Distraction, Consumption, Identity: The Neoliberal Language of Videogames

In passing I’ve referred to the videogame industry as neoliberalism’s hideous nephew. Artist Liz Ryerson has gone into more depth on this sentiment; she’s written at length to this effect on her blog, and tweeted that “the language of videogames is neoliberalism” not long ago. It’s an easy observation to make, so plenty of critics […]

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https://www.flickr.com/photos/126377022@N07/14746320396/

Guest Post: The Videogame and The Oracle

By Henrique Antero Henrique Antero is a Brazilian writer who would probably have a hard time distinguishing between a bug and a message from the gods. He is trying to string words into coherent sentences—but rarely on his Twitter, where you can reach him @erniquoa. I’ve always had a major problem making up my mind, […]


Prince Had A Videogame, Here’s How You Can Run It

Prince Interactive came out in 1994, during a brief period where everyone and their dog had a CD-ROM game. In the same period between 1994-1998, CD-ROM games were released by the likes of Peter Gabriel, Laurie Anderson and DEVO, as much for creative and experimental purposes as for promotional ones. As a graphic puzzle adventure […]

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Notes on Military-Industrial Complex: Finger on the Button

REPVBLIC’s Military-Industrial Complex attempts to pull off the notoriously difficult task of creating a trenchant, coherent and funny political satire in the context of a videogame. It resembles, in some ways, a Mason Lindroth game: aesthetically, it reflects that grainy black-and-white palette and texture typical of Lindroth, but in more of a topical, pop art […]


Notes on Shadow of the Red Hand: Gesture as Fable

From a ludic point of view, Andrew Wang’s Shadow of the Red Hand is a fairly conventional platformer. It’s short, having been made in a weekend for Ludum Dare 35, and can be played in a matter of minutes, and it does what it’s supposed to. Entertain yourself for a spell by running right for […]

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Notes on Cho-Am: The Myth of Closure

[TW: discussion of genocidal violence, exploitation] My body is nearly featureless and glowing like a light bulb. I think I’m tall; I’m definitely bald. My expression is fixedly placid, a little dreamy. I’m not sure if I’m some kind of ghost, but it feels ephemeral. Nothing feels particularly solid or permanent. The camera is generally […]


Notes on CUBEISM: Shapes of Grey

CUBEISM is a browser-based Unity game by Pat Stefaniak (a.k.a Sutopat) consisting of, as the itch.io page describes it, one cube and multiple cameras. It loads to a low thrumming drone, like the hum of a cathode ray tube, while in fact two grey cubes of equal size appear projected on a black background. Using […]

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Guest Post: Gradius III and Impossible Difficulty as an Avant-Garde Texture

By LeeRoy Lewin This latest guest post comes to us from game developer LeeRoy Lewin. Lewin is a member of  Washington-based dev collective VEXTRO and a regular contributor to JRPGs Are Dead. You can play his poem-game, Into the Mouth of Silence, on itch.io, and follow him at @wasnotwhynot. When difficulty in videogames is considered, it’s usually in terms […]


i want to make games for people who read

(It’s been awhile since I posted a Twine poem, but I was recently inspired by a certain quote on the matter of making certain kinds of games for certain kinds of people. )

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Notes on An Evening of Modern Dance: Deliberate Gestures

Joseph Parker’s An Evening of Modern Dance presents itself, at least at first glance, with all the self-serious trappings of the real form on which it’s based. The stage before you is dark, stark, with a mise en scène that’s empty save for the dancers and the spotlights trained on them. There’s a classic red curtain and an apron, and the wall-to-wall smoothness of Unity textures make the place feel unreal, serene, and ghostly, as if carved from clay and finely sanded.