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Feature

The Year in Feels

If we had access to some grand compendium filled with every single emotion that videogames make us feel, it would probably waste most of its words trying to describe fun. But as a concept, fun is primitive. Fun is escape. Like a dog chasing a tennis ball or a crow sliding down a tin roof, fun is intuitive. Fun is smashing your thumb down on the square button while Kratos slings around his orange blades. Fun is nailing that QTE and watching Kratos pull out the cyclops’ eye. Fun is when the red blobs come out and makes Kratos stronger,…

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Article

Against child protagonists

Videogames don’t like people. Of that, the overwhelming amount of fantasy, war and sci-fi games, the ones set around goblins, androids and super-soldiers—the ones patently uninterested in real human beings—are proof enough. But even when games profess an interest in personhood and human experience they avoid substantive fiction. Everybody’s Gone to the Rapture seems to focus on a village in England, and the relationships between the people that live there, but the people are all dead and instead of seeing them and how they interact with one another you find, merely, their ghosts and some recordings of their voices. Gone…

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News

What’s going on over at The Chinese Room?

A lot is going on at The Chinese Room at the moment. Perhaps not as much as before Everybody’s Gone to the Rapture was released, or necessarily more than any other studio out there, but what is going on is being documented in surprisingly personal and honest blogs. This is going to start off grim and then slowly get less grim, so stick with it. We begin with the studio’s co-founder Jessica Curry who had a “horribly hard post to write.” In short, she’s leaving (sort of), but will continue to compose music for the studio’s games.  “I was so…

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News

This week’s Playlist pick finds beauty in the end of the world

Sign up to receive each week’s Playlist e-mail here! Also check out our full, interactive Playlist section. Everybody’s Gone to the Rapture (PS4)  BY The Chinese Room and SCE Sonta Monica Studio The reclaiming of the term “walking simulator” is a great example of a community turning something derogatory into something positive. The label, given to games that focus on environmental storytelling like Dear Esther, was meant to deride interactive experiences that lack high scores and point systems. Walking is boring, the joke assumes, and thus any game that merely simulates this mundane activity is not worth anyone’s time. Creators like…