On Uneven Comparisons

Yesterday, Ian Bogost published a piece on The Atlantic suggesting that games should drop storytelling altogether. It’s a baffling argument that talks down to the medium and its audience, suggesting that targeting teenage audiences precludes depth and excellence can only be achieved through repackaging classic ideas in novel ways. I could ask why he thinks …

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Snackline Media 2017: Jen Takes on the Food

Another April 1st, another Snackline Media! Jen struck out with every item she chose, but her pain is your gain. Bai: Tanzania Lemonade Tea I honestly can’t think of a drink with a more obnoxious presentation. Before you even open the cap, you’re pelted with phrases like “Antioxidant Supertea,” “Nature’s Caffeine” and “Fan-favored flavor that …

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Jen’s Games of the Year 2016

Writers are often prone to hyperbole, but I don’t think anyone will object that 2016 was one of the wildest years I’ve ever experienced. At the tail end of September, I finally came out as a woman to the rest of the world, and the positive response wiped away one decade of fear that I …

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Love in the City

In one of the grislier Grand Theft Auto V missions, you infiltrate LifeInvader, a “clever” clone of Facebook where employees air-guitar near their cubicles and admonish folks who can’t sit in beanbag chairs for not fitting the company vision. After tampering with a prototype phone and driving home, you’re treated to fake Mark Zuckerberg blowing …

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Scanline Plays Virginia

After a lengthy hiatus and several technical difficulties, Colin and I are back with another playthrough! This time, we took a look at Virginia, a short adventure that mixes the small-town charm of Twin Peaks with the quick jump cuts of Thirty Flights of Loving. Though we both came away with mixed feelings, this expedient game has its charms, …

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The Silver Case Review: Kill the Past

Out of all the “auteur” game developers that have bounced around over the last few decades, Suda51 (Goichi Suda) felt like he stood out. Sure, his latest work is more focused on titillation than anything else (how else do you explain a repeating minigame dedicated to ogling your character’s companions?), but back when Killer7 and …

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A Personal Announcement

Today marks a significant change for me. Effective immediately, I am transitioning from Joseph Benjamin Unkle III to Jennifer Unkle, or Jen for short, and will be assuming she/her pronouns. My article bylines, as well as all future video/podcast content, will reflect this transition. This change will undoubtedly be surprising to some, while others have …

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The Turing Test: Reports from Europa

For a game ostensibly meant to challenge both the player and their avatar, The Turing Test sets itself up to be evaluated in a field with its own high standards. Stop me if you’ve heard this one before: a scientist, joined by an artificial intelligence with questionable motives, journey through a series of first-person puzzle …

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No Man’s Sky: The Magic Behind the Mundane

If you’ve been tuned into the conversation around No Man’s Sky for the past few weeks, you’ve likely seen disappointment and anger mix with excitement and wonder. Any game selling itself on exploring an endless number of planets was bound to be divisive; that it didn’t quite hit the lofty goals mentioned in interviews or …

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