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

Press Reset Book Review: The Creative Business Oxymoron

Press Reset is a nonfiction book documenting the closings of several different video game studios across the United States during the 2010s. It was written by video game journalist Jason Schreier and published by Grand Central Publishing in May 2021. Another book review! If you remember my review of Jason Schreier's Blood, Sweat, and Pixels, … Continue reading Press Reset Book Review: The Creative Business Oxymoron

How To Read a Video Game: The Hideo Kojima Preview

What makes a game good? No, really, what makes a game worth talking about and remain worth talking about? What makes a game stay around for decades instead of fading away into obscurity after its launch week? Most of the discourse around video games are reviews, Top 10s, and analyses. Those certainly have a place … Continue reading How To Read a Video Game: The Hideo Kojima Preview

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

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?

Spiritfarer: Almost a Masterpiece

Spiritfarer is a island exploration / boat management game developed and published by Thunder Lotus. It was released in August 2020 on the PS4, Xbox One, PC, and Nintendo Switch. It costs $25. I played the Nintendo Switch version. Death in inevitable, and its timing is uncertain. What then, should you do with your life? … Continue reading Spiritfarer: Almost a Masterpiece

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