Playing with the Trickster

“They are the lords of in-between. A trickster does not live near the hearth; he does not live in the halls of justice, the soldier’s tent, the shaman’s hut, the monastery. He passes through each of these when there is a moment of silence, and he enlivens each with mischief, but he is not their guiding spirit. He is the spirit of the doorway leading out, and of the crossroad at the edge of town.” – Lewis Hyde /// Adam Jensen is a serious man. He has no time to spare; a helicopter is waiting for him as we speak.…


Knotting into Dishonored’s decaying city

Heterotopias is a series of visual investigations into virtual spaces performed by artist and writer Gareth Damian Martin. /// There is no such thing as a total vision of a city. Statistics, guidebooks, politicians, newspapers, tourists, maps, and surveys like to suggest otherwise, but theirs is a constricted world, an incomplete image. Those of us who live in cities know very well of their tendency to conceal and reveal themselves with unexpected rhythms, as if at random—surprising us with new configurations and revelations, shifting prism-like with the passing of time or the changing of the light. Perhaps that’s why the most…


The “New Weird” In Videogames

Defining a genre is a troubled process the moment a discussion of its elements begin. Those nebulous divisions that separate detective and gothic fiction, science fiction and horror, adventure and fantasy; all seem built on shaky foundations as tropes and archetypes bleed into each other. More often than not, studying the progression and evolution of genres begins with the understanding that such genres are seldom fixed, codified strictures. Such was the case in 2003 when a group of writers began an online conversation about a genre known as the “New Weird.” Though the New Weird, like almost every other genre,…


The Old City is a game about thinking, and walking, but mostly thinking

A causal reading of The Old City‘s trailer suggests an existential stroll through the Old World—a mix of the pensive, first-person, narrative-driven exploration of Dear Esther with the burnt sienna of Dishonored. There might be a dash of La Jetée in there too. It sounds like one of those games that’s content to let you simply be. To quote the developers PostMod, “There are no weapons, no items, and no skill-trees.” But there is a beached whale that looks like it was painted in oil. And isolation. And the mind-body problem, which apparently is an issue for avatars too.