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 have plenty of action to fill my free-time.
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 never forget the rapid-fire conversation about how individual experience shapes varying degrees of reality.
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 the creator plays the series of photographs in a continuous sequence, this creates the illusion of movement. Albert E. Smith and J.
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.
My recent TV line-up includes Bored to Death and Pushing Daisies. And I just read Dashiell Hammett’s Maltese Falcon. The detectives in all call to mind a list of favorite video game sleuths:
1. Nancy Drew, amateur sleuth from the Nancy Drew Mystery Stories
When I walk my dog, I also peek through neighbors’ windows and wrinkle my nose at textiles, wall paper designs, and furniture. When I attend parties, I pretend to engage in conversation while I discreetly determine how to rearrange the hosts’ furniture. I know that’s not polite, but I’m being honest here. I also know that “beauty is in the eye of the beholder” and decorating budgets are often slim. But adding a touch of style to your gamer pad is sure to win over your guests.
Roger Ebert once said “video games can never be art.” He compared video games to competitive sports, because all these activities involve a winner and a loser. In contrast, Psychology Today blogger David Lundberg Kenrick explored aesthetic philosopher Dennis Dutton’s theory of art and applied it to how people view video games. Dutton says art appreciation is linked to several evolutionary factors including depictions of environmental cues, solving adaptive problems, and expression of sexually selected traits.
In the 2006 New York Times article “The Cute Factor,” Natalie Angier investigated how cuteness affects society. She wrote “scientists who study the evolution of visual signaling have identified a wide and still expanding assortment of features and behaviors that make something look cute.” Cute cues include roundness, floppy limbs, a side-to-side gait, vulnerability, and need, among others. After reading Angier’s article, I realized cute factors affect my game selections.