A Video Game I Quit Playing

A Video Game I Quit Playing

Modern Americans are constantly bombarded with choices—local markets sell up to 25 different brands of water, media sources overload us with reports from the campaign trail, and college freshman opening a course catalog can be overwhelmed with options. Some people believe that choice rationally reflects desires, traits, and situations, and if we’re grounded in our…

What if Dali Made Video Games?

What if Dali Made Video Games?

PBS recently launched the Idea Channel, a bi-weekly series that examines the evolving relationship between modern technology and art. In the episode “Super Mario Brothers as Surrealist Art?”, host Mike Rungetta advocated for the game’s place in the canon of great surrealists.

Video Games for Your Health

Video Games for Your Health

Here is a list of cliché complaints that you likely hear on a daily basis: I was so worried about such and such, I couldn’t sleep. I got so bored running on the treadmill, I just wanted to slide off the back of it at full speed. I should not have ordered that ______ (fill…

Video Games aMuse Me

Video Games aMuse Me

From Man Ray and Elizabeth Lee Miller to Picasso and Marie-Therese Walter, the story of an artist and his muse proves just as striking as the artwork itself. Today, video games both inspire art and serve as a muse. Three different video game projects recently caught my fancy. A few years ago, I went to…

Do You Hear What I Hear in This Video Game?

Do You Hear What I Hear in This Video Game?

Last month, National Public Radio’s All Things Considered aired a piece titled “Why Do We Hate The Sound of Fingernails On a Chalkboard?” Musicologist Michael Oehler reported that this sound produces a frequency that reaches the most sensitive spot of the human ear and creates an amplified “open ear gain.” He further explained that some…

Video Games Rock Classical Music

Video Games Rock Classical Music

When I was eleven years old, my dad took me to see the Rolling Stones Voodoo Lounge concert. The stage erupted with inflatable skeletons, giant Jagger-like cartoon lips flashed across a jumbo screen, and Mick Jagger strutted across stage. I was sold—it was rock n’ roll and I not only liked it, I loved it….

Video Games for Halloween

Video Games for Halloween

Zombies, witches, vampires, monsters, and other blood curdling creatures invaded pop culture centuries ago. While I’m not big on gory thrills, I am a fan of other ghoulish delights. I fill each October calendar day with some Halloween activity. With video game titles like Little Red Riding Hood’s Zombie BBQ and A Vampyre Story, I…

Been Here Before: Same Landscapes, Different Stories in Video Games

Been Here Before: Same Landscapes, Different Stories in Video Games

In college, I spent much of Critical Reading loathing the professor’s love of American Romanticism and wallowing in my disdain for his assigned texts. Many of my classmates held similar sentiments, but we kept quiet during discussions of titles such as “Bodily Harm: Keats’ Figures in the ‘Ode on a Grecian Urn.’” However, I will…

Three Degrees of Stop-Motion in Video Games

Three Degrees of Stop-Motion in Video Games

I’m a Phillip Seymour Hoffman fan, which led me to his performance in Adam Elliot’s stop-motion film Mary and Max, which in turn caused me to think about how video games incorporate this marvelous animation technique. Typically, stop-motion involves a designer moving an inanimate object in small increments and then photographing each separate frame. When…

Adult Swim Video Games

Adult Swim Video Games

When Rolling Stone mentioned recently that Adult Swim plans to release a wave of new mobile video games, fans of the channel’s crass cartoons responded with uncertainty. Adult Swim dabbles in the video game industry regularly, and its track record makes it difficult for gamers to determine if these new games will sink or swim….