Category Archives : Essays and Features


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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Be the Bob

“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 […]


Three Fauvists

Videogame culture, by and large, still predominantly values representational spatial aesthetics. That is to say that the way spaces and the things in them look, and how we navigate them, are valued for how verisimilar or adjacent to photorealism they are. The culture even still seems to view text-based representation as somewhat radical (despite its […]

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It’s Just a Ride

[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 […]


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On Genre and the Ludic Device

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 […]


Against Flow

At the beginning of Visualizing Feeling: Affect and the Feminine Avant-garde, art historian Susan Best discusses her methodology for tackling the “neglected” area of subjective experience in art criticism, writing, “Assuming the custodianship of feeling in this fashion might seem inevitable or even retrograde given the traditional alignment of femininity with feeling and emotion as […]

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