Slash and Burn

I have written before about how product marketing for video games and everything else appears to be driven by enormous, autonomous, self-propelling machines. Huge apparatuses, employing hundreds of people, designed to pounce on any work that catches the fancy of the public, capitalize upon it, and keep it at the forefront of public consciousness until […]

I Hate Optional Mini-games

I can’t stand ’em. I have no problem with mini-games per se; it is specifically optional mini-games that get my goat. You know what I mean, the kind that you can skip without hurting the game but if you play all the way through are guaranteed some sort of reward. Like the shooting gallery game […]

Games-As-Products Part 2: Theories

In the last post I talked about how game reviewers often approach their reviews of games as if the games are consumer products. They evaluate each feature in isolation from the others, and at the end assign a score based on some attempt to objectively determine the “quality” of the game. This is in stark […]

The Games-as-Products Reviewer Mindset

What if you opened up the paper one day and read a review for a new book that went like this: “This book was printed on the new XBS series of printers, and you can really see the improvement in quality of the words on the page. The font is crisp and easy-to-read, and the […]

Eyes on the Prize

You can learn something about the American economy by watching horror movies. It’s true: when times are good and Hollywood is less risk-averse, we are treated to subtle, interesting, and original horror movies. When the economy is shitty (I hate the word “downturn,” it’s so saccharin), Hollywood responds by reverting to tried-and-true vehicles for turning […]

This Just In: Asinine Topics Prove Popular

I should probably apologize for the previous post. My New Years resolution is to stop reading internet forums (except the one here, of course) because I realized that I was spending a huge amount of my valuable free time reading and participating in arguments about topics that have absolutely no value whatsoever. I really enjoy […]

Asinine Topic: Resident Evil 4’s “Horror-ness”

If you run a site about video games, or read message boards about video games, or even give Wikipedia articles on video games a passing glance, you are sure to find people arguing about asinine details of unimportant topics. I’m sure this is true for all kinds of subjects, especially those that have to do […]

More Cthulhu Frustration

I know I’ve been fairly negative lately about the games I am playing. I really don’t want to just hate everything that comes my way and hold it up to some impossible golden standard, but damn, there’s been so much disappointment in my gaming life lately. Take Call of Cthulhu: Dark Corners of the Earth, […]

The Fight Against Mediocrity

Every couple of months I pull out a game that I’ve started but never completed. I play these games for a while, make some progress, then put them down again, sometimes for months. Usually these are games that just never grabbed me (like Extermination), or games that I was playing before I got interrupted by […]