Shadow of Mordor: The Nemesis System

So I’ve been talking about Shadow of Mordor lately, and I said I wanted to go back and look over the Nemesis system in more detail. It’s super cool, and I do enjoy parts of it, but there are also parts where it potentially works against itself. There’s also generally some broader issues with how the system is integrated into the game – I don’t want to talk about that too much, because I want to treat the system in relative isolation, but we’ll spend a little bit of time on it, even just as context to get us started.  (more…)


Jacques Maritain: On Human Rights

I’ve been supposedly talking about Jacques Maritain for four weeks now, and I don’t feel like I’ve said a damn thing about what he’s actually writing. I’m going to try and do that today – not with reference to Christianity and Democracy, but to the other volume in my book – The Rights of Man and Natural Law. I’ll give you the set-up to the last few weeks. Basically, there’s an intro to this book on Maritain that talks about how gay people are anti-Christian and anti-democratic and there’s a secret agenda to wipe democracy off the face of the earth. These last four weeks have been my form of response to that idea. Today, I’m actually finally going to look at the resources within Maritain for dealing with this idea.  (more…)

On Reviews and Research

I’ve been thinking a little bit recently about the process of reviewing games – I said last week that I didn’t want to review anything, and that I didn’t like those Youtube videos that sort of wax on in smug nasal tone about one tiny point that they’ve noticed in a video game, as if they’re the holy hallelujah messiah reborn. There’s a couple of different thoughts involved here, and a couple of comments on the realm of academia, and I’ve finally brought them all together.  (more…)

Shadow of Mordor: Building a Busy Game

I’ve said before that I don’t do reviews – and I maintain that position. There are too many videos on Youtube explaining why X game is awful or has the worst level design or why the designers are stupid, and they all seem to be run by the same patronizing white male who’s way too impressed with his very small range of technical comprehension. That said, I’ve reinstalled Shadow of Mordor recently, and it feels very thin. I wanted to talk a bit about some of the elements that feed into that.  (more…)

Maritain: Christianity, Democracy, and Free Speech

Last week I talked about a guy who wrote an introduction to Jacques Maritain’s Christianity and Democracy. This guy argued that you can’t have democracy without Christianity, and the gays are trying to exclude Christianity from the public sphere and they’re ruining democracy in the process. Having now actually read Christianity and Democracy, there’s a bit of contextualising that I’m able to offer back into that weird introduction. (more…)

The Batmobile in Batman: Arkham Knight

Okay so a lot of people hated the Batmobile in Arkham Knight, and I’m not going to try and defend it. People said that it was unnecessary and nobody really wanted it, and also that it turned the game into the next GTA. Personally I really hated the Riddler racing tracks. But setting those criticisms aside, today I wanted to focus on one tiny part of what the Batmobile brings to the game, in terms of some of the structural changes it creates.  (more…)