Player Two: An Interview with Benjamin Poynter

Interview by Miguel Penabella Initial edits by Justin Keever Originally published October 24, 2012 New edits and introduction written November 2016 Mobile gaming has evolved significantly since 2012, and the media industries that sustain these technologies carry with it meaningful discourses concerning issues of labor, resources, infrastructures, globalization, surveillance, and agency. While once ubiquitous games … Continue reading Player Two: An Interview with Benjamin Poynter

Opened World: Nostalgia Ultra

Like other coming-of-age “last hurrah” adventures including Ferris Bueller’s Day Off or Superbad, Oxenfree maintains a delicate atmosphere of apprehension, the lingering disquiet of friends who know that this may be the last time they have together before moving out from high school. The promise of renewal after graduation and the fear of division and growing … Continue reading Opened World: Nostalgia Ultra

Opened World: Queerness & Movement

Like the revolving player avatar of puzzle game and spiritual predecessor Kuru Kuru Kururin, Roundabout highlights the awkwardness of movement through treacherous spaces. The disconnect between Georgio’s unorthodox movement and her surrounding physical environments is where queer themes are most inventively expressed. In Roundabout, Georgio Manos doesn’t conform to the normalized behavior of driving “straight,” (indeed, … Continue reading Opened World: Queerness & Movement

Opened World: Nowhere Fast

The central theme of Three Fourths Home is the frustration of movement and independence when grander problems like work-related accidents or financial shortcomings circumscribe individuals within strict boundaries, and these ideas are replicated visually. The top half of the screen depicts Kelly’s car on the road, cruising by cornfield after cornfield in a worsening thunderstorm … Continue reading Opened World: Nowhere Fast

You’ve Got to Watch: Notes on Spectacle & Spectatorship

In thinking about spectacle and spectatorship in videogames, there’s certainly no want of games with extravagant, thrilling displays of special effects. Look no further than the latest big-budget shooter game for frenzied action heroics and showy bravura. Moreover, there are games about spectacle, recognizing how passivity can be employed as a crucial element of gameplay … Continue reading You’ve Got to Watch: Notes on Spectacle & Spectatorship