In this episode, Zolani Stewart and I discuss the hyperaccelerated culture of games writing, the preoccupation with “newness” or immediacy in videogames as a capitalist myth, the importance of historical and cross-comparative study, and how to talk about games like Mountain in that context. “Context” must be an important concept here because I’m pretty sure I say it like 900 times.
I’ve found that lately, when I’m bored or stoned or anxious, I end up pouring a lot of my energy into Patatap. It’s a music creation tool that works in-browser and mixes clean, geometric visuals with sound samples that are each mapped to keys on your keyboard for you to play around with. (I’ve heard it works well on a tablet but I don’t own one). You can make a clever, aurally and visually interesting beat. Or you can hit all the keys at once like hammering down on a piano, just to see the shapes and colours converge in cacophony. Continue reading
Black Square on Whitespace is a Twine piece inspired by Kazimir Malevich’s painting, “Black Square,” featured in my previous post. There are no links, but hovering your cursor over the text will make it disappear.
Many thanks to Leon Arnott for providing the macros I used and for his superhero-like willingness to answer my annoying questions.
(TW: Discussion of sexual harassment, domestic abuse) Continue reading
This is not Phil Fish giving the finger next to CliffyB;
This is not the tale of a man hunting the white whale.
This is not your Indie Success Story.
He stands in front of the Hype Machine as it pulses and whirs. He cracks open his energy drink, the can clammy from condensation. The sweat from his fingers glides across the aluminum lip. If it weren’t for the whirring, gurgling buzz of the Machine, the transfixed crowd would hear him gulping between sighs of refreshed “Ah!’s”.
The Machine would open soon. Continue reading
Nicholas and Jerrod Galanin form the contemporary art duo, Leonard Getinthecar. From Sitka, Alaska, the two produce works meditating on indigenous identity in the modern world and the narrative construction of history from their perspectives as part ethnically Tlingit, part Aleut, but also “American.”
I’ve been thinking about E.T. as an alien. E.T. is a thing from another place, an other, but also a scientist. E.T. isn’t his name, it’s his designation. We don’t know his name, but he specializes in botany and likes candy. He’s a friend to children. He’s telekinetic, and quick enough to hide from the government and pick up English from watching TV. We don’t know his name and maybe if we did we couldn’t even say it. He’s only what humans can imagine him to be: Extra Terrestrial. He’s a curiosity, maybe a threat, and definitely the main character in a really good story. He, if he’s even a “he,” is all the labels we assign to him. Continue reading
We were all still laughing at around 3 a.m, doing tequila shots in my friend’s parents’ basement. Our car had broken down at a truck stop about 100 kilometers into Ontario in a small rural town called Ingleside. There was some mechanical issue with the driver’s Ford Focus—a known issue with that model which causes the automated security system to jam and the key not to turn in the ignition. The quaintly foul-mouthed gas station attendant did all he could, as did a Ford mechanic who happened to stop by. Nothing, from jerking the steering wheel to unplugging and replugging the battery, would budge it. “That’s really fuckin’ weird,” the attendant ultimately concluded with all the delivery of a Canadian stereotype.
Consider soup. Think about the feelings soup conjures when you imagine it. Warmth, comfort, satisfaction, remedy, safety, hominess. We have, as with all things, an ideological relationship with soup. Soup is a foodstuff but it’s more than sustenance. Like bread or wine, soup occupies a specific social and ritual identity. It’s a first course, or something to eat when sick, or something to warm when cold—and I declare that from a firmly westernized point-of-view. Every region, it seems, has its take on soup and its use for soup. The stock takes on the flavours of culture and geography, from miso to chicken bouillabaisse. The collective imagination for soup is something liquid and hot—excluding cold varieties like gazpacho. It’s domestic, even gendered. It’s something mom makes. It’s a staple. It has an earthiness. Continue reading
TW: This article contains discussion of violent sexual acts and mental health issues.
When I was a kid I was shown how to run my fingers through a flame without getting burned. It’s something I still like to do for fun, though I recall more than one occasion when the habit caused people in my company to grimace. But the light stinging sensation feels good, like the feeling of a fistful of my hair pulled back, forcing my back upright.