Hideo Kojima, Part 3: Deconstructing Video Games

As we discussed in a previous post, Hideo Kojima is the first game designer to create a Postmodern video game. Postmodernism is an artistic movement that began in earnest in the late 20th Century, though its roots go all the way back to the 1910s with Dadaism and Surrealism, such as Rene Magritte's The Treachery … Continue reading Hideo Kojima, Part 3: Deconstructing Video Games

Hideo Kojima, Part 2: The Surreal Art of the Visual Metaphor

In 2012, Kojima said in an interview with The Guardian that he has a highly active imagination, and that even in adulthood he has to keep his mind from wandering off and making its own stories. He even paused during the interview to discreetly share what was going through his head at that very moment … Continue reading Hideo Kojima, Part 2: The Surreal Art of the Visual Metaphor

Hideo Kojima, Part 1: How a Film Geek Makes Video Games

Hideo Kojima's Instagram bio states, "Game Creator: 70% of my body is made of movies." As we've recently learned, Kojima's love for movies runs deep into his childhood. It has stayed with him through difficult times like when his father passed away, or when he was striving to make it as a game designer. They … Continue reading Hideo Kojima, Part 1: How a Film Geek Makes Video Games

The Life and Times of Hideo Kojima

The 1963 film High and Low begins with a renowned Japanese shoemaker, Mr. Gondo, sitting in a luxurious living room. He is surrounded by his fellow company shareholders. Dozens of shoes pile up on the center table. Between puffs of cigarettes, the men discuss how to move their shoe company forward, and the conversation quickly … Continue reading The Life and Times of Hideo Kojima

Eric Barone’s Baa-rilliant Stardew Valley

Eric Barone is the Cinderella of indie game developers. He started out working in a basement with a cardboard box for a desk to selling 10 million copies of his game, Stardew Valley, worldwide. Oh, and he did it by himself. 10 million in sales is a number usually achieved by AAA studios with hundreds … Continue reading Eric Barone’s Baa-rilliant Stardew Valley

Toby Fox’s Undertale: The Birth of a Sensation

The featured image above is a screenshot from fan animation project Glitchtale: Season 1 Episode 1, animated by jakei and superyoumna and uploaded by Camila Cuevas. All artwork will be credited with links in the Further Reading / Sources section. Undertale is one of the most popular indie game of the 2010s -- after Minecraft, … Continue reading Toby Fox’s Undertale: The Birth of a Sensation

Keita Takahashi: The Goofy and Loveable Black Sheep of Game Designers

In 2004, years before the birth of the indie game scene, years before people began debating whether video games counted as art, Keita Takahashi gave the world Katamari Damacy. The video game industry hasn't been the same since. Keita Takahashi at PAX West in 2018 showing a demo of Wattam, his most recent game If … Continue reading Keita Takahashi: The Goofy and Loveable Black Sheep of Game Designers

Gone Home: A Featureless Game, or an Avant-Garde Story?

In 2012, three AAA video game developers left their jobs and started an indie studio in Portland, Oregon. They called themselves Fullbright. Their goal was to create a new way to experience video game stories. Their games Gone Home and Tacoma would help lay the ground work for a new controversial genre, the bane of … Continue reading Gone Home: A Featureless Game, or an Avant-Garde Story?

What Remains of Edith Finch – A House Haunted by Reality

Part of what makes Literature (the kind you read in English class) so enduring is how two readers can view a story from completely different perspectives, and the text could provide evidence to support both conclusions. For example, when Hamlet encounters his father's ghost demanding revenge on his murder, you could argue that Hamlet literally … Continue reading What Remains of Edith Finch – A House Haunted by Reality

Zen and the Art of Thatgamecompany

Welcome to one of my new experiments for the year! I'm trying to cross-breed my one-off reviews and my developer case studies, the ones that span multiple posts. So with these, I will 1) share what I learned about the developers of iconic games, and 2) give my interpretations of their works. It'll be a … Continue reading Zen and the Art of Thatgamecompany