On Storytelling: Age-Old Ideas and Criticism

What does it mean for a theme to be “played out”? When is a game’s story boring because it’s just rehashing a theme we’re all familiar with? In this essay I explore two radically different stories – Aeschylus’s Oresteia and The Last of Us Part II – to talk about the theme of revenge, and some problems of media criticism.

Diversity in Video Games and the Philosophy of Technology

Activision Blizzard unveiled a new Diversity Space Tool, and it was quickly dragged online. Why did that occur? In this essay, I examine issues of diversity and representation in video games, and tie the development of this tool to problems of how we approach science and technology more broadly. In turn, these problems show why ActiBlizz’s new tool doesn’t help address these underlying problems of representation.

Video Games and Language Puzzles

Puzzles in video games involve all sorts of mechanics, and one of the most interesting is a constructed language. But while constructed languages can be cool, they can also be frustrating to engage with. Using the recent game Tunic, I examine the basic problems and explore some basic ideas of how to deal with language puzzles from a design standpoint.