Papo & Yo (mama)

Papo & Yo is a 2012 game that came out for the PS3 (and PC in 2013). It opens with a Brazilian kid hiding in a closet as an angry, male presence storms through the corridor. A portal opens up behind the kid, and he escapes into an imaginary world, where he finds a companion: Monster. Now, before the cutscene takes place, the game provides an epigraph: “To my mother, brothers, and sister, with whom I survived the monster of my father”. At this stage, (more…)

Augustine’s Archetypes (still cleaning up after joey c)

I came across an interesting passage in Augustine’s City of God recently, and I wanted to commit a bit of time to it. He’s talking about Cain, who is, Biblically, the founder of the first human city, Enoch. Here’s the passage in full:

“The first founder of the earthly city was, as we have seen, a fratricide; for, overcome by envy, he slew his own brother, a citizen of the Eternal City, on pilgrimage in this world. Hence it is no wonder that long afterwards this first precedent – what the Greeks call an archetype – was answered bya kind of reflection, by an event of the same kind at the founding of the city which was to be the capital of the earthly city of which we are speaking” (XV, 5). (more…)

Batman: Arkham Origins (adamantius)

Hey there! This is the second in a two-part series on Batman: Arkham Origins. If you haven’t read the first part, you might want to do that. It lives over here:

So last time we talked about the theme of justice in Arkham Origins. We talked about how there was some really interesting potential, and how the game didn’t use any of it, which was disappointing. In this post, I’d like to look at some of the ways that that potential could be used. (more…)

Batman: Arkham Origins (is the new black)

So today I want to look at how Batman: Arkham Origins does stuff wrong. I’m not actually interested in criticising the game though – because most of the stuff I’m talking about isn’t actually what the game is trying to do. It’s not quite fair to say “This game has poor story and is therefore a failure” when the story’s not really the main focus. It feels a little like criticising Schindler’s List for not being funny enough.


Platonism for the Masses (except not quite)

So there’s a famous Nietzsche quote where he describes Christianity as “Platonism for the masses” – which is funny, because Augustine describes Plato as “Moses in Attic Greek”. Today I’d like to look at Platonism and how Augustine deals with it – because there are a number of similarities between Platonism and Christianity, but there’s also some pretty significant points of difference – namely, for this essay, the value attached to the physical world.


Thomas Was Alone (for about five minutes)

The first time I played Thomas Was Alone, I came away describing it as one of the best games ever. I still maintain that it’s an outstanding example of the integration of story and gameplay, and I’d like to talk a little bit about why that is.
As a quick introduction, Thomas Was Alone is a little 2D side-scrolling puzzle game that involves you moving little blocks from A to B. It’s got some narration from Danny Wallace, who voices Shaun Hastings in the Assassin’s Creedgames, and that’s basically it.