The Ten Biggest Pop Culture Disappointments of 2014

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Warning: This piece discusses sexual assault, domestic abuse, physical assault, and child abuse. If you don’t want to read about that stuff, then don’t read this piece.

It’s time for Refrigerator Rants’ most-treasured annual tradition! Every year, I take a look back at the pop cultural works, events, or occurrences that disappointed me or large numbers of other people. (I’ve decided that I’m equivalent to large numbers of other people.) This year had no shortage of crappy pop culture. In fact, there was so much garbage this year that the perennial tenth-place finisher, the Academy Awards telecast, got knocked off the list. Congratulations, 2014! You managed to produce at least 10 things that were worse than the Oscars this year. Bravo! More

The 10 Best (and 5 Worst) Video Games of 2014

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2014 was the year of the failed AAA launch. Many games from major publishers turned out to be abysmally awful, completely unplayable, or totally overhyped on release – DriveClub, Assassin’s Creed: Unity, and Destiny, to name a few. However, there were a number of gems too, and I’m going to list 10 of them. Included among them are a couple of AAA titles, a smattering of indie games, and at least one weird experiment in interactive fiction.

I’m also going to list the 5 worst games of the year, because it’s fun to mock terrible games. More

Game Review: Thief

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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 Thief.

A pretty good indicator of whether or not I’ll enjoy a first-person game is whether or not my character can jump. Jumping up and down is one of the most physically liberating actions there is. Given that these kinds of exuberant physical displays are not socially acceptable in real life, I relish the opportunity to indulge in them when exploring virtual worlds. Sure, there are terrible first-person games where you can jump all the time (e.g. the Medal of Honor reboot), and there are fantastic first-person games where you can’t jump at all (e.g. Gone Home). But for the most part, being able to jump – especially with a dedicated ‘jump’ button – is an integral part of what makes moving around in three-dimensional space with a first-person perspective fun.

Thief does not have a dedicated ‘jump’ button. More