I can’t speak for everybody, but my brain is fried lately. You know what I need? You know what we all need? A beach episode. We need rest and relaxation and hijinx. This month, we’re talking about which games are really just beach episodes, which games need a beach episode, and more! (more…)
As the common adage goes, April showers bring May flowers. So, naturally, this month we’re talking about gardening and growth in games, and maybe interpreting that a little loosely because why not? Why be beholden to a single definition of a word? May is also the month of May Day, encompassing both the Pagan celebration of the beginning of summer and International Labor Day, which brings attention to labor rights, worker exploitation, and the various and extensive problems with capitalism the world over. So let’s not limit ourselves to what it means to garden in a game—let’s think about planting and growth in all their forms! (more…)
Time, like most things, is a construct. But never have we been more aware of that fact than in 2022, which is simultaneously three years ago and six years from now. In light of occupying a strange, shifting period, this month we’re talking about time travel in games! What games do it well? What games do it poorly? And what can we learn from its inclusion? (more…)
It’s February, the month of ~love~, but love is broad and you know we love to interpret words loosely around here. So, we’re talking companions! What makes them fun? What makes them annoying? Why did 2000s Bioware only know how to write one human sci-fi man? Let’s find out together.
Melissa Brinks is Sidequest’s editor in chief, co-creator of the Fake Geek Girls podcast, author of The Compendium of Magical Beasts, and an aspiring beekeeper. She once won an argument on the internet, and tweets at @MelissaBrinks.
Oh, Mass Effect, my problematic love.
As an entirely new audience discovers the joy of the original trilogy via the Legendary Edition, I’ve been thinking about what drew me back to the series again and again. Sometimes when we talk about this series, it’s easier to focus on what we don’t love about it. As Kael’s Diary of a Hardline Shep points out, Commander Shepherd’s “extrajudicial space cop” status sure hits different in this decade. It’s worth thinking critically about why even Shepherd’s diplomatic duties typically involve guns. It’s certainly worth thinking critically about how (and why??) sexual dimorphism in aliens is represented—not to mention human and alien sexuality, and the mysteriously limited romantic options for a gay male Shepherd. And as Zainabb said in last August’s roundtable, the pleasure of exploring the discoverable universe is interwound with the pleasure of controlling and/or colonizing it: the space cantinas are Shepherd’s to raid, the space crates are Shepherd’s to loot, and the Krogan coming-of-age ceremony is simply waiting for Shepherd to crash. (more…)