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

Imagine the Power: Disembodied Violence in Fantasy Traditions

Violence is paramount to maintaining fantasy and disembodied violence is a pillar of the fantasy genre. Disembodied violence is the celebration of violent power, or the expression of violent power against unthinking but vaguely human-shaped antagonists; it’s the kind of violence that isn’t really violent because it doesn’t take place against another person. Take Iron Man 2: in the … Continue reading Imagine the Power: Disembodied Violence in Fantasy Traditions

Cities of Magic

I’m not sure how to define cyberpunk. Oh, I can recognize it, but I’m not sure if I know how to pare it down to a digestible one-sentence review. I know that I can easily look the answer up online, but I’m more interested in how people categorize it not as a list of features … Continue reading Cities of Magic

A Place of Refreshment: A reading of the bathroom scene in Binary Domain

About two-thirds of the way through Binary Domain, the player enters the evil Amada Corporation’s tower of evil. It’s a sleek, modern, generic company headquarters. The player walks by a bathroom and a teammate, Shindo, halts the team’s progress so he can step inside to make use of it. During this time, security attacks the rest … Continue reading A Place of Refreshment: A reading of the bathroom scene in Binary Domain