Friday, June 27, 2014

Fleeing the Familiar, Embracing the Abject in Beyond Two Souls

A couple of years ago, I taught a graduate level course on interactive fiction. A student of mine named Kate Worzala produced an essay for that class on Tale of Tales's game The Path that I thought was good enough to encourage her to submit to PopMatters.

This year I taught an undergraduate version of that course. Again, I had a student, in this case, Paul Grosskopf, who produced a paper that I really felt should be published. So, here it is, an essay that uses Julia Kristeva's definition of "the abject" to help explore the relationship between the two protagonists of Beyond Two Souls.

Check it out. It's quite good.

Fleeing the Familiar, Embracing the Abject in Beyond Two Souls

Somehow, [in Maycomb], it was hotter then.

Ladies bathed before noon, after their three o'clock naps, and by nightfall were like soft teacakes of sweat and sweet talcum.

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Worshiping at the Altar of Smite

Some more thoughts on my mania for collection and possible purposes to justify collection.

Worshiping at the Altar of Smite

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Moving Pixels Podcast: The Agony and the Allure of the Side Quest

Good podcast? Bad podcast? I don't know. I don't remember recording it.

I know that I had been playing Black Flag and thinking about the obsession that is created by the mini-map to get everything possible done, to clear the map in order to feel "done." So, maybe this is just a podcast inspired by my own mild OCD tendencies?

Moving Pixels Podcast: The Agony and the Allure of the Side Quest

Monday, June 9, 2014

Among the Sleep: So Much Promise, So Little Payoff

Play as a toddler in a horror game. Good idea. Vulnerability and horror go hand in hand.

Create a horror game in which you never actually feel vulnerable. Bad idea.

Among the Sleep: So Much Promise, So Little Payoff

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

“He was one of the most supremely stupid men I have ever met. He taught me a great deal.”

I started re-reading The Magus over the last couple of days. Honestly, I haven't really read anything by choice for about two or three years (that happens when you teach literature).

I haven't read the novel since I was 16 or 17 years old. It was recommended to me by an English teacher in high school thanks to my rather "precocious" reading tendencies (Joyce, Kafka, Beckett, and the like).

Returning to it is odd. I see why she recommended it. It is sufficiently angsty for someone of my sensibilities. But it is the style to me that is especially strikingly odd. Fowles is best known, of course, for The French Lieutenant's Woman, a better novel, perhaps, but one especially known and admired for Fowles's success at aping a 19th century style for a largely 19th century style of fiction (okay, it turns 19th century narrative conventions on its head by the novel's close for the sake of its themes). The strange story of Nicholas Urfe in The Magus is clearly a product of a certain kind of 1960s hipsterism (or maybe moddishness would be a better description), but it too really has a very 19th century style of exposition, reading something vaguely like Great Expectations or David Copperfield. I don't know why I'm finding this so odd or surprising, but there it is.

Not much more to say about it until I get a little deeper into the thing, though. I only have the vaguest recollection of it as it is.

For whatever reason, though, I felt the book to be very important to me at the time. Maybe I'll figure out why again. But maybe not.

I Am the Tank

Probably really too confessional in style for publication, but I often make poor choices when writing at 3AM. Then again my blog has the word confessional in it now, I guess.

I always like talking about my Dad, though. I never do him any real justice.

I Am the Tank