“Access”

What does it mean when a videogame is accessible? There is accessibility in the vital sense: closed captions, colorblind modes, modular difficulty, freedom to rebind troublesome controls, adapted peripherals, and so on. Like, I have early onset arthritis. My joints swell, my feet hurt, my knees ache, and everything is a bit harder than it […]

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Goodbye, Setsuna

I Am Setsuna is a game that betrayed nearly all of its marketing points: it’s not retro, it’s not anything like Chrono Trigger, it doesn’t really function as a proper homage to jrpgs in any way, shape, or form (and homage is SE’s marketing keyword). Marketing shaped the frame that Setsuna was supposed to rest […]

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Aurion: Legacy of the Kori-Odan

The roleplaying game is liminal. Stats are individuality, but stats are codified, they’re unweighted essences. Symbols lacking in subtlety. Signifiers to recreate a person. Language of the literal to abstract and represent the unreal.  A person is intensely rendered, a specificity and depth that is unlike reality. A roleplaying game is existential, being a measured […]

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Something Something Dark Souls

It’s a popular interpretation that Dark Souls models a world after a collapse. This decay of order is used to explain the world’s violent inhabitants and strange, run-down settlements. It doesn’t explain the enemies’ general pacifism, hurting only the trespassing player. They seem to live untroubled, orderly lives, if it weren’t for the bearer of […]

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The Comfort of Post-Irony

Barkley, Shut Up and Jam: Gaiden Chapter 1 of the Hoopz Barkley SaGa had such a great effect on me that I had to deeply consider what format exactly it is working in. It is a sincerely told story, but not completely, or it wouldn’t cover itself in a veil of mockery. Its premise is […]

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