Let’s Study Horror Games, ep 5

Episode 5 is up! It’s going to be tight, but I think I’m going to make my self-imposed goal of releasing four episodes in December.

Mostly new material this time, although there’s elements pulled from this post. Script below the jump.

Continue reading

Let’s Study Horror Games, ep 4

Episode 4 is up! And, I have to say, at this point the first three feel like an elaborate throat-clearing exercise. This is where the deep dive really begins. Script below the jump.

Continue reading

Let’s Study Horror Games, ep 2

Episode 2 is up! In hindsight, I should have released the first one on October 1st, instead of October 31st. That way I could have produced a steady stream of them while people were in a spooky mood. At the rate things are going now, I’m going to be releasing subsequent episodes of this series on Christmas, maybe even Valentine’s Day. Whoops!

This one is on the Silent Hill series, so there’s aspects of this post and this post folded into it. There’s also plenty of new materials, though. Keep you eyes peeled for episode 3. Script, as usual, is below the fold.

Continue reading

Let’s Study Horror Games

I’ve begun a new series of “Let’s Study” videos on horror games, just in time for Halloween. This first episode explores the historical roots of the survival horror genre, which means that it’s a new manifestation of this lesson plan.

Over the summer, I was working on a peer-reviewed video essay that’s quite thematically dense. As a result, this video feels a little bit shaggy to me: loose, casual, searching for a central raison d’être. I constantly had to remind myself that this is for general audiences, and not every audiovisual argument needs to be an airtight assemblage of well-researched examples.

The unqualified good news? This video is a massive improvement on the previous blog post version of this lesson plan. The future videos in this series will be a mix of original material and “enhanced remakes” of previous lesson plans.

Transcript below the fold, as usual.

Continue reading

2-Year Anniversary of the Blog


One year ago today, noting the 1-year anniversary of the blog portion of this site, I announced that I had posted 117 times over the course of that year, and said that I doubt I’d be able to keep up that rate over the course of this year.

This prediction was correct.

In the past 365 days, I posted 39 times on this blog. These posts break down as follows:

Basically, my predictions about what would happen to this blog after I started my job at Ci3 have held. Since I’m writing for the organization during my 9-5, then writing my own peer-reviewed academic stuff on the weekends, I no longer find writing blog posts on top of that as fun as I once did.

Over the next year, I think it’s likely that things will continue to shift, as my own personal and professional needs change. Writing up lesson plans provided a great excuse to grab movie clips and capture game footage, building up an archive of teaching materials. I extended that same basic process into the writing of blog posts, which I used as an excuse to return to games, capture some footage, and work through themes I’d eventually like to see fully expanded in my book.

But looking back at my old material, I’m finding myself very dissatisfied with the text-with-embedded-YouTube-video format. I find making video content to be much more gratifying. For one, it’s a much better substitute for standing in front of a classroom—something I’ve missed immensely over the past year—than the blog post format. I also like the way in which it forces me to think through arguments visually. It’s a useful exercise to really have to think through which arguments are better suited for prose, and which are better served through video. Keeping the formats separate actually allows them to complement each other properly, allowing me to think through the same material in different ways.

I suppose my plan for year three is to “pivot to video,” as they say. I want to get more serious about writing my book project, and so I think the best casual work for me to be doing is video content that complements, rather than distracts me from, my writing. Expect more videos in the future, clustered around a coherent set of themes.

Interesting Games of 2018: The Year So Far


Yes, I’m still alive.

When the end of June rolled around, I thought to myself, “hey, I should do one of those collections of capsule reviews of games from the first half of the year, just like I did last year.”

But then I prioritized peer-reviewed projects I’ve been working on, instead. I’ve had a productive summer, although I do regret not hanging a little “on summer vacation” sign on the blog, so it didn’t feel quite so abandoned.

Anyway, better late than never. Below the fold, you’ll find thoughts on games that have piqued my interest so far in 2018.

Continue reading