The narrative of Istanbul, Texas implies that the man moved from Turkey to America to start a business and a life with his partner: Turkish immigrant jilted by the lie of equal opportunity, made all the more tragic by his American lover’s death. As we break and rebuild the record stacks, the man wavers between optimism and cynicism. The first song serves as a memento of his culture, while the second evokes a dream that turned out to be a lie, a false hope of fixing something that was never given a chance to be whole.
A ritual procedure such as divination involves moving from an ordinary space in which normative, consensual reality is reinforced to a liminal space where the normative is suspended and a mythic reality can be constructed. It is this combination of alternative rules and a liminal space that links games to ritual, a bond that goes back hundreds, and even thousands of years. Ritual is in the ancestral lineage of gaming, and games such as Oracle and The Eldritch Teller mobilise this history in new ways.
Wendy is fascinating because there’s no attempt to make her a perfect victim, or to sand down her edges to render her more palatable. She can be kind and generous and affectionate, but she’s also abrasive and sometimes selfish, and seeing those sides of her in contrast give her dimensionality that is intensely satisfying. However, many of those moments lie down different narrative paths, and so instead of emphasising her complexity, the structure of the game flattens Wendy.
im null is part digital art installation and part graveyard. The world's impenetrable black void is punctuated by vectored landmarks of various forms: a highway overpass, a well maintained house, rows of headstones, the Nike swish, and the head of a mech from Neon Genesis Evangelion. This virtual trash heap blends the somber and simple pleasures of the real world with the insipid and banal detritus of the internet.
The city temple is filled with jars of “ancient hands suspended in green fluid, covered in sigils, vertical columns of ink.” And a player’s sigils are signifiers, evidence of play. The experience is oddly intimate, like the game is reaching through the screen and pressing pen to skin with its emotional weight.
The museum and art gallery are not neutral spaces, but architectures that reproduce particular social and political orders. And Luxury Simulator enables you to experience and critique the mission of the Late Capitalist museum to acquire, curate and restrict works of ‘art’ as an act of excessive, morbid consumption.
I’m going to assume that Dropsy’s inhuman, beach-ball-shaped body is meant to resemble the terrible medical affliction to which his name refers. Edema, for which “dropsy” is an archaic and impolitic slang, is a painful condition caused by the swelling of fluid trapped beneath tissues, usually in the extremities but theoretically anywhere on the body. If my assumption is correct, then Dropsy is in constant, all-consuming pain.
This year has proven it’s easy to put me in tears. The amount of destruction and death caused by lone gunmen or angry policemen in this year alone has spurred fear, yes, but also an immeasurable amount of anger. People of color have been shouting for equality and recognition. We have been shouting to covered ears, closed eyes, and loaded guns. We are still shouting.
If Haraway’s cyborg was associated with ideas like augmenting the human body with digital technology, the monster is figured by the experience of alienation, and access to pharmaceutical technologies such as anti-depressants, hormones, and the pill. As Paul Preciado writes, the biomedical monster is not a Frankenstein’s monster. It is all of us: “you, you as well, are the monster”. In doing this, the cyborg is slowly transforming into the biomedical monster.
Going back home for a short time after a long time away is always sort of like entering a videogame in the first place. You feel a step out of the environment, familiar architecture but with subtle changes, and conversations with incidental acquaintances take on the stilted utilitarianism of generic NPC encounters. And it seems to be the bizarre, detached feeling Homesickened is trying to capture.
At first, Crime Zone might be understood as “a delineated space where crime is perceived to be commonplace” – a crime scene presented on a much larger scale. However, zoning urban spaces is inevitably tied with the exercising of power. If crossing Flushing Avenue separates a “safe” from a “dangerous” neighborhood, then it also subjects its characterization onto spaces on either sides of it.
As a “dead” or abandoned city, we must encounter first the creeping terror of deindustrialisation, the horror-show of the City as a mausoleum which plagued both the Romantic and Modern imagination.
There’s an experiential quality to Rothko’s work that not only defies solid description, but also lends itself to the same kind of confessional criticism that became known in the games scene as New Games Journalism. There’s something about “the journey” that is crucial to understanding the work–how you come “face to face” with the image, and where the painting takes you afterwards. There is absolutely no substitute for Being There.
The false spectre of the 'predatory gay male', who violently oversteps boundaries and who ignores consent has long been used to justify violence, enforced medical, chemical and psychiatric procedures, and oppressive legislature against homosexual men.
“Glitch” was first used as astronaut slang to describe an overload in voltage in 1962. This definition is apt because many of the behaviors and aesthetics of early videogames would be determined by hardware limitations and their potential for overload.
These days developers are more connected than ever. We’ve heard a lot about how tools like Twine and Twitter let them create quickly and share widely. What’s less talked about is the culture of mutual aid which sees Twine users emulating the protagonist in Body of Bind.
In 1993, performance artist Joseph Ng infamously snipped his pubic hair in a series of public performances to draw attention to the country’s criminalization of homosexuality. In response, both performance art and ‘forum theatre’ became ineligible for government funding, as ‘spontaneous’ art with no script and the possibility of audience interaction posed dangers to ‘public order, security and decency.