Looking Back at Parasite Eve

This week was my first solo episode at Push To Smart, which I used as a platform to talk about Parasite Eve (to the surprise of no one, I’m sure). The game and its protagonist, Aya Brea, have come up on the show a lot already, but I wanted to make a case for why they were important beyond nostalgia. (more…)

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Introducing Gaming’s Bechdel Test

Over the course of July, I finally decided to put forth my idea for adapting the Bechdel Test to games. I’ve tossed it around privately for awhile, and I’m hoping community feedback will help shape it into something useful. Now that it’s out in the world, it might be worth talking a little more about it here. First, the videos: one lays out the theory, while the other attempts to apply it to games.

One thing I knew going into this project was that I wanted The Path to pass. It would fail the traditional Bechdel Test based on the lack of dialogue, but if there were ever a game about women’s stories, The Path was it. So the question became how to account for representation in a medium where dialogue isn’t inherent. Likewise, was it necessarily a bad thing when there was only one woman on screen? In the case of something like Metroid, the woman was the only character on screen. It doesn’t make sense to dismiss games based on criteria nonessential to the medium. (more…)

#IAmClementine – Thoughts on Playing and Being a Girl in the Zombie Apocalypse

There’s something about The Walking Dead‘s Clementine that I’ve struggled to articulate. I sputtered around it in our last Water Cooler discussion, and it’s come barreling to the forefront of my thoughts now that TellTale released the first preview of the next episode. It’s hovered around my subconscious for weeks; I even dreamed about it. I don’t actually remember any of the dream, but I woke up feeling distraught and specifically worried about how Clementine was going to get out of the last mess I left her in.  That says a lot about my investment in the character, and it gave reason to tease out just what my relationship with this character is.

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Games of the Year for 2013

It took us awhile to settle on a Game of the Year schedule at Push to Smart. I wanted to crash the gate on New Year’s Eve, Jaylee wanted to wait until January like critics of other mediums (think of all the lists that missed Beyonce, he wisely noted). And so now I can finally present my favorites games of 2013.

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[PHOENIX SCREAMS OFF CAMERA] on Tumblr

About a week ago, I posted a photoset on Tumblr. It consisted of two screenshots from Takashi Miike’s Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney adaptation (actually, just one image repeated) with made-up, mostly accurate captions photoshopped onto them. The set was an effort to recreate one of my favorite gags from the movie (seen here), in which our ace attorney, Phoenix Wright, responds to the judge’s ruling with an anguished scream. The joke initially struck me because it encapsulated the desperate feeling of trying to guess key evidence in the games, and it makes me laugh thinking about it now. Thus, I took approximately ten minutes to edit  my attempt to capture the joke in Photoshop. I then queued it for posting on my Tumblr, where it automatically posted sometime while I was at work. Usually when I post something on Tumblr, it’ll receive a couple notes from my friends, maybe 200 if it’s especially topical. For whatever reason, as I write this, the post has received 14,411 notes. (more…)

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Hello from Boston + a preview of a new project

Hello from sunny-and-finally-cool Boston! I’m here for the Festival of Indie Games going on at MIT today, as well as some general tourism (with an inevitable Assassin’s Creed III twist). Like last time, I will be updating my Instagram with photos. Unlike last time, I will be posting about my experience at Push To Smart, a new project I’ve been working on with Jaylee (formerly of the best j-pop podcast around, Gaijin Kanpai). I’ll post more specifics about the project closer to the show’s launch. For now, check out Push to Smart on Tumblr and Twitter.

Sony demonstrates its game sharing policy in a parody video--one friend hands is game to the other

Playstation and Xbox at E3 2013: The More Things Change

It’s June 14th, and another E3 has come and gone. Unlike last year, which was a disappointing, monochromatic blur of violence and machismo, 2013 yielded a diverse array of colorful, interesting games, though they were overshadowed by Microsoft’s and Sony’s rival consoles’ first trade show appearance.

The Playstation 4 and Xbox One were undoubtedly the stars of the show–whether they were worthy of the title or not. Their respective predecessors enjoyed a kind of longevity not seen in previous console generations, and for the first time, they don’t have dueling disc formats. By contrast, everyone knows the physical disc (now universally Blu-ray) is on its way out in both systems’ primary markets. The real question going into E3, then, became less how Sony and Microsoft would package their games, and more how they would continue to support a dying format. Put another way, in an industry that plays lip service to innovation, what we really wanted to know was how Sony and Microsoft would uphold the status quo.

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