Today is a brand new day, just like every other day. Yippee! Celebrate by clicking on links to stuff that other people wrote. More
May 19, 2013
May 17, 2013
Some bad albums can provide entertainment value by inspiring laughter from horribly misguided musical decisions. Other bad albums are sonically fascinating in their failure. And then there are bad albums like The Boxer Rebellion’s Promises, which make me feel simultaneously angry and dejected. Albums that really have no business existing as they do. Albums that could be so damn much better. Promises is an abject waste of time and talent – a dull, uninspired mix of generic adult alternative and Coldplay-aping theatrics that perfectly encapsulates what happens when a band is out of ideas. More
May 12, 2013
We’re gettin’ nerdy in this week’s What I’ve Been Reading. So strap on your goggles, and let’s get this engine started. More
May 5, 2013
Celebrities Acting Nuts, Culture, Internet, Movies, Music, Sports, Television, Video Games, What I've Been Reading Danny Brown, Graduate school, Hugo II: Whodunit, Jason Collins, Manic pixie dream girl, NBA, New Girl, Nine Inch Nails, Riders, Vinyl Leave a comment
It’s a week of big news and not-so-big news. Luckily, I’m here to cover all of it. And by all of it, I mean a small portion of it. Cut me some slack; I’m a one-man operation! More
May 4, 2013
As is the case with all game reviews on this blog, this review will assume that you’ve played the game, i.e. it will contain spoilers for Kairo.
I really love the concept of Kairo. Most first-person puzzlers restrict the player to a series of closed rooms, which can facilitate a lot of nifty gameplay possibilities, but can also make the player feel cramped and restricted. Not so with Kairo, whose open-ended level design puts a large emphasis on exploration. The player navigates through what appear to be ancient alien ruins, solving the puzzles located in them to advance and unlock new areas to explore. With the right atmosphere, art direction, and level design, this could be a truly sublime experience.
Unfortunately, I don’t think Kairo is the best version of that game. It’s a good game, to be sure, but it’s held back from greatness by a variety of issues that initially didn’t bother me much, but ended up making me glad the experience was over by the game’s conclusion. In many ways, Kairo feels not like a finished product, but more like an alpha or beta release.
April 28, 2013
Humour, Internet, Music, News, Super-nerdity, Television, Video Games, What I've Been Reading BioShock Infinite, Boston Marathon bombings, Breaking news, Coachella, Ducks, Game theory, Jimmy Kimmel, Lie Witness News, no-one has to die., Peter Nonacs, UCLA Leave a comment
April 28, 2013
The following piece may contain spoilers for BioShock Infinite. You’ve been warned!
So, BioShock Infinite, eh? For better or worse, it’s still part of current critical conversations about video games, a month after its release. Usually, I enjoy participating in such conversations, but the discussion surrounding BioShock Infinite has taken somewhat of an odd turn that has made me wary of wading in. At the risk of over-simplifying, players have roughly split into two camps: people who loved almost everything about the game and people who were incredibly disappointed, which correspond roughly to mainstream gaming sites and the less mainstream blogosphere. I find myself in neither camp, so maybe this blog post is just a way of reconciling my feelings on the game with the player reaction I’ve perceived. (However, if I were capable of that level of self-reflection, I would probably question why I’m writing this blog post instead of doing something productive. *sigh*)
There are three possible responses to my wariness at participating in BioShock Infinite discussion: 1) Ignore it and participate anyway. 2) Ignore the conversation entirely. 3) Take a step back from the conversation and attempt to identify and explain the causes of the wariness. Option 1 inevitably leads to Internet shouting matches, so for a while, I had settled with option 2. But a recent post by Kirk Hamilton on Kotaku and Cameron Kunzelman’s round-up of BioShock Infinite links motivated me to switch to option 3. After reading a lot about what other people thought about BioShock Infinite, I think I’ve figured out why so much of this discussion seems problematic to me, and it has to do with how people are examining the game in the context of the medium of video games as a whole.