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Credit: @pachumtorres

There will be no safety zones. I can guarantee you that the safety zones will be eliminated!

The myth of America is built on dust, bones, ghosts, and time. It is broken treaties and stolen land. It is a bedrock stained crimson washed over by centuries of sediment and negligence. The myth of America is of a land ripe for the taking, a manifest destiny, that was never ours to take, only to steal. …


Spoilers for Arkham Knight follow/CW: sexual assault, PTSD, suicide

Replaying Rocksteady’s 2015 capstone to their Arkham trilogy — Arkham Knight — has me thinking about trauma and how it’s depicted in games. Knight attempts, nobly, to plumb Bruce’s regrets and losses. For a character so defined by loss and the pain that comes with it, a Batman story seems a perfectly decent vehicle to use to explore the topic. …


Quick Bites is a series I’m starting on short games (typically an evening’s worth of time or less) where, each week, I highlight and examine a game and how it made me feel.

Off-Peak, Cosmo D’s hypnotic, surreal, jazzy collage of art plays like an interactable museum of inspiration. There’s something child-like in its anharmonic mish-mash of influences. Its sensory overload’s only guiding line is the sectioned-off musical tracks, localized to areas. Though, this too forms a sort of free-style montage guided only by your own eye and interest. Strange characters populate the recesses of Cosmo D’s train station. …


— — — — — —(Content warning: graphic violence) — — — — — —

Max Payne 3 is Rockstar’s best game. That famous (or infamous, more appropriately) developer is best known for its Grand Theft Auto series; games of ludicrous excess that often undercut the brilliant artistic and design talent of their artists and programmers through lame, downward-punching jokes. Recently, when it was given away for free by the Epic Games Store, I returned to their last in the series: Grand Theft Auto V.

As I do every time I play a GTA, I make a beeline for the…


Quick Bites is a series I’m starting on short games (typically an evening’s worth of time or less) where, each week, I highlight and examine a game and how it made me feel.

“Because the idea is to do a massive theater piece, uncompromising, honest. I usually think theater is — it’s the beginning of thought. It’s the truth not yet spoken. It’s what a man feels like after he’s been clocked in the jaw with love and all its messiness…I want all of us, players and patrons alike, to soak in the communal bath of it, the mikvah, as…


For all the messy conversations had and half-had about the Far Cry series’ checkered history with the colonizing gaze, I can’t help but feel there’s an untapped narrative potential to these vast, obscenely luxuriant play-spaces. As I write this, Ubisoft has recently revealed its newest in the mainline, numbered entries to their exercises in violence and exoticism: Far Cry 6. It takes place in some vaguely Latin American country with Breaking Bad/Better Call Saul actor Giancarlo Esposito as the big bad. The choice of the biracial, Italian-American actor to play what seems, at first blush, like a brutal despot, has…


Much has been made of, in the slew of modern violent anti-violence games, how dirty and bare all the horror is laid. Naughty Dog’s latest, The Last of Us: Part 2, animates, with great faux-consternation, all the chunky and crunchy bits of each named NPC in loving detail as they rip apart in the carnage you cause. It’s vicious work that aims to discomfit. In a sopping wet arcade, midway through the game, protagonist Ellie comes across a recent crime scene. A body lays, splayed across a pool table, with its jaw torn agape and a blood trail mere feet…

Aaron Hendrix

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