Some Very Brief Thoughts on the Hyper Light Drifter Soundtrack

--SPOILERS FOR HYPER LIGHT DRIFTER AHEAD-- First of all, I love the soundtrack to Hyper Light Drifter. Okay, I love the entire game, but the musical score stands out among the things I love about it. The 138-minute-long album was composed by Rich Vreeland (a.k.a. Disasterpeace), previously known for his work on Fez, Mini Metro and the 2014 horror film It Follows. The … Continue reading Some Very Brief Thoughts on the Hyper Light Drifter Soundtrack

Dying Quietly by a Campfire: The Meaning of Death in Hyper Light Drifter

--SPOILERS FOR HYPER LIGHT DRIFTER AHEAD-- You've traversed sky-high mountains and dense forests, killed hordes of villainous creatures, and bested great monsters to get to this point. It was a rough journey full of many defeats and few victories. Now, you enter the Abyss to confront it, your final challenge. As the demonic being rises before you, … Continue reading Dying Quietly by a Campfire: The Meaning of Death in Hyper Light Drifter

“I Don’t Let Men Control Me”: Gender and Sexuality in NieR:Automata

I'm going to provide a short feminist critique on a video game. On the Internet. God help me. As some of you may be aware, video games have a rather complicated relationship with issues of gender and sexuality. Actually, 'complicated' proves to a bit of a euphemism here: many, many games are filled with sexist … Continue reading “I Don’t Let Men Control Me”: Gender and Sexuality in NieR:Automata

“Breathing With Meaning”: What Non-Magical Magic Tells Us About Fantasy Fiction

Last week I wrote about magic, and how the systematisation of video game magic causes the phenomenon to become distinctly non-magical. I focused mainly on magic as a combat mechanic, but my statement that game developers "rewrite the laws of nature in such a way that magic can come to ‘exist’" extends to all forms … Continue reading “Breathing With Meaning”: What Non-Magical Magic Tells Us About Fantasy Fiction

Taking Issue with ‘Magic’ in Video Games

What is magic? Seriously, what is magic? I don't know. Nobody really does. Aside from the question of whether it even really exists in the first place--it doesn't, in case you were wondering--it has always been rather unclear what the term 'magic' exactly means. Magic is always presented as something that is beyond us mere mortals, a phenomenon that bends … Continue reading Taking Issue with ‘Magic’ in Video Games

On the Politics of Gaming and “The Politics of Gaming”

Some phrases I absolutely hate: "Video games are nothing but mindless entertainment." "Gaming is for nerds/losers/boys/kids." "They're just games, right?" Admittedly, I don't hear these phrases very often anymore: most of my friends are either fellow game studies students, fellow gamers or simply open to the idea that video games are a political medium. Those who do still think … Continue reading On the Politics of Gaming and “The Politics of Gaming”