Episode 9: Life is Strange – Suicide Ain’t Painless

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Life is Strange is one of the stand-out games of the last few years. What makes it work so well, though? And what’s going on under the surface? Is there a difference between raising issues under-represented in gaming and actually dealing with those issues? We take a look at the subtext, the mechanics, the characters and the games it sits alongside.

Spoilers for the whole of Life is Strange, natch.

Cited works (in progress):

https://gomakemeasandwich.wordpress.com/2015/07/07/life-is-strange-and-the-importance-of-womens-stories/

https://mrpootler.wordpress.com/2016/11/11/life-is-strange-the-secret-to-its-success/

 

 

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Episode 7: Finding Something To Fight For – The Last Of Us

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We spent this podcast looking at the last 6 issues in relation to ‘The Last of Us’, so expect all the spoilers, some bickering, lots of pondering and thoughts on topics such as damaged dads, absent mums, patriarchy, narrative points, game play versus story telling, character point of view, and all the subtext, that’s right, all of it.

Spoilers for the games: The Last of Us, Left Behind DLC, Life is Strange, Gone Home, Bioshock Infinite, Walking Dead season 2, Witcher 3

Resources and Recommendations:

We Don’t Talk About Kenny: Telltale’s Walking Dead Season 2‘ by Innuendo Studios

‘The Last of Us’ by Errant Signal

The Last Of Us – The Movie (Marathon Edition)‘ by dansg08

The Making of The Last of Us‘ from PlayStation

‘Passionate Detachments:An Introduction to Feminist Film Theory’ By Sue Thornham

Episode 3: Narrative – Lovecraftian Space Baby

Lovecraftian Space BabyVideo games haven’t started the apocalypse quite yet.  Before the end of the world, we had time to talk about traditional narrative and open, sandbox-style gaming.  Does the natural human compulsion to seek patterns and meanings make narrative easier or harder to find in games?  And how do individuals appropriate that to a personal, and meaningful experience?

References and recommendations:

‘Being Amused by Apophenia’, by Bruce Poulsen: Short and sharp article about our need and desire to find patterns and meanings in our interactions, whether they exist or not.

‘Games, Story, and An Extended Metaphor’, by Andrea Phillips: A blog raising some interesting theories about the gamer’s relationship to narrative.

‘The first great works of digital literature are already being written’, by Naomi Alderman: Title says it all.  Good point, well made.

‘Simulation versus Narrative: Introduction to Ludology’, by Gonzalo Frasca: Well referenced academic article contemplating the difference between simulation and representation in games.

Robert Redford: ‘Technology deprives us of coming up with our own stories’ – video interview

4-Layers, A Narrative Design Approach

How RimWorld Generates Great Stories

No Man’s Sky: The Kotaku Review