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 […]
[TW: This piece discusses death, trauma, claustrophobia, panic and anxiety.] There’s this episode of The Twilight Zone called “The Hitch-hiker” from 1960 in which a woman named Nan Adams is driving from New York to California. At the beginning of the episode, a kindly mechanic is jacking her tire, making small talk, and instructing her […]
By Omar Elaasar Sufficiently Human’s latest guest post comes to us from Chicago-based writer, artist, video producer, and Editor-in-Chief of clickbliss.net , Omar Elaasar. You can find him him on Twitter, Medium and YouTube as @siegarettes. In this piece, Elaasar discusses the aesthetic and expressive potential of drawing from theater, particularly the set and stage, in […]
It’s about time I addressed this as an essay. When I mean to refer to a game’s internal consistency, logic—or lack thereof—I say “(in)coherence.” When I mean to refer to the unification of a game’s moving parts—or lack thereof—I say “(in)coherence.”
I’ve been wondering about genre labels like “first-person action-adventure procedural puzzle game with platforming elements” for some time now. I’ve been wondering if they describe anything in particular anymore. I’ve been wondering for some time now what a platform does for a videogame that’s different from what, say, parataxis, does for verse. I don’t mean […]
[This piece contains heavy spoilers!] It would feel like a categorical mistake to focus on SURREALISTa as a “puzzle platformer.” Strictly speaking, it contains both the ludic devices of puzzle-solving and platforming, and so one inclined to focus on its value as a game may be tempted to lavish attention on these qualities. But—and I […]