Retrogamer: Passive Participation

The last time I played a Castlevania game was during the Reagan administration. So how in the hell do I know Alucard’s backstory? How do I know who Trevor Belmont is? This isn’t knowledge that arrives via osmosis, like talk radio or work conversation.

Save Point: Catherine

Throughout the game, players make certain decisions that funnel them into one of nine conclusions. In some, Vincent ends up with Katherine. In others, he ends up with Catherine. In yet others, he ends up single; in one of these, he even saves enough money to buy a solo commercial ticket into space. And I have to say it did surprise me that Vincent’s fate branches this way.

Hybrid Landscapes in ‘The Adrift of Samus Aran’

In a series of fifteen sparse poems that flit across the page like half-remembered meditations, Vince’s speaker visits the psychic remnants of their life, the intersections and edges of their experience within a landscape that has turned them into “a / Body rounded / to Zero.”

Retrogamer: This Was Never About Sonic

Sonic, for all its hedgehog oddity, never had that extra. It seemed forced, a sped up, dumbed down, pallette-enhanced non-entity. It had the soul of Bennigan’s, the magic of made-for-TV adaptations. And without that 9th dimension, it was only a rapid platform, an artificial barrier to a journey explored and experienced.

The Architecture of Emotion: A Conversation with Matthew Burnside

I’d say half of everything I write concerns a character’s survival through some kind of game, often one they’ve made up. As a kid I used to deal with all my problems by treating life as a game, and I still do sometimes as an adult I admit. I’d say many of us do. It’s powerful but dangerous; imagination is a savior but it’s also damning.