I like video games. Some say I like them too much, but only those who’ve seen me write “Mrs. Jeremy Games” on the inside of my school notebooks. Recently, my interest in them has started to become academic in addition to recreational; I’ve started to think and write about video games from a scholarly perspective, as you might do with a classic film or piece of literature. To many, writing academically about video games might sound completely ludicrous, like if someone wanted to exhibit paintings of Nicolas Cage at the Louvre or if someone said that spray cheese actually tasted like real cheese. Why is it that most people fully accept paintings, novels, or films as works of art with the potential for analysis, but video games are merely toys for children, not worthy of any scholarly merit?
While it is true that video games are becoming more popular among scholars, they certainly don’t have the widespread acceptance that other forms have; it would be rare to find a professor of video games or someone majoring in Sonic the Hedgehog for his or her college degree.…Continue Reading
Ever since I really started reading comic books, I feel like I’vve been waiting for Multiversity. Each year since 2010, I read that this would be the year when Grant Morrison’s follow up to Final Crisis would come out. Multiversity became almost a mythical comic in my mind. I heard rumors of a page in it that had 300 panels, and that the series would change the way I read comics. Whether or not Morrison intended it to be, in my eyes Multiversity was going to be the writer’s magnum opus. With DC Comics’ New 52 revamp in 2011, I had all but given up hope of seeing the series. But here, at long last, it is. And it’s weird.
Multiversity is a 9-issue miniseries; so far 5 of the issues have been published. Each story is written by Morrison and set in a different universe with drawn by a different artist. The stories seem somewhat connected, but it’s not easy to summarize how.…Continue Reading
When writing a column about feminism the first thing I would like to do is be clear: What do I mean by feminism? In society and the media today, feminism is rarely given a clear definition. Feminists, however, are clearly implied to be ugly, single, man-hating lesbians. No one is sure what feminism really is or does; it’s just clear you shouldn’t want to be a part of it. Though I don’t deny that there are some man-hating, lesbian feminists, the theory of the movement is focused not on Men or Women, but gender.
Gender is the performance of either masculine or feminine characteristics. I say performance, not because gender is not real, but because it is public. Gender is how you publicly identify, either as man or woman. People do this in almost every way: clothing, hair, voice, ways of moving, how one sits, etc. And being a man or woman comes with a heap of responsibilities! Men are expected to be emotionally closed, always into sex with women, and career-driven so as to provide for their eventual families.…Continue Reading
Bioware loves dramatic protagonists. The company did the hero of legend in Dragon Age: Origins, the underdog-turned-champion in Dragon Age II Origins–and in Mass Effect, the main character was the savoir of the entire galaxy. How could they hope to create a protagonist to top that? With, it turns out, a hero as potential new messiah, embroiled in a good old battle of the gods. Dragon Age: Inquisition thrives on the dramatic and the epic: in the plot, in the characters, and in the imaginary world of Thedas. The first plot point is an explosion seen on the title screen when “new game” is selected, which sets the story in motion. From then on–throughout more than 100 hours of content–the game is one of wonders both big and small.
Meet the Inquisitor
The Inquisitor is entirely your character. You get to customize everything about her (or him), from her race and background to her appearance, and even her voice. When the game begins, your character is the sole survivor of the aforementioned blast, which happens to have killed hundreds, ruined hopes of peace in a war-torn country, and unleashed its own chaos into the world via a magical scar left in the sky.…Continue Reading
A few months ago, Nintendo released its latest iteration of its much beloved and anticipated Super Smash Brothers series. In this beat-em-up party game, players take control of the most popular characters from Nintendo’s most popular franchises to fight friends, computers, and even total strangers from around the world via its online mode. With this new version of the game comes a variety of new features, including 8-man multiplayer, character creation and customization, new challenge modes, and as always, lots of new stages and fighters. Perhaps one of the most interesting new features, however, is completely external to the game itself: small figurines called Amiibos.
Similar to Skylanders and Disney Infinity figures, Amiibos are toys containing computer chips that allow them to interact with designated video games. However, unlike these examples, which are figures containing a playable character that saves certain stats and items, Amiibos instead contain an AI capable of learning and leveling up through training, essentially becoming a digital pet that plays Smash.…Continue Reading