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.
For halloween our intrepid heroes delve deep into the gothic with a look at Layers Of Fear. Beneath the game’s beautiful exterior lurks a dark, worm-ridden subtext, but like the best of the genre there’s a perverse pleasure in coming back for one more taste…
Spoilers for Layers Of Fear and its Inheritance DLC.
References and Recommended reading:
Carol J. Clover. Men, Women and Chainsaws; Gender in Modern Horror Film
Vivian Sobchack. ‘Child/Alien/Father: Patriarchal Crisis and Generic Exchange.’ in Close Encounters: Film, Feminism, and Science Fiction
Barbara Creed. ‘Horror and the Monstrous-Feminine; An Imaginary Abjection.’ in The Monstrous-Feminine: Film, Feminism, Psychoanalysis
Linda Williams. ‘When the Woman Looks.’ in Horror, the Film Reader
Barbara Creed. ‘Dark Desires; Male Masochism in the Horror Film.’ in Screening the Male: Exploring Masculinities in the Hollywood Cinema
Peter Hutchings. ‘Masculinity and the Horror Film.’ in You Tarzan: Masculinity, Movies and Men
Brigid Cherry. ‘Refusing to Refuse to Look; Female Viewers of the Horror Film.’ in Horror, the Film Reader
Dale Townshend (Editor), Terror and Wonder: The Gothic Imagination
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
Having braved EGX 2016, our podcasting heroes relate their tales of daring dos, some gaming dont’s, highlights of EGX, thoughts on VR as a new way of role-playing and their insiders take on the ASA investigation of No Man’s Sky. Much beer is had.
Video 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?