Papo & Yo (ho ho)

Hey there! This is the second part of a series on Papo & Yo. If you haven’t read the first post, you can read it here: 

So last time we talked about how Monster is a pretty obvious metaphor for the protagonist’s father – and the whole situation is modelled on the designer’s own relationship with his father. One of the interesting things about this game is that it uses metaphor – it shows you a physical thing which represents something else. I mentioned last time that it’s very heavy-handed – in the opening scene, the boy is hiding in a closet with his father storming past down the corridor, and the opening epigraph dedicates the game to the developer’s mother and siblings, “with whom I survived the monster of my father”. It’s a bit over-insistent. (more…)


Stoicism, Sadness, and having Stuff

Bit of a deviation today – I came across a new blog, which had a great introduction to the Greek philosophy of Stoicism. You can read it here. I’m not going to talk much about it directly, but there is one point within it that struck me as interesting. The writer is working through a couple of prominent critics of Stoicism, and quotes Bertrand Russell, one of those critics. Apparently, Bertie sees Stoicism as a philosophy where:

“We can’t be happy, but we can be good; let us therefore pretend that, so long as we are good, it doesn’t matter being unhappy.” (more…)

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.