Fear of a videogame dystopia

Some weeks ago, a piece of news shook my world. It wasn’t the primary election results, nor was it Muhammad “The Greatest” Ali’s passing—even though that one was really, really sad. Nope, it was a parrot. CBS reported on June 10th that Bud, an African grey parrot who kept repeating the phrase ‘don’t fucking shoot’ after his owner was murdered, could become a witness in trial. We all read bizarre stories online every day, but this one instantly reminded me of a Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney (2001) case, where a parrot testifies in court—and there’s more to the parallel too,…

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Protest your innocence in a new nonlinear courtroom drama

Bohemian Killing, released last week on Steam, is a game about being guilty. More specifically, it’s a game about being guilty and then convincing a court of law that you’re not. A courtroom drama that wants to avoid both Phoenix Wright camp and Law & Order plodding dullness, the main draw of the game is not discovering who committed murder or why, but instead constructing a lie believable—or not—enough to exonerate yourself. Your past is known; your testimony is malleable, and eager to be manipulated. If a blatant lie won’t do, sift through the evidence and twist it to your own…


Aviary Attorney does justice to employed cartoon animals everywhere

That crows can use adaptable tools or that pigeons possess facial recognition should only surprise the doubtful. Birds have always held a knack for observation, logic, even deduction. But I don’t need science’s testament or anecdotal evidence to reinforce the intelligence of our airborne confidants. I have always known that “birdbrain” was a misconstrued insult, even if a number of them have tried to eat me in the past. I have known these things as I, a mere cartoon frog who reviews videogames, have always recognized and been inspired by the remarkable legacy of Jayjay Falcon, the 19th century bird…