• Game Criticism,  Game Review

    Experiencing Emotion Through Gameplay: a Look at Dear Esther

      (This article previously appeared on Dialog Wheel) As we’ve previously discussed on Dialog Wheel, games don’t necessarily have to be “fun” to be good.  I don’t sit down at the end of the day with a novel from James Joyce to unwind, but that doesn’t mean that he doesn’t have something to offer me in terms of artistic value. By the same token, games like Dear Esther stretch our definition of “game”, and offer a different sort of enjoyment in playing through them. Dear Esther is a game determined to make you feel loss, and to ultimately accept that this is an inevitable part of human existence. Dear Esther comes from developer The Chinese…

  • Game Criticism,  Game Review

    We All Have a Choice: Thoughts on Bastion

    (This article was previously published on Dialog Wheel.) I will be to the first one to admit that I am not a “gamer”. I enjoy playing video games, and the culture that surrounds them is so welcoming and lively that I can’t help but be drawn in to the gaming world. Two things hold me back from diving headfirst into gaming. First, as a recently graduated English major, I lack the funds to buy each game as it comes out (This explains why I’m just now playing Portal 2–thanks Steam sale!). Secondly, as a recently graduated English major, I tend to spend more time with my first love, reading, than I…