The Problem with Men and Feminism, as Illustrated by Two Conversations in The Witcher 3

The Problem with Men and Feminism, as Illustrated by Two Conversations in The Witcher 3

-- SPOILERS FOR THE WITCHER 3: HEARTS OF STONE -- I have Geralt visit his long-time friend Shani at her home in Oxenfurt. He encounters her in the middle of a business conversation with a group of Redanian soldiers, who have enlisted her help to brew a potent antivenom. When she leaves the room to prepare the … Continue reading The Problem with Men and Feminism, as Illustrated by Two Conversations in The Witcher 3

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What about Education? Shifting Away from ‘Violence in Video Games’

What about Education? Shifting Away from ‘Violence in Video Games’

Today, the position of video games within general popular culture remains somewhat precarious. Gaming is already 'mainstream', but its position as such isn't as consistently present in the public eye as older media—and arguably, not even as strong as some more recently popularised media like online social media and video platforms, despite the fact that, … Continue reading What about Education? Shifting Away from ‘Violence in Video Games’

Some Very Brief Thoughts on the Hyper Light Drifter Soundtrack

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

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 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. As some of you may be aware, video games have a rather complicated relationship with issues of gender and sexuality. Actually, 'complicated' proves to be a bit of a euphemism here: many, many games are filled with sexist and downright misogynistic imagery. Too … 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

“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

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”

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”