Category: Blog

Diversity through Systems?

“But, an unpopular question lingers, one that Maxis’s closure calls to mind. Why must we have characters in games at all? Or, more gently put, why have we assumed that the only or primary path to video-game diversity and sophistication lies in its representation of individuals as opposed to systems and circumstances? In truth, we’ve all but abandoned the work… Read more →

January-Term Course: A Recap

This past January, I taught a week-long January term course entitled “Winners Don’t Smash Buttons: A Video Game Practicum.” This blog post is a summary of what happened over the course of the week; if you’re interested in reading a digital essay on the experience, the course website (gaming.5colldh.org) explores issues of death, reincarnation, play, and so much more. Course syllabus… Read more →

concept map of criteria for historical fiction game

Carving Out A Space (With Hidden Blades)

What does it mean to understand the Assassin’s Creed video games as works of historical fiction? To what extent can other forms of historical adaptation shape our perception of these games? How does the medium of the video game complicate our notions of what history and historical adaptation are? What’s at stake in engaging with the particular historical settings and… Read more →

Passing, Passing, Gone: LIM and Boundaries

 (Credit goes to Edmond Chang, who was the one to point me towards LIM in his lecture “(Un)Loving Mechanics: Queerness + Straightwashing  in Digital Games”. )   The other day, I tried search for a synonym for “going by.”   Which got me thinking:     And games that do a good job of representing the struggles that come from inhabiting a liminal… Read more →

The_Critical_Is Roundup

At The_Critical_Is_ Simulation, Death vs. Desynchronization, and Historical Trauma “But even within this repetition, the game does not let us forget that nothing we are experiencing is “real”–the human player is not only one step removed from the “real event”, the step constituted by the television and game console, but is about four steps removed from what the game considers… Read more →

Simulation, Death vs. Desynchronization, and Historical Trauma

Assassin’s Creed easily has the most confusing multiple level narrative I’ve ever encountered, whether in a game, a television show, a movie or a book. Picking up where my last post left off, the game hinges on the fact that this entire adventure is a simulation. We, the player, are about three steps removed from any sort of “real” gameplay–we are… Read more →

The_Critical_Is Roundup

On The_Critical_Is Do You Know What You’re Playing?, by CG “Do you know what you’re playing? A simple enough question you might ask, one that I would normally squint at and hesitantly say “Yes” to as I turn on the console to play whatever game I’m working on. These days, that game is Assassin’s Creed, specifically Liberation, a PSP-Vita turned PS3… Read more →

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Do You Know What You’re Playing?

Do you know what you’re playing? A simple enough question you might ask, one that I would normally squint at and hesitantly say “Yes” to as I turn on the console to play whatever game I’m working on. These days, that game is Assassin’s Creed, specifically Liberation, a PSP-Vita turned PS3 spinoff of the main series. The historical-action-stealth video game… Read more →

The_Critical_Is Roundup

at the_critical_is GUEST POST: Constructions of Gamer Identity in Popular Television “Penny exemplifies the stereotype of the desexualized female gamer—she has not showered in days, has no idea what day it is, and feels no shame in eating stale Cheetos out of her unbrushed hair.[4] This desexualization of Penny is unique to her, as Raj, Leonard and Howard who all play… Read more →