The Survival of Survival Horror

There’s a pretty great article over at GameTopius called The Survival of Survival Horror about the way that modern survival horror games resemble their predecessors. The author, Thomas Cross, draws a line in the sand between games like Dead Space and Resident Evil 5, and Siren: New Translation and Silent Hill 5. His point–which is […]

Brain Dead Space

When I was a kid some developer realized that with the advent of the 2x CD-ROM drive you could stream really tiny, really crappy video off the CD onto a PC. This lead to an explosion of universally-terrible “interactive movie” games like The Journeyman Project and Spaceship Warlock. Though the genre probably contributed to the […]

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 […]

Dead… Space?

I’m playing through Dead Space at the moment. Well, more precisely, I’ve been playing through Dead Space for close to three months. I am having a lot of trouble staying interested in it. This is kind of surprising to me because there’s really nothing wrong with the game at all. It’s a model of modern […]


Lately Nanashi no Geemu has got me thinking about how horror operates at a fundamental level. One of the keys, it seems to me, is connection with familiarity. Silent Hill uses normal, every day locales (an elementary school, a mall, an apartment complex) and then taints them with monsters, death, and eventually decrepitness. Nanashi No […]