2013: Gaming Year in Review

This is the annual post where I basically go through all the notable and interesting games I played this year, wax poetic about them, and create new forms of hyperbole to describe my personal games of the year. Last year’s post can be found here, and previous year’s posts can be found on my high school blog, which I’m keeping hidden for all the reasons. 

2013 will be remembered for two major movements within gaming: the rise of the American e-sports scene, and the proliferation of the queer games scene. I don’t belong to either of those scenes per se, but their growth is cause for celebration: the diversification of scenes to include people outside of that mainstream “gamer” community means that more and more people will become “gamers”, which is what I’ve always wanted. I hope to see soon a world where there will be a scene for every imaginable type of person, and I believe we’re making strides in that direction.

What transpired in Room 2014 at 2013's GDC will be important in years to come.
What transpired in Room 2014 at 2013’s GDC will be important in years to come.

Just a year ago, we entered a period of unprecedented change to how games are made, processed, and understood, leading to the proliferation of newfound developers, genres, subject matters, and modes of play. Now, that trickle of change has grown into an avalanche, and the game industry that exists today welcomes with open arms games like Surgeon Simulator, Gone Home, and The Stanley Parable.

Five years ago, the thought of a world like this would have been unimaginable.

Meditating on change in the industry, the importance of our place in time, and the potential we now have to steer the course of gaming’s destiny is something that I’ve done in previous posts, and really, I’m just repeating myself here. But I can’t help but reiterate my enthusiasm: this is the gaming world that I’ve always wanted to live in. In 2010, I yearned for more daring games unafraid to try something different and interesting, and in 2013, those games exist everywhere I look.


Telltale’s hit point-and-click adventure The Walking Dead was the first game that I played this year, and one of the most emotionally taxing games that I’ve ever played. Its a story-driven game about leadership, the core mechanic of navigating dialogue trees is contextualized in a way that every decision carries great ethical weight,  asking players questions not like “what is right or wrong?” but rather “who do I want to hurt least?”. Telltale manages to maintain this sense of constant heft and weight throughout the game’s five episodes, concluding in a cathartic, heart-wrenching ending that left me drained, shaken, and worn.

Shadow of the Colossus
Shadow of the Colossus

Next was The Unfinished Swana game by USC IMD alums Giant Sparrow, a first-person puzzle game that iterates upon its core mechanic beautifully. The Unfinished Swan is videogame comfort food, it’s a heartwarming, homey tale that makes you feel all warm and fuzzy and loved inside. As I played this game with my friends, I couldn’t help but subconsciously maintain a splendid grin throughout the entire experience.

Shortly afterwards, we played through Shadow of the Colossusa monumental achievement of the sixth console cycle, which holds up with remarkable grace. The vastness of the gameworld dwarfs the player’s tiny, insignificant avatar, imbuing exploration with a tangible sense of forlorn loneliness. The giants which walk the Forbidden Lands trot with a quiet, fearsome majesty. Each battle with a Colossus carries a hefty emotional arc, ranging from the apprehension of the approach, the confusion and panic of trying to discover the beast’s weakness, the empowering, triumphant thrill of learning that weakness, and the catharsis… then sadness, of victory. Incredible game, definitely an annual playthrough for me.

Surgeon Simulator 2013
Surgeon Simulator 2013

Surgeon Simulator 2013 is the game most indicative of where we stand in the history of this medium today. Here, we have a game developed in 48 hours at the 2013 Global Game Jam, a series of once-underground game-making competitions. It was not funded not by publisher, nor Kickstarter campaign, nor grant money. Surgeon Simulator wasn’t even a good game by traditional measures of design, featuring an intentionally unintuitive control scheme, the game is in essence an interactive joke. By all prior standards of game funding and publishing, Surgeon Simulator 2013 should have been quietly forgotten amongst the hundreds of games designed at these events. And yet, through an unforeseen wrinkle in how this world works, Surgeon Simulator was reviewed higher, and sold better, than AAA sequels like God of War: Ascension, Crysis 3, and Gears of War: Judgement. Consumers are changing, and are now welcoming new games willing to challenge long-encoded standards of design, making room for games about butterfingered surgeons. Its an underdog story so glorious that it could have only happened by accident.


In March, Bioshock Infinite, a game which I had eagerly anticipated for years, finally came out. It was the week of GDC, and all my game studies classes were cancelled, so I completed the game in a day. While upon reflection, the game is brimming with design and narrative flaws so basic that it’s a wonder how it passed playtesting, I found Bioshock Infinite to be an enjoyable, albeit overhyped and subsequently disappointing, shooter. My enjoyment of it came mostly out of its uniquely postmodern subtext, which challenges the notion of meaningful choice and autonomy in story-driven games. My analysis of it, which got featured on Gamasutra, has become basically my only claim to fame.

Bioshock Infinite
Bioshock Infinite

Next up was the delightful FEZ. Like many, I discovered FEZ through Indie Game: The Movie and was tightly invested in Phil Fish’s painful, triumphant, underdog story. FEZ was fantastic with its daring experimental structure and wondrous difficulty. FEZ’s obscure puzzle designs and interdimensional platforming harkens back to memories spent of school playgrounds, secrets and rumors of the Mew under the Viridan City truck and the Triforce chest in Forest Temple spread like gossip. FEZ is a game meant to be played in parallel with a good friend, sharing every delightful discovery along the way with childlike wonder.

I didn’t know what to think of The Last of Us when I first learned about it a year ago. A third-person action game set in the zombie apocalypse featuring an old guy and a girl seemed pretty unoriginal given Naughty Dog’s fantastic pedigree, and thus, I went into it with doubts. When I finally played it, I found it unique and incredible in a multitude of ways. Combat is disempowering, limited resources and a relatively underpowered protagonist lends the game a sense of dread and despair that gives way into a panicked chaos of gunfire, culminating in the cathartic release of survival. The game’s story, one of the strongest told this year, calls into question the social demarcations separation “us” and “them” and meditates on themes of love and sacrifice.

The Last of Us

Thomas Was Alone was one of the cutest games I’ve ever played. It is both one of the best puzzle-platformers to come out of a scene rife with them and perhaps the best demonstration of gameplay-as-metaphor and the proceduralist aesthetic to have come out this year. The way it characterizes its quadrilaterals and lends them personality through kinaesthetics and functionality elevates this puzzle-platformer into a delightful story about friendship, jealously, need, and identity. Thomas Was Alone’s rectangles undergo entire character arcs with meaningful conflicts and conclusions, and the game communicates those arcs through simple game feel, lending its characters a humanity not seen in all the dialogue trees and facial animation systems developers have produced thus far.


I disliked Metal Gear Solid when I first played it, but decided to give the series a second go after studying writing about postmodernism, a cultural aesthetic that the series adheres to very much. Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater, which sheds the series’ cyberpunk postmodernism to focus on a Cold War-era spy fantasy, changed my perspective on the series substantially. A delightfully Japanese pastiche of 20th century spy fiction, Metal Gear Solid 3 is perhaps the most restrained and grounded game in the series (which is not saying much given Kojima’s predilection for vampires, cyborg-ninjas, and the Illuminati). Every room in Snake Eater‘s vast world is a playground for emergent strategies for traversal, coupled with a variety of tools from guns, to chloroform rags, and alligator hats, Metal Gear Solid 3’s sneaking system is an incredible sandbox for self-expressive play.

Gone Home

Standards for environmental storytelling have shot up over the course of the generation. Flavor text that was communicated by pressing the “interact” button next to an object is now communicated visually, through intricately detailed 3D models in a gameworld. The juxtaposition of objects creates place and story, and narrative discovered rather than delivered. This made traversal through the beautiful environments of The Last of Us, Bioshock Infinite, and Metroid Prime a delight, and it is wonderful to see a game like Gone Home emerge from this burgeoning tradition. Evoking nostalgia for the nineties, Gone Home communicates a tale about a family that underwent a great change while its older daughter was off at college. The means of progressing through the story is snooping through the spaces each family member inhabited. Characters go through entire character arcs as the player creeps down a hallway, the catalysts for their change evident in the things they carried. Its a tough game that dances in and out of some uncomfortable themes, many of which strike close to home, and one of the most structurally interesting games of the year.

On the complete opposite side of the gaming spectrum, XCOM: Enemy Unknown consumed a substantial amount of my time early in the semester. Its an incredibly difficult, incredibly addictive turn-based strategy game that maintains a constant sense of desperation in every aspect of its design. The dread can become overwhelming as players become strapped for time, resources, and personnel, lending dramatic weight to every single decision. The death of a single high-ranking soldier from a stray bullet can cause entire plans to crumble in an instant. But when the dice land in one’s favor and a plan goes perfectly as intended, the triumphant rush of victory is unparalleled.

Kentucky Route Zero

Kentucky Route Zero is surreally magnificent, and maintains a consistency of vision that bleeds into every single corner of its dreamy aesthetic. It is a magical-realist point-and-click adventure game with art inspired by late 20th-century theatrical set design and poetic writing imbued with a nostalgic sense of Americana. It’s as if Steinbeck’s sentimental prose met the magical wonder of Rudolfo Anaya’s, creating a spiritually evocative tale of Conway’s journey down the Zero’s rabbit hole. For anyone even mildly interested in the unusual, Kentucky Route Zero‘s whimsical and forlorn world is one worth exploring.

Personal Game of the Year

Naming a personal game of the year is a substantial ordeal for me, simply because I feel a sense of guilt for overlooking all the great games that I considered for it, especially in 2013, a banner year for unusual and interesting games: digital, physical, analogue, and installation. And in the shadow of that regret, I must name The Stanley Parable as my personal game of the year.

Yes, systemically speaking, The Stanley Parable might not even be a game, academic standards of language and game studies considered, it fits more under the umbrella of interactive fiction than videogames, but that’s beyond the point. The point is that The Stanley Parable is interesting. 

The Stanley Parable

If Bioshock Infinite called into question ideas of the existence of autonomy in an authored piece of fictionthen The Stanley Parable takes that metacommentary to its intellectual extreme, calling into question ideas of player motivation, narrative structure, meaningful choice, the lusory attitude, the player-avatar relationship, freedom in authored fiction, and the conflict between player and designer. The game posits those questions in short, fifteen minute bursts that demand reflection and study, performing its commentary more elegantly than Ken Levine’s bloated, frustrating shooter ever could.

Look, the core mechanic of the Stanley Parable is making binary choices to influence the outcome of a story, which in itself isn’t very interesting, essentially being tantamount to any number of terrible dating-sims. But when contextualized with questions about narrative structure and game design, The Stanley Parable‘s mechanics become ironically rife with meaning, evolving into the catalyst for engaging conversation. While many may rightfully criticize The Stanley Parable for not being a game per se, that does not make it any less interesting as a piece of interactive media, and in a period where all we’re asking for are games that take daring risks, engage with challenging themes, and are in essence unique and interesting, isn’t The Stanley Parable exactly what we wanted?

Thank you and Merry Christmas! 

My Favorite Games of the 7th Generation (Part 2)

After accidentally deleting all my notes and getting really frustrated, I finally completed part 2 of my personal favorite games of the 7th Console Generation, the first of which you can read here. Sparing the need for a lengthy introduction, let’s get right to it.

6. Okami

Okami holds the dubious honor of being the worst-selling recipient of a “Game of the Year” accolade from a major gaming publication. Which is pitiful, because Okami is a wonderful and uplifting adventure of mythical scope and legendary beauty. Thick outlines, wispy details, and a rich palette lend the game a painterly aesthetic inspired by traditional sumi-e watercolor painting. The vast world of Nippon provides an incredible possibility space for any number of adventures,  each quest draws players into a fairytale world where friendly deities inhabit everyday life, helping humans with their everyday problems and protecting them from nasty demons like Blight, Ninetales, and Crimson Helm. Okami isn’t a dark, serious, conflict between forces of good and evil, but rather a playful, childlike one, with animals to feed, forests to regrow, and bridges to repair.

Okami was special because it imbued action-adventure mechanics with positivity and love.

An innovative core mechanic provides players with a thematically assonant means to interact with the delightful world. Using the Celestial Brush, controlled with the Wii Remote, players can paint objects into existence: a swish of the brush produces a strong gust, while a circle in the sky produces bright sunlight. Using a collection of brush techniques, players enact positive change upon the world. Carrying a positive subtext about environmental preservation and restoration, Okami‘s methods of interaction revolve around construction and restoration, rather than killing and destruction, making it ultimately way more unique as an action-adventure game than it should be. Enemies don’t fall over and die, but burst into beautiful clouds of flowers and butterflies, suggesting that the act of killing a creature is an action of liberation and restoration, rather than strictly one of violence. This all culminates to create a sense of mythic wonder characteristic of the very best of adventures.

5. Bastion

Bastion is a textbook example of how to design a linear game of progression properly. An isometric hack-‘n-slash game, Bastion delivers its story in a unique way, a reactive narrator, Rucks,  voiced by the cool, wistful, Logan Cunningham, comments on every action the player takes, delivering a constant stream of exposition that lends the narrative a detached, forlorn feel. In Bastion, the player wakes up to find his home world of Cylondia destroyed by some cataclysm of unknown origin, known only as the Calamity. He meets Rucks, and the two work together to collect crystals to restore power to the Bastion, a floating ship that would either allow them to set sail away from post-apocalytpic Cylondia or send them back through time to Cylondia before the Cataclysm.

Bastion was special because it was aesthetically luscious and perfectly paced.

Metaphorically, Bastion is an allegory about failed relationships. Players can choose to accept that great loss and move on, hoping to come across new friends, memories, and love somewhere in a terrifyingly vast future. Or they may choose to cling on to the possibility of reliving those moments of joy and returning to peaceful life prior to the Calamity, all while living in the shadow of the possibility that the Calamity would happen again. Its an emotive story with impactful, real-world implications.

Outside of its luscious, painterly aesthetic, its twangy, evocative soundtrack, and its original narrative, Bastion is perfectly paced and filled with variety. Every weapon the player acquires fundamentally changes how the game works. Different pieces of equipment don’t alter the numbers soft coded into the game’s combat system, but introduce systemic changes that substantially alter kinesthetics, tactics, and combat encounters. Playing Bastion with a machete and a bow is fundamentally different from playing Bastion with a shotgun and mortar, creating such an incredible degree of dynamism that players could have radically different experiences playing through the same story.

4. Super Mario Galaxy

Gravity isn’t our friend in video games, its shadow creeps behind our every move in space like an overbearing schoolteacher, eagerly seeking out the slightest fault. Hungrily it waits, waiting for the opportunity to end our fun, bringing us careening down into the lava pit, the bottomless abyss, the steel bed of spikes. Jumping may grant us temporary liberation from its heavy grip, but down we fall, unable to escape its gloomy grasp. No matter how joyful and free we may believe ourselves to be, Gravity’s inescapable shadow paces restlessly, watching us, reminding us that we are mortal, and that our fun comes at a risk.

Super Mario Galaxy was special because it recreated gaming’s oldest adversary as a playful friend.

Which is why Super Mario Galaxy is perhaps the greatest 3D platformer of this generation. Here, gravity is not judge nor adversary, but friend, playfully inviting us to dance. Levels in Super Mario Galaxy are comprised of numerous objects in space, each with its own gravity field. Gravity in Galaxy becomes a toy to be played with, and players joyfully dance through planetoid, starfield, and asteroid as they experiment with the boundaries of this otherworldly conception of physics. Suddenly, movement through virtual space, an experience that we’ve long since become accustomed to that it has become rote, becomes fresh, joyful, liberating. The cathartic escape of spinning into that first launch star and rocketing myself away from my preconceptions about physics is a feeling that I will never forget.

3. The Last of Us

Most AAA action-games ask players to enact power-fantasies, granting players a plethora of skills, powers, weapons, and tools, and giving them a stream of opponents and challenges to unleash them upon. Skillful play in games like Batman and Vanquish is empowering, the aggressive thrill of terrorizing violent thugs and evil robots intoxicating. This power fantasy has become so deeply encoded into video games that it has become the unsurprising norm. In direct contrast is The Last of Us, Naughty Dog’s post apocalyptic survival-horror myth, where combat is explicitly disempowering.

A hybrid of mechanics lifted from third-person shooters and stealth games, every combat encounter in The Last of Us overwhelms players with a tapestry of emotions, fear, panic, and catharsis. Interspersed between battles are long swaths of scavenging and exploration through believably designed environments, all performed in the creeping shadow of the possibility of ambush. Little glimmers of hope pierce the bleakness, often in the form of small portions of essential resources: half a bottle of alcohol, a broken pair of scissors, a cup of sugar. But desperately they may scavenge, players are never quite adequately prepared for any given encounter. Enemies are typically overwhelmingly strong, and almost always greatly outnumber Ellie and Joel. Their smart, hunter-ly behavior pigeonholes players into moving conservatively around the environment, the dreadfully tense dance between covers crescendoes into a panicked ratchet of gunfire and shivs, climaxing with the cathartic release of killing that last thug or Clicker. And then, the grisly and nauseating aftermath, the sigh of relief transitions back into anxiety, and the heavy shadow of desperation creeps on.

The Last of Us was special because its mechanics textured its narrative elegantly.
The Last of Us was special because its mechanics textured its powerful narrative elegantly.

And that’s to speak only of the game’s mechanics. The Last of Us remyths the archetypical “zombie” narrative in one of of the most engaging stories of that kind in recent memory, exploring themes about the demarcation of social boundaries of what entails “us” and “them” and what constitutes people as being “the other”. Restrained, tasteful cinematography and animation communicates unspoken, repressed, emotions, Ellie and Joel’s character development is represented cinematically with nuanced grace. The game’s incredible ending meditates on the moral intricacies of Christianity’s central narrative, arriving at an uneasy conclusion about interdependency and need. The Last of Us‘s mechanics, intricately designed to be assonant with the world and narrative, create a cohesive whole that is indubitably one of the best games of the year.

2. Portal 2

Portal 2 is the apotheosis of trial-and-error design, it is the greatest puzzle game ever made, and a great leap forward in environmental storytelling. Every single Test Chamber in the game is intricately designed, carefully introducing new mechanics, iterating upon them, and exploring new, creative ways to use them in its relatively limited possibility space. An incredibly simple and intuitive core mechanic becomes a portal into an ever expanding toolbox of light-bridges, gravity tubes, and repulsion gels. In any other game, the core loop of trial-and-error would have been immensely frustrating, the exasperation of repeated failures creates an incredibly negative experience greatly detracting from a game’s appeal. Portal 2 refines that core loop into something more akin to scientific experimentation: theorize, test, fail, theorize, test, fail, theorize, test, succeed. With each failed attempt at solving a puzzle, players discover more and more about Portal 2‘s conception of 3D space, and the constant acquisition of mastery becomes increasingly palpable. What is even more remarkable is Portal 2 achieves such depth and complexity without introducing a single additional control

Portal 2 was special because it exemplified great puzzle-design.

Representationally, Portal 2 is one of the more interesting advancements in environmental storytelling. The sterile hallways and elevators of the first Portal crack at the seams, giving way to lush vegetation and unspoken post apocalyptic ruin. The nostalgic design of Old Aperture conveys an authentic sense of style and place, communicating Cave Johnson’s character arc as he led Aperture through decades of decline. While the core narrative of trust, betrayal, and tenuous partnership has been done before in other games, Portal 2‘s genuinely funny writing and lovably sadistic characters allow it to transcend its cliches, turning it into one of the most original adventures of the last few years.

1. Journey

As I climbed over that first dune in the desert, I saw the mountain towering before me, eclipsing the sun’s blinding glow. The sands stretched out infinitely, the murky haze of warm air obscured my vision, and I couldn’t perceive the crevasses, towers, and valleys that laid in the wide expanse of my future. I slid down the slope, walking towards the first shrine I saw, and found a glowing insignia floating before an altar. I touched it, and a red, glowing scarf materialized out of thin air and wrapped itself around my neck. I jumped off the shrine, and gently floated, weightless, liberated and free. The scarf granted me the power of limited flight. I smiled, and hopped my first steps towards the vast monolith in the horizon. As I walked, my vision of the mountain gradually became clearer and more distinct, and I knew that I was destined to ascend it.

On my way, I met other people, also on their way towards whatever destination they were seeking. Some accompanied me, happily chirping as we hiked the desert sands, others looked away and hurried along the stony ridges. I met another cloaked traveler in the collapsed ruins of a city who decided to accompany me, a gleeful chirp and a dainty dance sealed our partnership. We ascended climbed the temple of our ancestors to arrive at a snow-covered slope. We were very close to the summit, the mountain’s peak visible behind a thin layer of clouds, and so we pushed on. As we climbed the snow-blanketed slopes, the wind began to blow. A thin layer of frost formed around my scarf and cracked away at it. We pushed on, and the wind blew angrily, pushing us backwards like an invisible force opposing us, and more of the scarf crumbled away. The wind matured into a blizzard, ice battered our bodies, freezing our cloaks. We drew close together, hoping the warmth of each other’s bodies would sustain the magic scarves until we reached the top, but gusts of snow would throw us apart. The stone dragons hungrily floated above us, waiting to strike at us in our weakness. We were tired, worn, and weary, and our strong stride slowed to a desperate crawl, each step more arduous than the last. The clouds above us congealed into a solid grey firmament, and the mountain’s peak faded away. I looked at my partner, and his head bobbed feebly as it if it was trying to make a sound, but only managed a weak moan, and crumbled into the snow, dead. Terrified, I tried to call back, but the flow of cold air into my lungs crushed me, and I collapsed onto the slope, I looked up, trying to make out the peak, but couldn’t, and died.

And I was basked by a welcome glow and a pleasant warmth. I opened my eyes, and saw my ancestors standing before me. They pulled my broken body from the ice, and gave me a new magic scarf and stepped away from me. An electrifying chill of power pulsed through my body, and I leapt skyward, through the storm layer and past the stone dragons. I pierced the cloud layer and I arrived at the summit. The sky was clear, and the warm sun cast a gentle glow upon the heavenly cloth bridges and red gates. I playfully danced across the bridges, down a slope, and over waterfalls of crashing mist, arriving at a beam of glowing dust. I flew into it and floated towards the peak, and there, my partner was waiting. A bright light and a soft breeze emitted from a great crack in the mountains peak, blowing a thin layer of snow past our feet. Our scarves crumbled away, and we walked towards the light. As we stepped into the blinding whiteness of our ultimate destiny, my partner chirped happily at me, as if to say “thank you”.

Catharsis, plain and simple.

And then Journey ended, and I sat before my television. I gripped my controller harder.

Thoughts of the life that I had lived flooded into my consciousness. The teachers that I’ve had, the friends who have loved me, and the wise family that had watched over me and lovingly watched me step forward into every stage of my life. I thought of the bridges I had burned, the relationships that I had nuked, the lies that I’ve believed, and the ways I’ve hurt and hurt-ed. I thought of the path that I chose to arrive where I was, and my nascent purpose. Then I thought about my irreversible choice to live the life of a game designer. Journey was a game that had affected me unlike any other, touching me spiritually and giving me an cherishable experience. This is the power of video games! This is what I can potentially accomplish should I take this path! This is the kind of experience I could give to my players! This is what I want to do with my brief journey through the wilderness of life! 

I received a letter the very next week. It was an acceptance letter from a college that I wanted to go to: the USC Interactive Media Division, the most renowned game school in the world and the very same program from which Journey’s creators graduated. I nodded knowingly, accepting my destiny, and took those first steps towards that mountain looming on the horizon, ready to accept the company of any strangers I would meet along the way.

Zombie Fortnight

I completed The Last of Us last week, one of the better survival horror games to come out recently, and probably the best this year so far. I also got the chance to play through The Walking Dead: 400 Days and came away slightly disappointed, its short-story structure made it feel like a prologue to Season 2 of Telltale’s series than its own, fully-realized game. Nonetheless, I liked the characters that were introduced and I’m excited to see where this new antagonist will take them.

The Walking Dead 400 Days

Two new articles have been published to The Artifice, both of them about zombies.

‘The Last of Us’ Review – My first video game review in two years. Its been a long time since I last critiqued a game, and I hope that my new style of writing about games could create some constructive conversation about the games. Another thing: playing a game on deadline is still not much fun.

Making Sense of the Zombie Apocalypse – Oh no, I’m doing that kind of writing. Here, I try to explain the current resurgence of zombie fiction by connecting it to Millennial’s fears, all whilst hoping not to come off as paranoid, crazy, or pretentious.

Also, I did a zombie-type game with my old team Subtle Stone about a year and a half ago. Its an arcadey style shooter for Windows built in XNA. I have major regrets about the interface in retrospect and think the controls could have been much better designed. Also, the default gun type should have dealt more damage and had a slightly shorter interval between shots. If I didn’t lose the game’s code in a hard drive failure, I would have gone back and changed that. Oh well.

Happy Belated Independence Day!

Postmodern Gaming, Post-E3 Rambling, and Something New

Whoa, what happened to the interface?

My newest article for The Artifice is online! Its an analysis of three postmodern games that feature metacommentary on their form! One of my better pieces I believe. I cover Bioshock Infinite, Spec Ops: The Line, and Metal Gear Solid 2 respectively in it, give it a read.

Believe it or not, Metal Gear Solid 2 shares a lot with this fountain.
Believe it or not, Metal Gear Solid 2 shares a lot with this fountain.

Also, my personal impressions on E3 and what it means for the near future.

And I’m working on a new gaming site/channel with a few friends! Check out a test preview of our podcast! We’re working out a few kinks, but we’ll be ready within the month!

I’ve been playing “The Last of Us” for a review for The Artifice next week. Let’s just say its one of the better survival horror games to come out this generation.

Have an awesome weekend!