Video Games

Video games are in an exciting place right now. This brand new baby medium, still in its infancy, is also the biggest media industry on the planet, boasting well over $150 billion in revenue each year.

Here, we look at how games tell stories – from multi-million dollar triple-A titles down to solo indie shit.

Check out some of the quick-start topics below, or scroll down for the full video game feed – updates every Wednesday.

Feature: Wolfenstein

Terror Billy vs the Nazis

By Size

Triple-A or indie? Choose your fighter.

(Under construction)

By Genre

Strategy, shooter, or something in between

The Feed

Borderlands 3: On Family

Borderlands 3 is a game that’s attracted a lot of controversy – for a bunch of different reasons. There was controversy when the CEO of Gearbox, the game’s developer, had a fight on Twitter with voice actors from the previous games. There was controversy over the game’s status as an exclusive to the Epic storefront. […]

Borderlands 3: On Religion

So we watched Midnight Mass recently – it’s the new Netflix series from Mike Flanagan, who made Haunting of Hill House and Haunting of Bly Manor. It’s really good. It’s another step forward for him as a director – he’s clearly becoming more sophisticated and refining his depiction of place and these really striking, searching […]

Eastshade: When NPCs Read

There’s a fairly famous quest near the start of The Witcher 3 where a dwarvish blacksmith has had his forge burned down. You can track down the vandal and turn him over to the authorities, and if you do, he’s immediately executed. He’s hung from a nearby tree. It’s a grim quest that tells you […]

Paradise Killer: On Lies

Let’s dip back to Paradise Killer for a minute. We talked previously about how it works as a detective story, how it deals with truth and closure within the constraints of a video game. This week, I want to talk about how it deals with lying. Paradise Killer is a murder mystery, a game where […]

Eastshade: On Inspiration

Inspiration originally was one of those religious words – people don’t often know this, but it stems from the Latin spiro, meaning ‘to breathe’. That’s where we get similar words like ‘respiratory’, as in the respiratory system, and ‘spirit’. Our common words for breath and the soul derive from the same source – and historically, […]

Eastshade: Painting and Space

Eastshade is a 2019 game about being an artist, where you wander around painting shit in the woods. Like all the best games, it’s from a small indie developer who used to be in the triple-A industry and jumped ship to make his own stuff. There are so many interesting things I want to chat […]

Game Launch: The Letter

It’s been a minute, but I’m proud to announce my new game. The Letter is a text-based narrative where you experience the story by typing it out yourself. It requires a keyboard, and a delicate touch. I said last year when I released Silas Silvanus that I wanted to focus on more visual games in […]

Superliminal: How To Shift Moods

Superliminal is a 2019 surreal puzzle game from Pillow Castle. Following in the footsteps of Demruth’s 2013 Antichamber, it features puzzles based around forced-perspective. The story’s got kind of a Portal thing going, too – you’re a dreamer who’s accidentally stumbled into a sleep therapy dream, and nobody totally knows where you are or how […]

Paradise Killer: On Detectives and Knowledge

Spoiler warning: Paradise Killer is a detective game, and I am 100% going to talk about how it ends. A big part of the detective genre is this idea that we can make the world make sense. There’s a mystery, an instance of the unknown, and over the course of the story the detective figures […]

On Attention Span

How’s your attention span? Shorter than it should be? It’s easy to find hot takes on the supposed attention deficit in our current culture – it’s the internet, it’s kids not reading enough, it’s notifications on your phone always pulling you away from the things you’re focusing on. Often these complaints are driven by people […]

Borderlands: On Madness and Stories

After writing that thing last week about Flotsam, and how it takes some inspiration from Borderlands, I had to go back and reinstall Borderlands and start playing it again. I feel like I haven’t played many shooters in a while – I guess Control and Ghost Recon back in April / May, but – yeah, […]

Flotsam: Politics or Psychology?

As I write this, I’m playing Flotsam, an early access game about sailing round the ocean after the apocalypse. Climate change has come to a head, the world is flooded, and all you can do is sail around and scavenge bits of plastic to knot together on your little tug. It’s very obviously about pollution […]

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