Player Two: An Interview with Guillaume de Fondaumière on “Detroit: Become Human”

Interview by Miguel Penabella Originally conducted December 9, 2017 Edits and introduction written December 11, 2017 The games developed by Paris-based studio Quantic Dream heavily emphasize quotidian actions such as preparing dinner or tending to a child as a way to foster empathy in interactive storytelling. Rather than shoot or strike at enemies, games like … Continue reading Player Two: An Interview with Guillaume de Fondaumière on “Detroit: Become Human”

Player Two: An Interview with Greg “Cosmo D” Heffernan on “The Norwood Suite”

Interview by Miguel Penabella Originally conducted October 20, 2017 Edits and introduction written November 17, 2017 Greg Heffernan’s games always bear the mark of a musician. Under the pseudonym Cosmo D, his three games—Saturn V, Off-Peak, and The Norwood Suite—all heavily feature his own music in ways that experiment with sound’s relation to space. Saturn … Continue reading Player Two: An Interview with Greg “Cosmo D” Heffernan on “The Norwood Suite”

Opened World: The Remains of the Day

Fallout 4 carries an air of melancholy by juxtaposing the gritty post-apocalyptic setting with the mundane scenarios these skeletons convey. Skeletons seated inside a rusted bus suggest the instantaneous impact of the nuclear bombs, perhaps catching average people by surprise on their way to work. Pairs of skeletons resonate with particular melancholy, suggesting lovers, friends, siblings, … Continue reading Opened World: The Remains of the Day

Player Two: An Interview with Rasmus Poulsen on “Kane & Lynch 2: Dog Days”

Interview by Miguel Penabella Originally conducted September 19, 2017 Edits and introduction written September 21, 2017 Ever since the divisive Kane & Lynch 2: Dog Days roared onto screens seven years ago, the game has seen the emergence of a cult following and a critical reevaluation that has given it new life. Its bold artistic … Continue reading Player Two: An Interview with Rasmus Poulsen on “Kane & Lynch 2: Dog Days”

Unraveling the Traumatic Interior Spaces of Asemblance

This meditation on human grief unites the stories and themes of Asemblance and Solaris, as both works hinge on the imagery of a ghostly wife haunting the memory of each protagonist… In Solaris, a character calls these visions of Kelvin’s wife “the materialisation of your conception of her,” and later, “a copy, a matrix,” suggesting an unresolved trauma made manifest … Continue reading Unraveling the Traumatic Interior Spaces of Asemblance

Opened World: Complacent Politics

Ideally, George’s plotline should reveal the complex and unexpected reasons alliances were made by early black abolitionists, revolutionaries with colonial powers to sabotage the stable labor force of rival colonial operations. Instead, the game shrugs such nuances off. In hearing George criticize the hypocrisy of the Patriots who would uphold slavery, Aveline nonetheless sides with … Continue reading Opened World: Complacent Politics