2017 was a remarkably hectic year for many, and 2018 will likely match or surpass its pace. Not surprisingly, I found it difficult to justify focusing, as I do, on fringe, alternative games, and hard to keep up my old enthusiasm for seeking out works that get little play even in my own professional milieu. […]
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 […]
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 […]
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 […]
(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. )
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.
Welcome to episode 2 of Ways of Playing! Continuing my investigation into the works of Osamu Sato and OutSide Games, this episode takes a somewhat truncated look at their first ever release. Metaphysical questions abound in this atmospheric 1994 adventure game about self-actualization and spiritual growth. Eastern Mind: The Lost Souls of Tong-Nou draws from an indulgent mix of aesthetic, literary and religious influences, as well as an impish (maybe even downright mean) sense of humour to bring its themes home. Considering how much there is to discover in this game, I only hope I did it justice.
2015 was a strange and not altogether good year for games (among other things). But, if nothing else, it offered up so many great little gems that I had to stop myself from letting this year’s roundup grow to unmanageable proportions.
[TW: This piece contains a reference to suicide and self-harm. Also, spoilers abound as always.] Homesickened is a cruel and beautiful game. In it, the player must embody the fixed, first-person role of an unnamed protagonist visiting their hometown for the first time in what I interpret to be a long time. The player begins with a […]
“All it takes is just a little change of perspective and you begin to see a whole new world.” -Bob Ross, The Joy of Painting The much-reported Twitch stream marathon of legendary PBS show, The Joy of Painting, introduced the perm, dulcet tones and painting expertise of Bob Ross to a new and perhaps unlikely […]