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against saving, against aspiration

This year, I’ve been a little touchier about games than in the past. I’m tired of violence in games: yes, it’s a classic theme, rich in narrative possibilities; yes, it lends itself to a myriad of success/failure conditions that are rich in gameplay possibilities; but even so, does it have to be quite so dominant? […]

mass effect 3

The first two Mass Effect games were among my favorites of this console generation. Despite that, I’d been rather ambivalent about the approaching third installment in the series for the last year, ever since Mass Effect 2‘s Arrival DLC. Arrival took a series that had always allowed me to express optimism about doing the right […]

fundamental differences with the blogs of the round table

I never participated in the Blogs of the Round Table back when Corvus was running it (at least I don’t think I did?), but I was quite happy to see that, with Corvus’s blessing, Critical Distance is relaunching that feature. So I thought I would take a swing at this month’s theme (provided by Corvus […]

my mass effect 2 romance

I recently listened to the first episode of the Border House podcast (there’s also a transcript available if you prefer), which focused on romance in BioWare games, leading off in particular with a long discussion of the romance options in Mass Effect 2. I very much enjoyed their discussion, but I also got the impression […]

the psychosexuality of rock band vocals

Last month, I talked about the sexuality of my Rock Band avatars. Since then, I’ve been singing an unusual amount, and I’ve realized that, for me personally (as distinct from my avatars in game), singing is sexually charged in a way that the other instruments aren’t. Datum one: when singing in Rock Band, I prefer […]

national coming out day

This month’s theme seems to be “blog about David’s sexuality”; one of my coworkers recently reminded me that National Coming Out Day is today, so let’s just make that theme still more explicit. Because it’s kind of amazing (embarrassing, really) that I’ve written more than 1100 posts on this blog, and this is the first […]

catherine

I’ve already talked about the puzzle gameplay in Catherine; what about the rest of the game? For me, the tone was set with the very first question I got asked in the confessional: “Does life begin or end at marriage?” Which is an analysis of marriage that I would never for a moment consider performing: […]

rearranging mental blocks

Catherine seems to mostly attract interest for reasons related to its narrative, but of course you spend most of your time with the game shoving blocks around in the puzzle mode. I went through it on Normal which, generally speaking, meant: quite difficult. So I failed a lot, but with persistence, I made it through […]