RPGs, simulations, and strategy games are my preferred genres, but I've played and enjoyed several shooters that prioritized story over gameplay (BioShock Infinite), explored the moral gray areas of violence as a solution (Spec-Ops: The Line), or whose sci-fi settings simply put things in a less problematic context (Halo). The timing of Hardline's switch from military fantasy to militarized police fantasy couldn't possibly be worse, either, in light of the ongoing problems in Ferguson, MO, one of the more egregious examples of a systemic cultural problem in this country that most video games either completely ignore or cynically tap into.
Category: Pop Culture
On comics and other pop culture topics, including archived Comic Book Commentary posts from 2005-2007.
Milestone’s Timely Return Should Offer Distinguished Competition
Thankfully, it sounds like Milestone isn't planning to place all their chips on comics alone because I doubt they'll find much success in the core comics market. But as part of a broader distribution and media strategy that will hopefully include original graphic novels, webcomics, animation, and, eventually, live-action TV and/or movies and video games, I'm excited about the possibilities.
Gaming’s Killer App: Twitch?
it's the non-gaming aspects of the Xbox One that I find most intriguing because I don't believe "next gen" will ultimately be defined by graphics, and the first real example of that is Twitch. Per Google research, "Gamers are an important driver of brand engagement, as they create, curate, and share content." And that's where Twitch comes in and things get really interesting.
BioShock Infinite’s Ambitiously Flawed Perfection
"Wow..." That was my whispered, slack-jawed reaction to the final 30 minutes of BioShock Infinite, arguably the most compelling video game experience I've ever had. It's not a perfect game by any stretch of the definition, and since completing the game, I've thoroughly enjoyed reading some of the more measured reviews that haven't been afraid to point out its flaws, but to borrow a phrase from Grace Jones, it might not be perfect, but it's perfect for me.
Hate the Parents, Not the Video Games
There are a wide variety of video games out there, and yes, some are extremely violent. Same goes for movies, TV shows, and even good, old-fashioned books. If you don't want your kids playing these games (or consuming any other similar media), be a responsible parent and deal with it, but don't go playing the blame game every time some senselessly violent act occurs too close to home, crying for government regulation.
The Avengers, John Carter, and “A little old fashioned…”
Joss Whedon reached deep down and tapped into what made the comics of the 60s and 70s so much fun, inspiring a generation of creators who were subsequently side-tracked by a misunderstanding of Alan Moore's Watchmen. It's the kind of movie DC's stable of characters (other than Batman) are best-suited for and will likely never get, and in some ways, it reminded me of the unfairly maligned John Carter (of Mars).
How John Carter MIGHT Get a Sequel, Despite Disney’s Apparent Efforts to Kill It
Licensing decisions are made well in advance of the release of a movie, so I have to wonder if this had anything to do with Burroughs' estate, what's considered public domain and who has the rights to what's not, but it's difficult to justify treating this movie like a niche play—not with a reported $250m budget on the line.
John Carter of Earth-Two?
In an alternate dimension, where we're a less cynical culture and hollow crap like Avatar and The Lorax tank at the box office, John Carter would be lauded for what it is: an unapologetic, old-fashioned swashbuckling adventure for all ages.
Ownership vs. Access: Which is More Important?
In less than a week, I've already spent more money on PoxNora—the "free-to-play" virtual card game I raved about earlier this week—than I have on ebooks all year long. If you include all of my Steam purchases (effectively the Kindle of computer gaming) over the past six months, it's more than I've spent on ebooks ever!
New Obsession: PoxNora
I never got into Magic: The Gathering, but I did play a lot of Pokemon and VS., so the appeal of collectible card games (aka, social gaming!) isn't new to me, and Advance Wars: Days of Ruin is one of my all-time favorite games, so turn-based tactics is right up my alley, too. Combine them with an impressively deep setting, beautiful artwork, and a slick (if not totally intuitive) deck virtual management system, and you have a winner.