RE:BIND

Browsing posts from: Mx Medea

WARNING: This article contains spoilers for DOOM 2016 and DOOM: ETERNAL. But who cares about the story anyway, right?

The videogame market has, for many years, engaged in a form of self-referential cyclicality, from indie games hearkening to the minimalist pixel-art design of the medium’s early forebears, to the current wave of PS1 aesthetic resurgence and the much-beloved resurgence of the “boomer shooter”, all the way to the DOOM series’ reflection on nostalgic memories of the hyper-violent and frantic action of 90s FPS titles. This is, of course, nothing unique to video games as one need look no further than the box office hits of modern Hollywood to see that reboots, remakes, and reimaginings are the order of the day.

Enter Jean Baudrillard and his conceptualization of “hyperreality”, the indistinguishable muddling together of reality and the simulated as originally explored in Simulacra and Simulation of The Matrix fame.

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Right on.
Dominique Pamplemousse by Squinky

It was meant to be a simple case
Pay my rent, get me outta the rat race
But I’m starting to think I’m out of my depth
And it might just mean my horrible, untimely death
Trying to get out of here, but it’s no use
And for the love of God, the name’s not Pimplemoose!

Musicals are a time-honoured tradition in both theater and cinema, but sadly, the artform has seldom made the jump to video games. Dominique Pamplemousse by Squinky, however, happily bucks this trend with a foray into the even rarer musical noir subgenre. You control the titular gumshoe as they sing their way down the rabbit hole of a case full of intrigue, deception, delinquent landlords, autotuning, and brutal student debt.

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No Delivery by oates.

[Content Warning: Discussions of abduction, murder, gore, and body horror]

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No Delivery by oates is a horror game with procedurally generated dungeon diving, a fantastic aesthetic, engaging combat with a focus on symbiotic resource management, and the occasional burst of dark humor that perfectly encapsulates the suffocating experience of working the night shift alone at a fast food establishment. Whether you’re cleaning tables, crawling through the ventilation shafts, or turning on the industrial walk-in microwave without adequately ensuring that it’s empty, every moment of its gameplay and atmosphere will leave you with a beautifully crushing sense of dread.

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Watering A Flower by Lily Belmira

There’s a common trans experience of wishing you could see your future self, the self you want to be. This experience blossoms, over time, into the earnest wish that you could send your younger self a message in a bottle telling them how everything will change, and who they will become.

Watering a Flower by Lily Belmira is a perfect encapsulation of both sides of this experience, at once presenting a small, safe place for her younger self to seek out the wisdom and reassurance of her older self, nurturing them with kindness, understanding, and hope, while also allowing the older side of herself to reflect upon the events of her past and reify all of those precious memories eked away by time or necessity.

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Hail Eris.
(FAITH, by Airdorf)

[Content Warning: Discussions of death, murder, trans/queerphobia, exorcisms, religious and familial abandonment, and teenage pregnancy.]

Disclaimer: Mx Medea was apprenticed under a pastor in the protestant church for several years.

As I walk through the valley of the shadow of death…

There is a monster here, although not the one charging at me from the treeline, nor the one hovering towards me with supposedly murderous intent, instead the monster is more austere, more insidious, more indignant. This demon wears a clerical collar, waves aloft a crucifix, and is absolutely convicted that what he is doing is not only acceptable, but the will of a completely just and loving God. Today, his God says to kill.

FAITH, by Airdorf, is a retro-styled game that leans heavily upon Exorcist horror tropes that compliment the simple style quite well by framing the expected archetypes clearly within the mind of the player by evoking already established characters. It’s a well-made horror game that stays true to its roots and will definitely make you more afraid of a white pixel-monster charging towards you than any game since Ski Free.

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Content warning: discussions of trauma, abuse, substance abuse, and self harm

Terraria by Re-Logic (2011)

If you think about it, aren’t all games a game of the decade, or at least of a decade? Ah well, another 10 years go flying by and it’s time to engage in the Sisyphean task of rolling the “top games of x decade” rock up the hill once again nonetheless, so let’s not waste any time from this decade and just dive straight in.

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“How long have I been alone?”

“My entire life I suppose. How old am I now? God, like it even matters anymore, what’s the point of keeping track when you’re just running down the clock? I can hear them scrabbling about out there, in the mist, the damned impenetrable mist, I can always hear them. I can’t get that note out of my head. Is it even worth the risk of trying to get to the top of the Solar Cathedral? … Fuck it, maybe for once in my life I can finally know what it’s like to not be alone.”

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Introducing the new and improved streaming service!
(The Running Man, 1987)

Well, we all knew it was coming, and it looks like it’s finally here: subscription based gaming services – the “Spotifys of gaming” if you will (and tech companies definitely will). There has been much debate about the concept, however we find ourselves now amidst the full-steam execution, so what now?

Much of the idea is still nebulous and shrouded in corporate mystery. How will devs be paid? How is the amount they’re to be paid calculated? What the hell does “engagement” mean? All good questions, and crucially important, but we need to also address the dev-side of the equation and ask what this shift means for the future of the medium and our approach to video game development for these stream-based platforms.

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Pictured: A craftsman of countless perverse fantasies and Russ Meyer. (Russ Meyer and Roger Ebert, 1970)

Hello fandom, my old friend, I’ve come to write on you again. If you’ve been living under a rock, or simply have literally anything better to do with your time, it may come as news to you that Martin Scorsese has stridden into the media spotlight once again to drive a stake through the caped heart of the Rodent Empire. I am, of course, talking about his mildly contentious opinions regarding the validity of Marvel movies as “cinema”, whatever the hell that word means these days.

I’m not here to debate the finer points of what does and doesn’t constitute art beyond my personal belief that art goes into Marvel films, and that they have artistic merit in their craft and their themes. What has caught my attention, however, is the visceral response to relatively mild criticism of fandom staples that such critique engenders.

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