The Joys of Agony

In the seven months since Nier: Automata’s release, I’ve played through a number of heavy-hitters and memorable gems alike, yet none have had the same level of permanence. The wounds left by Yoko Taro’s depressing masterpiece never closed: “Vague Hope (Cold Rain)” still makes me tear up without fail, and few things give me greater …

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#WeGotThis

  Dear Trans Friends, It’s been a long week, huh? We spent most of Monday and Tuesday on pins and needles, hoping beyond hope that the latest Republican plan to break our health care would bleed out on the floor (it didn’t). This morning, Trump saw an opportunity to sink the knife deeper and attack …

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Snackline Media: Jolly Rancher Pop-Tarts

My last report for Snackline Media culminated with the most miserable breakfast item I’ve ever had the displeasure of tasting: a Pop-Tart filled with coffee-flavored goop, perfectly engineered to spread its chemical taste across your whole mouth in seconds. I yelped and threw the remainder in the trash, certain that I was done with these …

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An Assassin’s Folly

If you were an average nobody framed for a high-profile assassination, how would you clear your name? Would you let the police arrest you, then pray that your legal defense pulls through? Maybe you’d lay low and hire a hacker, certain that the true culprit left a trail of crumbs leading straight to your salvation! …

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When You’re Smiling

By now, you’re probably familiar with Battle Royale or one of its many derivatives: a group of young people are stranded across a massive, inescapable zone littered with weapons, and are charged with killing the rest if they hope to survive. As their numbers are whittled down, friend turns against friend, unexpected romance blooms, and …

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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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