Book Announcement: Playing Dystopia

Hi everyone, I want to draw attention to my newly published book—“Playing Dystopia: Nightmarish Worlds in Video Games and the Player’s Aesthetic Response”—which is now available (as a book and ebook) via Transcript and soon in the US/internationally through Colombia University Press. (You can read the introduction and table of contents following this link) In…

The Game Tourist E01: The Magical Ascent of Journey

The game tourist of Journey (Thatgamecompany 2012, 2015) comes to visit an extraordinary, magical world that is permeated by vibrant colours and alluring vistas. To travel this world not only means to participate in a plot scenario that has the player (and the unnamed character) move the way of life towards a final goal but also…

Video Game Tourism E08: Watch_Dogs 2 Selfies (Part I)

With 40H40min, Watch_Dogs 2 (Ubisoft Montreal, 2016) is finally over! This might seem a little harsh, but in the end I’m glad I finished the game. This is not to say that Watch_Dogs 2 is a bad game, that’s far from the truth—and I had some incredible moments with it. Unfortunately, though, many of the…

Video Game Tourism E06: Watch_Dogs_Remembering_the_true_Cyberpunk Vigilante

Reviews for the new Watch_Dogs 2 (2016) suggest that Ubisoft Montreal have learned their lesson and created an improved version of Watch_Dogs (2014) with their newest iteration. But is this really so? When missions proceed according to the same, cumbersome routine, lacking any checkpoints—which would have promoted creative play, but instead the player finds himself encapsulated in frustration….

Video Game Tourism E05: Rise of the Tomb Raider’s astounding beauty

Having played Uncharted 4 (Naughty Dog, 2016), it is hard to dive into an action-adventure game without expecting too much from it. But Rise of the Tomb Raider (Crystal Dynamics, 2016), surprisingly, gets the job done—though with a different focus. The game involves the player in the role of Lara Croft venturing on a most…

Video Game Tourism E04: Nature and the Sublime in Firewatch

Firewatch (Campo Santo, 2016) is video game narrative whose experience is something rarely achieved in video game fiction. It begins in the form of a classic text-adventure to then move into the realms of modern versions of the genre. The game, thereby, sets the player into the role of Henry, who struggles with personal issues…