They Think They’re People – Domestication, Wildness and Personified Animals in Breath of Fire

[This piece was written as a part of Critical Distance‘s June 2015 Blogs of the Round Table feature] One day, a hero searching the wilderness (for a meal in a drought? for her missing sister?) stumbles upon a mysterious blue-haired boy. This boy is alien in two ways: he is stark naked and he is completely human. … Continue reading They Think They’re People – Domestication, Wildness and Personified Animals in Breath of Fire

The Ludic Rashomon

A Rashomon, named after Akira Kurosawa’s 1950 film, is a story repeated several times from different characters’ perspectives. Each retelling adds more information from each character until, in the end, a full story emerges. The Rashomon effect is a psychological phenomenon wherein multiple witnesses view the same event but describe it with different or even … Continue reading The Ludic Rashomon

Resource Based Humanity

I can’t remember how many turn-based strategy games I’ve played in a row but these days it seems like the games that excite me the most involve commanding sprites along a grid in small, squad-sized skirmishes. Case in point, the most recent I played was The Banner Saga. In The Banner Saga, the player guides two separate caravans … Continue reading Resource Based Humanity

The Fascist We Deserve: The Authoritarian Ideology of Christopher Nolan’s Dark Knight Trilogy

Director Christopher Nolan’s The Dark Knight trilogy is one of the most respected works of fiction in the past decade, uniting popular and critical audiences in rarely agreed celebration of its value and importance to contemporary fiction. Its exclusion from the 2009 Academy Award “Best Picture” category sparked considerable controversy and even prompted the Academy … Continue reading The Fascist We Deserve: The Authoritarian Ideology of Christopher Nolan’s Dark Knight Trilogy