Author Archives: Nate Andrews

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

Posted in Features | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Snuff Enough: Hotline Miami, Manhunt, and the Theater of Killing

The question posed in Hotline Miami is rhetorical. “Do you like hurting other people?” Of course you don’t. Or you shouldn’t. But this is a game, and so you do. Killing is often the language of games. It lubricates plots, … Continue reading

Posted in Critical Conversation | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Fair-Weather Friends: Animal Crossing and Digital Responsibilities

I reappeared in Western again after another extended time away—73 months, or a smidge clear of six years, according to the grumpy squirrel next door who hardly recognized me—to find the town had grown in on itself. Beds of weeds and an army of … Continue reading

Posted in Criticism | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Chasing Chernobyl: Survival, Pacifism, and the Aesthetics of a World Without Us in S.T.A.L.K.E.R.

The necessity for survival is communicated in no uncertain terms in S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Shadow of Chernobyl, the first-person shooter/RPG inspired by the sparse aesthetic of both the 1979 film of the same name and the real-life remnants of the 1986 Ukrainian nuclear meltdown. This is the story of how I learned to look beyond the game, beyond survival, and see something lasting and beautiful in its landscape. Continue reading

Posted in Criticism | Tagged , , , , , | 2 Comments