Friday, December 2, 2016

Sunday, November 20, 2016

Friday, November 18, 2016

Zero Time Dilemma Argues for the Necessity of Trauma

Everybody hurts. Everybody cries. Everybody gets locked in a bomb shelter under the Nevada desert by a madman who forces you into a deadly game of kill-or-be-killed sometimes.

Zero Time Dilemma Argues for the Necessity of Trauma

Saturday, November 12, 2016

The title song from Cohen's final album. Really amazing, I think. What has always impressed me about Cohen is how he confronts legitimate theological and spiritual issues in his work with real depth and understanding. He raises important philosophical concerns, transcending cultural influence and just focusing on that which is very, very human.

Beautiful and tragic at moments, merely brutal at others. It's hard to look away from.

(Just an fyi, hineni means, "Here I am." It's what the priest Eli told Samuel to say in response to a voice that woke him in the night, the voice of God. It is also what Abraham responds to God when asked for his commitment to his covenant, right before Abraham is then instructed to sacrifice his son Isaac to prove that commitment. Heavy stuff.)

Friday, November 11, 2016

Leonard Cohen, 1934-2016

Rarely has the Silent Generation spoken so loudly (with a tone so deep and gravelly).

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

Saturday, November 5, 2016

Saturday, October 22, 2016

Friday, October 21, 2016

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Monday, October 17, 2016

I like teaching Gertrude Stein

But that's because I like explaining that which seems inexplicable.

Is the emperor wearing clothes? Maybe. Maybe Not.

Clothed or nude, emperors are amusing. They all always seem so certain of themselves.

Thursday, October 13, 2016

Posthuman Examines the Tension Between Competition and Co-operation

The board game Posthuman has an odd mechanic that leads to an alternate co-operative ending within what is otherwise a competitive board game. I suspect this mechanic is intended to prevent the problem of "king making," a common unintended consequence of American board game design that players frequently complain about. My thinking about this lead to the following essay:

Posthuman Examines the Tension Between Competition and Co-operation

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Westworld Ponders the Lives of NPCs

Hard to say what I think of Westworld so far. Definitely interesting. Very grim, though.

Along with being grim, it's humorless, which can be the death knell of something so dark. Shakespeare understood this, which is why there is so much humor in his tragedies. Tarantino understands this, too, of course. We'll see how it works out for this show.

Westworld Ponders the Lives of NPCs

Thursday, September 29, 2016

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Moving Pixels Podcast Highbrow, Middle Brow, and Lowbrow in Free-to-Play Gaming

I, of course, selected the lowbrow game for this episode.

You can't have a good intellectual discussion without talking a little trashy.

Moving Pixels Podcast Highbrow, Middle Brow, and Lowbrow in Free-to-Play Gaming

Monday, September 26, 2016

Welcome to the Information Age

. . . In that Empire, the Art of Cartography attained such Perfection that the map of a single Province occupied the entirety of a City, and the map of the Empire, the entirety of a Province. In time, those Unconscionable Maps no longer satisfied, and the Cartographers Guilds struck a Map of the Empire whose size was that of the Empire, and which coincided point for point with it. The following Generations, who were not so fond of the Study of Cartography as their Forebears had been, saw that that vast Map was Useless, and not without some Pitilessness was it, that they delivered it up to the Inclemencies of Sun and Winters. In the Deserts of the West, still today, there are Tattered Ruins of that Map, inhabited by Animals and Beggars; in all the Land there is no other Relic of the Disciplines of Geography.

Suarez Miranda,Viajes de varones prudentes, Libro IV,Cap. XLV, Lerida, 1658

--Jorge Luis Borges, "On Exactitude in Science," 1946


The simulacrum is never that which conceals the truth--it is the truth which conceals that there is none.

The simulacrum is true. (Ecclesiastes)

If we were able to take as the finest allegory of simulation the Borges tale where the cartographers of the Empire draw up a map so detailed that it ends up exactly covering the territory (but where, with the decline of the Empire this map becomes frayed and finally ruined, a few shreds still discernible in the deserts--the metaphysical beauty of this ruined abstraction, bearing witness to an imperial pride and rotting like a carcass, returning to the substance of the soil, rather as an aging double ends up being confused with the real thing), this fable would then have come full circle for us, and now has nothing but the discrete charm of second-order simulacra.

Abstraction today is no longer that of the map, the double, the mirror or the concept. Simulation is no longer that of a territory, a referential being or a substance. It is the generation by models of a real without origin or reality: a hyperreal. The territory no longer precedes the map, nor survives it. Henceforth, it is the map that precedes the territory--precession of simulacra--it is the map that engenders the territory and if we were to revive the fable today, it would be the territory whose shreds are slowly rotting across the map. It is the real, and not the map, whose vestiges subsist here and there, in the deserts which are no longer those of the Empire, but our own. The desert of the real itself.

In fact, even inverted, the fable is useless. Perhaps only the allegory of the Empire remains. For it is with the same imperialism that present-day simulators try to make the real, all the real, coincide with their simulation models. But it is no longer a question of either maps or territory. Something has disappeared: the sovereign difference between them that was the abstraction's charm. For it is the difference which forms the poetry of the map and the charm of the territory, the magic of the concept and the charm of the real. This representational imaginary, which both culminates in and is engulfed by the cartographer's mad project of an ideal coextensivity between the map and the territory, disappears with simulation, whose operation is nuclear and genetic, and no longer specular and discursive. With it goes all of metaphysics. No more mirror of being and appearances, of the real and its concept; no more imaginary coextensivity: rather, genetic miniaturization is the dimension of simulation. The real is produced from miniaturized units, from matrices, memory banks and command models--and with these it can be reproduced an indefinite number of times. It no longer has to be rational, since it is no longer measured against some ideal or negative instance. It is nothing more than operational. In fact, since it is no longer enveloped by an imaginary, it is no longer real at all. It is a hyperreal: the product of an irradiating synthesis of combinatory models in a hyperspace without atmosphere.

In this passage to a space whose curvature is no longer that of the real, nor of truth, the age of simulation thus begins with a liquidation of all referentials - worse: by their art)ficial resurrection in systems of signs, which are a more ductile material than meaning, in that they lend themselves to all systems of equivalence, all binary oppositions and all combinatory algebra. It is no longer a question of imitation, nor of reduplication, nor even of parody. It is rather a question of substituting signs of the real for the real itself; that is, an operation to deter every real process by its operational double, a metastable, programmatic, perfect descriptive machine which provides all the signs of the real and short-circuits all its vicissitudes. Never again will the real have to be produced: this is the vital function of the model in a system of death, or rather of anticipated resurrection which no longer leaves any chance even in the event of death. A hyperreal henceforth sheltered from the imaginary, and from any distinction between the real and the imaginary, leaving room only for the orbital recurrence of models and the simulated generation of difference.

--Jean Baudrillard, Simulacra & Simulation, 1981


--The Matrix, 1999


In the age of the plane, I'm gonna go by car.

--Pop Will Eat Itself, "The Fuses Have Been Lit," 1989

Thursday, September 22, 2016

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

The Horrors of A.V.G.M.: A Walkthrough


A lot.

Click some more.


Optional side quests: You may want to organize things.

Saturday, September 17, 2016

The Pleasures of the Comatose and the Tedium of False Awakenings

I have played a lot of games about sleep. I tried to make something of the commonality of images of sleep in games by writing this.

The Pleasures of the Comatose and the Tedium of False Awakenings

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

The Moving Pixels Podcast Explores Act IV of Kentucky Route Zero

It has been two years since we have had the chance to talk about a new episode of Kentucky Route Zero.


The Moving Pixels Podcast Explores Act IV of Kentucky Route Zero

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Nature is a Haunted House--but Art--a House that tries to be haunted

Saturday, September 10, 2016

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Sunday, August 28, 2016

Monday, August 22, 2016

The Moving Pixels Podcast Catches 'Em All

More thoughts on Pokemon Goings on.

Probably the most important game this year in terms of social and cultural impact.

The Moving Pixels Podcast Catches 'Em All

Friday, August 19, 2016

"The next town's Peru," said Sam. "Not the one in Peru. The one in Illinois. Let me smell you. Bend down." Shadow bent down and the girl sniffed his face. "Okay. I don't smell booze. You can drive. Let's go."

"What makes you think I'm giving you a ride?"

"Because I'm a damsel in distress," she said. "And you are a knight in whatever. A really dirty car."

Thursday, August 18, 2016

The Dangers of Playing in Unfinished Houses: Considering Early Access Video Games

Thoughts on my mixed feelings about early access.

It's kind of weird to pay to beta test a game. Then, again, maybe some people like beta testing games--a lot.

The Dangers of Playing in Unfinished Houses: Considering Early Access Video Games

Monday, August 15, 2016

The Best of the Moving Pixels Podcast: Back to the Zero

We'll be revisiting all of our old episodes on Kentucky Route Zero for the next few weeks in anticipation of our upcoming episode on the release of Act IV.

That episode will run in early September. We recorded it last night, and I think it was a pretty good conversation.

The Best of the Moving Pixels Podcast: Back to the Zero

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

The Moving Pixels Podcast Goes Inside

Like Limbo, Inside is a fascinating game, reveling in ambiguity. Like the earlier game, it is more evocative of tone then it is of clearly delineating its "meaning." If Limbo is weird and eerie, Inside is weird and horrifying. Its body horror is powerful and provoked in me one of my strongest personal reactions in gaming in a long time.

I despise collectivism.

The Moving Pixels Podcast Goes Inside

Friday, August 5, 2016

Headlander Disembodied Hijinks Dressed Up as '70s Camp Sci-Fi

Fun game, feels kind of restrained in its humor. Kind of ashamed of my more or less straightforward product review of it.

Headlander Disembodied Hijinks Dressed Up as '70s Camp Sci-Fi

Thursday, August 4, 2016

Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Tuesday, August 2, 2016