Social Justice Ice Cream Shoppe

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icecrammm

I made this thing, for Ruin Jam, a game jam by novelist, game designer and speaker Caelyn Sandel. From the site,

“Ruin Jam is a game jam celebrating the nonexistent demise of video games, inspired by a lot of current events and  a certain blog post. It’s open to anyone and everyone who has been, is being, or plans to be accused of ruining the games industry. All Ruiners are welcome to contribute to the death of video games, provided that they adhere to the spirit of the jam.”

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Why Comments Are Banned, And Always Fucking Will Be

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dontread

The internet, we’ve all been told, is this mass democratizing conversation within a big virtual park. Anyone is allowed to participate (sort of)!

We are told it’s an intangible space where people can safely share their opinions, innermost thoughts, and pornography (again, sort of). The internet is a place where people can congregate, form communities, escape the burdens of everyday life, and most of all, be heard. Continue reading

Behind the Red Velvet Curtain

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blacklodgehorse

[TW: This piece contains discussion of sexual abuse, trauma, misogyny, transphobia and racism]

“A day in the FBI was never like this before! You are Special Agent Dale Cooper and you’ve found yourself trapped inside the Black Lodge, a surreal and dangerous place between worlds. Try as you might, you can’t seem to find anything but the same room and hallway no matter which way you turn. Worse yet, your doppleganger is in hot pursuit! You have no choice but to keep running through the room and hallway (or is it more than one?) and above all else, don’t let your doppleganger touch you!”

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Jupiter is a Failed Star because It Didn’t Want It Hard Enough

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Screenshot_2014-08-09-21-09-27

I finally adopted the cat in Kim Kardashian: Hollywood. It took twenty Kim coins—one of three purchasable in-game currencies that I can use to buy clothing, accessories, furniture or goodwill from NPCs.

I didn’t actually pay real money for these coins, the primary reason being that I’m broke, and the game’s alternate coin-gathering method of downloading sponsored apps wasn’t being very responsive. So I worked for those coins. I tapped my way through photoshoots and mastered the catwalk. Whenever I ran out of energy—a blue lightning bolt constituting probably the most important in-game currency, since without it you can’t do much—I would fly coast to coast scrounging for energy in bushes, behind fire hydrants, et cetera. All the while I’m on the A-list, mired in a celebrity feud, and jetsetting around completing modeling contracts. Continue reading

A Special Radio Transmission: The Cult of the New and Climbing “Mountain”

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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.

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Daydreaming is Healthy: An Apology for Wasting Time

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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

Aluminum Smile

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GIF made in the "Become A Great Artist in Just 10 Seconds!" tool by Andi McClure and Michael Brough.

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