Categorized: Criticism


A Study in the Sociopathic: ‘Moebius: Empire Rising’

This is an interesting piece that eventually morphed from what it was intended to be. This piece was meant to be a standard review for Moebius: Empire Rising, which can be easily identified when read. Another PopMatters writer took it upon himself to review the game before I had a chance to finish my review. So, […]


First Impressions: The Walking Dead: Season Two

Contains minor spoilers Clementine is growing up before our eyes. The Walking Dead: Season Two has begun, and just in time for the holidays. If The Walking Dead doesn’t say holiday season cheer, I don’t know what does. Telltale had revealed that Clementine would be returning as a playable character, so that isn’t so surprising. I […]


Why Magical Realism Works in ‘Papo & Yo’

Contains Spoilers Papo & Yo is game designer Vander Caballero’s cathartic allegory for growing up with an abusive alcoholic father. The father is represented by a monster that is sometimes docile and sometimes lives up to his name. When Monster eats frogs, he becomes a raging beast and lashes out at the young male protagonist, Quico. […]


My Time with ‘Depression Quest’

After a lot of consideration I reluctantly played through Depression Quest. As a life long sufferer of depression, the idea struck a nerve that I wasn’t sure I wanted to be struck. Depression is a serious problem, with 40 million Americans reporting having suffered from depression and likely many more who never report it. I […]


The Moral Gray Area of ‘The Walking Dead’

Contains Heavy Spoilers   Many games have morality systems implemented into their gameplay design. They often are represented in a good versus evil dichotomy. The Mass Effect series, for example, uses Paragon coded in blue and Renegade coded in red. The Fallout series uses Karma. The decisions the player makes will fall in either of these […]


Dunwall: A Tale of Two Cities

It seems there has been a resurgence of immersive game worlds as of late. However, the city that sticks out most prominently in my mind is Dishonored‘s Dunwall. Arkane Studio’s Dishonored, a story of a supernatural assassin bent on revenge or rectitude, depending on how you play, was treated with well-deserved success upon arrival. The […]


Control Mechanics As Storyteller in ‘Assassin’s Creed II’

In my year of trying to catch up to playing classic games of this console generation I’ve finally made my way to Assassin’s Creed II. Having heard nothing but good things about this game but not doing much research on it, I went into it with a clean slate. The first thing that caught my attention was the […]


In ‘Mass Effect 3’, Do the Means Justify the Ends?

“Does the ends justify the means?” is often referenced ethical theory in popular culture but when it comes to the ending of the much loved and criticized Mass Effect saga it might be more appropriate to ask “Do the means justify the ends?” Although Mass Effect 3 received critical praise across the board from video […]