Death and Form

André Breton, living amidst the eccentric artistic scene of Paris in 1929, wrote in his Second Manifesto of Surrealism, “The simplest surrealist act consists of running down into the street, pistols in hand, and firing blindly, as fast as you can pull the trigger, into the crowd.” I kept this passage in the back of … Continue reading Death and Form

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through knotty copyright laws and even more difficult problems restoring, marketing, and operating games from outdated technologies.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