The invisible women of videogames

When I was a young girl, I read an anecdote about Lara Croft—it said that her iconic look was created when her designer wanted to enlarge her breasts by 50 percent but accidentally entered 150 percent in the window. When he saw the effect he decided that it was great and that’s how the heroine should look—and thus the legend was born. I don’t know if that’s true, but it’s plausible, and the fact that it is tells us something about female characters in videogames, and how we think about women in general. Or maybe—how we look at them. It’s…

Mirrors edge art

Mirror’s Edge and the politics of parkour

As world design in games nowadays trends towards visions of vast, sprawling overworlds, intricately layered and impeccably nuanced, questions of mobility have risen to the forefront: how does the player get from point A to point B in the most efficient way possible? Questions of speed are of paramount concern, of course; no one likes to be held up unnecessarily in pursuit of some arbitrary objective. But, as in any art, games too must also be concerned with not just raw efficiency, but beauty as well: it’s not enough to just get there, but to get there in style, preferably…


FutureGrind’s joyous bloodsport is worth the death toll

Following in the footsteps of last year’s rocket-car soccer game Rocket League, FutureGrind is set to be the next entry in over-the-top sports games that are built around being as dope as possible. With its bright neon colors, rad beats, and sick flips, FutureGrind imagines a future where the trappings of the EDM club have merged with motocross to become a national pastime. It’s a time and place where riders perform dangerous and sometimes lethal stunts to the bewilderment of thousands watching at home. Sure, FutureGrind may be about a game of death, but it’s about a game of death…


Looks like you’ll still be punching plenty of dudes in Mirror’s Edge: Catalyst

“Don’t get into any scraps,” a voice tells Faith over her comm about a minute into the latest trailer for Mirror’s Edge: Catalyst. Yet, by now, we’ve already seen Faith take out three guards, with more to come. Though most of the trailer is focused on the series’ signature parkour, it does bookend itself with combat sections, opening and closing on notes of violence. It’s all thrilling enough to look at, but also a little dispiriting, at least for some of us. The first Mirror’s Edge was an exciting departure for DICE, most well-known for the Battlefield series, as it…


How could you not love a game with a hook-shot gravity beam?

The developers of A Story About My Uncle understand something vital: there is no better tool/weapon/means-of-locomotion-in-a-game than a grappling beam. The new trailer reveals the platformer has you latching on to tiny land masses and levitating cubes in an attempt to cross deep chasms the way your uncle did. The play style strikes me as something between the first-person leaping of Mirror’s Edge and the parts of Metroid Prime when you were swinging from an electricity beam, but without the quicktime-events of the former and the clumsiness of the latter. You might remember this title as a standout student project…