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

Player Two: An Interview with Bela Messex on “Little Bug”

Interview by Miguel Penabella Originally conducted April 1, 2017 Edits and introduction written April 14, 2017 In the short time since the award-winning puzzle platformer demo Little Bug was successfully crowdfunded on for expansion into a full game, developer Bela Messex has had his mind on both past and future. Messex’s thoughts are awash … Continue reading Player Two: An Interview with Bela Messex on “Little Bug”

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