Why Don’t Videogames Have Their Own Criterion Collection?

Preserving and redistributing videogames demands navigation through knotty copyright laws and even more difficult problems restoring, marketing, and operating games from outdated technologies. The question in the title of this article, then, can be reworked as such: Why isn’t there a widespread effort to maintain videogames worthy of preservation and artistic consideration given these mounting … Continue reading Why Don’t Videogames Have Their Own Criterion Collection?

Sculpting in Time: Metal Gear Solid V: Ground Zeroes & The Cinematic Videogame

Like Hideo Kojima’s prior work, Metal Gear Solid V: Ground Zeroes opens with a claim to videogame auteurism, confidently assuming the artistic import of the introductory text “A Hideo Kojima Game.” Videogames frequently invoke the auteur temperament of cinema, placing credence in the authorial vision of a singular author and further bridging the influence of one medium … Continue reading Sculpting in Time: Metal Gear Solid V: Ground Zeroes & The Cinematic Videogame

Just Can’t Get Enough: Money, Pleasure, and American Dream

American Dream boasts 1980s retro styling and stripped-down gameplay, deceptively simple and harmless elements that nonetheless cloak the deeper lampoon of consumer culture and the trappings of a stock trader simulator and home furnishing game. The game also takes a distanced irony atop its seemingly outmoded aesthetic yet remains bitingly droll in its satirical jabs. American Dream portrays … Continue reading Just Can’t Get Enough: Money, Pleasure, and American Dream

Limited Videogame Heroism or: What Games Can Learn from Noir

I once heard that videogames embody the very essence of noir storytelling, perfecting the genre’s constricting narrative voice. In filtering the audience to a narrow, singularly focalized perspective, videogames evoke the joy of noir storytelling and its deft ability to hold back narrative information through a first-person point of view. An omnipresent camera makes us … Continue reading Limited Videogame Heroism or: What Games Can Learn from Noir

Enter the Void: The Grimy Playfulness of No Wave

Like its titular artistic zeitgeist, No Wave places emphasis on jagged textural substance over narrative and stylistic fluidity. In lieu of offering a clearly marked trail of narrative breadcrumbs, No Wave invites players to tease out meaning from its maniacal imagery and sparse gameplay. Jim, like the player, enters an underground no wave club as … Continue reading Enter the Void: The Grimy Playfulness of No Wave

Gender as Enablement & The Glorious Power Fantasy of Tomb Raider

Upon arming the first handgun of the game, enemies will yell “Oh shit!” or “She’s got a gun!” and therein emerges a newfound clarity and satisfaction: eviscerate the problem if you can’t talk through it anymore. In this way, Tomb Raider presents a welcome power fantasy that imagines a world in which eliminating men who … Continue reading Gender as Enablement & The Glorious Power Fantasy of Tomb Raider

A Game of Gazes: A Closer Look at Killer Is Dead’s “Gigolo Mode”

In the aesthetic strategies of Killer Is Dead’s Gigolo mode, Goichi Suda channels a similarly playful farce that works in the register of social and political commentary. The excessive stylization and over-embellished performances of this segment break audience immersion purposefully. This detachment serves as a means to stir a grander awareness of the game’s farce … Continue reading A Game of Gazes: A Closer Look at Killer Is Dead’s “Gigolo Mode”