The New Weird and racist structures

Recently, I published a piece on IGN about Control and the weird and “New Weird” subgenre of horror. To me, what makes this such an essential genre is how it taps into the two conflicting realisations: our need for answers and our recognition of the vastness and weirdness of the universe in which we live, … Continue reading The New Weird and racist structures

Call of Duty and separating art from politics

The yearning for the separation of art and politics is one held by those for whom the status quo is their foundation. To be reminded that alternative perspectives not only exist, but are forced to exist by virtue of an individual's identity threads holes in the comfort the yearners drape over themselves; a comfort that … Continue reading Call of Duty and separating art from politics

Stop making me kill animals

Assassin’s Creed: Odyssey is one of my favourite games but after slaughtering my 6,000th boar, I realised it was playing into an aspect of open world games I wish would end: killing animals. Ubisoft, in particular, is a great offender with its Far Cry franchise requiring characters to hunt down innocent creatures for their “pelts”, … Continue reading Stop making me kill animals

Difficulty Isn’t Personality: From Software Games Can Be Better than This?

The conversation surrounding From Software’s “Soulsborne” genre is one of the strangest in gaming culture: Should it have an “easy” mode? Is it “too hard”? Are people suckered into thinking their games are good, when it might be a kind of self-delusion to justify spending hours on menial tasks to overcome unnecessarily powerful enemies? I … Continue reading Difficulty Isn’t Personality: From Software Games Can Be Better than This?

On Red Dead Redemption and historical accuracy

In Red Dead Online (RD:O), players who take on the role of black characters find themselves the frequent target of racial slurs. This is hardly news to most of us. The toxicity of the gaming community is nothing of not notorious; a known gateway drug to more noxious forms of bigotry. Gamers either dive headfirst … Continue reading On Red Dead Redemption and historical accuracy

The meaning of death and Red Dead Redemption 2

Major spoilers for Red Dead Redemption 2 up to the Epilogue Part 1. Video games are nothing if not weird. They love to tell us our playable character has “died” when the character’s life-bar has depleted, whereas the characters are just temporarily unavailable until we reload a checkpoint or saved game. Most of the time, … Continue reading The meaning of death and Red Dead Redemption 2

Should games get lower review scores for poor labour practices?

Simply: Yes. I don't review games with scores or numbers, but it seems strange to assert criticism  should be looked at in isolation from the energy that went into it. Whatever aspect of a game you're engaged with, someone created it. While of course love and passion were no doubt part of the reason it … Continue reading Should games get lower review scores for poor labour practices?