First Steps: Freedom in the Open World (Part 2)

Welcome to Part 2 of my “First Steps” project, which focuses on restriction, guidance, and freedom in the initial moments of open world games. You may find it helpful to visit Part 1 for an introduction to the project and an overview of my line of inquiry. In the coming weeks, I’ll also be playing The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, Horizon Zero Dawn, Fallout … Continue reading First Steps: Freedom in the Open World (Part 2)

First Steps: Freedom in the Open World (Part 1)

“Whenever we proceed from the known into the unknown we may hope to understand, but we may have to learn at the same time a new meaning of the word ‘understanding.” – Werner Heisenberg Welcome to the first post of many focusing on open world games! It’s a project I’ll be working on over the first few months or so of the Spring semester. (FYI, this … Continue reading First Steps: Freedom in the Open World (Part 1)

Let’s Talk about Water…

That’s right, water. Intrigued yet? What I’m specifically referring to is the water in Assassin’s Creed Origins. Those who know me well, know that I take interest in and enjoy the environmental elements of video games. I got some kicks from the sunsets in The Witcher 3 and the rain in Uncharted 4. Weather and other environmental elements have come a long way in video games, … Continue reading Let’s Talk about Water…

No Man’s Sky: Nearly a Year Later

No Man's Sky_20170531174033This time last year I waited with much anticipation for No Man’s Sky which eventually released August 9, 2016 (NA) on PlayStation 4 and PC. If you haven’t heard of it, and the ensuing backlash in particular, I don’t know if you’re incredibly fortunate or were sleeping under a rock for the year.

Last year on my old blog I wrote about my excitement for No Man’s Sky and how a childhood fantasy was potentially coming true :

As a kid, I read voraciously from Asimov to books about the Milky Way. Once upon a time, I even wanted to be an astronaut or an astrophysicist. My mind took me to wild places after watching Star Wars, Star Trek, and Stargate. I have always possessed an infatuation with space. So now that one of the most ambitious games of more recent years is on the verge of its release, I can’t help but be filled with anticipation.

Continue reading “No Man’s Sky: Nearly a Year Later”

Thoughts: Far Cry 5


Originally I was going to write a post picking apart the arguments of those unhappy with Far Cry 5 which typically fell into the following: “it’s anti-christian and an attack on Christian Fundamentalism,” “here goes Ubisoft, getting political on us and pushing an agenda,” “why aren’t the bad guys Muslim?” and “way to make fun of the middle class.” But after the long weekend and taking some time away from the Internet, I decided those weak arguments aren’t worth it. Whew.

Instead, I would like to offer a short post where I simply discuss the direction Ubisoft seems to be going with this latest installment in the franchise. Continue reading “Thoughts: Far Cry 5”

Unmasking the ‘Savior’: Narratives and Heroes in Far Cry

e51551_8c5aa8e1ad824b5284ad5cfd3e81f82bAs a franchise, Far Cry has players take on the roles of protagonists who become heroes to specific communities–typically people who are presented as “primitive” in a variety of ways. The hero is capable of exceptional ideas and actions which in turn aid and lift local communities out from under oppressive forces. This is a common theme in video games. However, these relationships between “saviors” and “victims” can be problematic in Far Cry even if the last two games in the franchise make attempts to rectify or adjust such representations.

Continue reading “Unmasking the ‘Savior’: Narratives and Heroes in Far Cry”