Symposium: What Remains of Edith Finch, August 3, 2017


The game What Remains of Edith Finch (2017) presents a series of interconnected moments revolving around a premise posed as an implicit question: in the end, are we simply stories other people tell about us?

This Thursday, at 8:30pm EDT / 5:30pm PDT, let’s discuss how What Remains of Edith Finch (2017) is itself a connection among a number of trends this year.

  • Games as part of and as themselves anthologies “gathered” together around a theme;
  • What the shift of “missing fathers” (The Unfinished Swan, 2014; BioShock Infinite, 2013) to “missing mothers” (What Remains of Edith Finch, 2017; Mass Effect: Andromeda, 2017; Persona 5, 2017) might mean; and
  • The rise of “walking simulators,” and the complications of genre conventions and labels
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Gaming Session: Minecraft, July 27, 2017

Minecraft this Thursday; 8:30pm EDT / 5:30pm PDT.


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Gaming Session: Minecraft, June 29, 2017

Minecraft this week! Thursday, June 29 at 8:30pm EDT / 5:30pm PDT.

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Symposium: Portal and Portal 2, June 8, 2017

For this month’s Symposium, we’ll be discussing Portal and Portal 2.  The question that I’m most interested in exploring is how the two games relate to each other: in what ways does Portal 2 behave as a traditional sequel to Portal, and in what ways should we analyze the two games differently, as two different ways to use the same tools?

We’re meeting on Thursday, June 8th at 8:30pm EDT / 5:30pm PDT.

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Gaming Session: Minecraft, May 25, 2017

Minecraft this Thursday! 8:30pm EDT / 5:30pm PDT.

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Symposium: Western JRPGs, May 4, 2017

This month’s symposium is hosted by Pat Holleman.  Quoting Pat:

For a long time, the “J” in JRPG signified only the country of origin for games like Final Fantasy, Dragon Quest, Breath of Fire and Ys.  Over time, the Western audience came to understand JRPG as being a subgenre with its own set of story tropes and design techniques.  In recent times, Western developers who grew up playing JRPGs in the 1980s and 1990s have begun to try their hand at making games in this subgenre–but they come to it as outsiders who are appropriating tropes that materialized in another culture.  This is something which has happened in art for thousands of years, of course, but even respectful appropriations leave clear signs.  We’ll be looking at either Shadows of Adam or Cosmic Star Heroine (or both) as examples of Westerners making “neo” JRPGs, and how they commodify their source material for re-use in games which are often quite different in scope, goals and player experience.   Both games are on Steam and can be completed in less than 15 hours, although 3-5 hours in either game will give you a good idea of what I’m talking about.

We’ll meet this Thursday at 8:30pm EDT / 5:30pm PDT.

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Gaming Session: Minecraft, April 27, 2017

Minecraft this Thursday, at our new time of 8:30 EDT / 5:30 PDT.

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