helped to make it. The game, in this case, … Continue reading

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