Opened World: Metafictional Warfare

Black Ops III often borders on the intangible and avant-garde, but only because warfare has evolved so rapidly that it seems unreal and fictional. Soldiers and terrorists hacking into and controlling armed robots is not merely action spectacle, but a fearful reality. Evoking the language of videogames, the real human targets of drone warfare are marked and dehumanized as “objectives.” … Continue reading Opened World: Metafictional Warfare

Opened World: Theater of the Mind

The radio is ubiquitous in the world of Fallout. Accessed via the portable Pip-Boy device wrapped around the player-character’s wrist, the radio transmits a constant stream of music (popular and classical), news, and propaganda. Likewise, it also syndicates radio dramas as one of the popular forms of narrative-based entertainment for the wasteland. Fallout’s emphasis on … Continue reading Opened World: Theater of the Mind

Opened World: Walled City

Kane & Lynch 2: Dog Days depicts transition, poverty, and the marginalized. In an interview within Heterotopias conducted by Martin and the game’s art director Rasmus Poulsen, the latter underlines an interest in showing unseen parts of the city such as alleyways and corridors lined with trash. Dog Days is a game about the ugly … Continue reading Opened World: Walled City

Beyond the Ordinary: Why Everything Should Be Put Into a Video Game

That everything should be put into a video game simply suggests that the typically excluded banality of everyday life should not be underestimated as a source of meaning. Instead of a focus on action-heavy shooter gameplay or sci-fi indulgence, the turn towards candid gestures like looking out through a window at nothing in particular can … Continue reading Beyond the Ordinary: Why Everything Should Be Put Into a Video Game