Chip Chat #1: Welcome to Chip Chat

Chip Chat #1: Welcome to Chip Chat

Welcome to Chip Chat, a column where I eat as many novelty chip* flavors as humanly possible, then justify it by reviewing the chips and pairing them with a game I think they’re particularly suited for, like a garbage sommelier who specializes in junk food instead of wine. This is, I insist, not a thinly veiled excuse to buy novelty chip flavors—but if it was, that sure would be convenient, now, wouldn’t it.

*That’s crisps, for the British readers among us.

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Level Up Your Poetry, Part 2: Anatomy of Two Gaming Poems

Level Up Your Poetry, Part 2: Anatomy of Two Gaming Poems

In the first part of this two-part essay, I laid out my approach to writing poetry inspired by video games. If those three criteria felt too prescriptive for your tastes, then by all means, please use them as inspiration to rebel! Personally, I find the criteria open-ended enough to allow a multitude of outcomes. In this second part, I’ll use two of my gaming poems, one free verse and one formal structure, to illustrate the approach in action and how it helped me produce two vastly different results. (more…)

Level Up Your Poetry, Part 2: Anatomy of Two Gaming Poems

Level Up Your Poetry: Video Games & Ekphrastic Verse

Poetry about video games? You bet. It follows a fine tradition of ekphrastic poetry, or verse inspired by visual arts. Just as a poet might depict a painting in detail, you can portray the sights, sounds, and experiences of digital games through verse. The realm of video games contains its own cultures and subcultures, its own mythologies. It can be an exciting source of inspiration, one that doesn’t feel as saturated as other sources given its relative newness in the grand scheme of all media. (more…)

Diary of a Hardline Shep, Part 3: Who Gets to Choose

Diary of a Hardline Shep, Part 3: Who Gets to Choose

Welcome back to Diary of a Hardline Shep. Last time I talked about how Mass Effect’s premise positions humanity as an exceptional species. What I didn’t talk about is how much embodying that really sucks. (more…)

Diary of a Hardline Shep, Part 3: Who Gets to Choose

Diary of a Hardline Shep, Part 2: Space Colonialism Is Still Colonialism

So I want to start this diary from the very start. And from the very start, Mass Effect is very clear about one thing.

Shepard is special. (more…)

Animal Crossing’s Merchandising Efforts Tell Me That Suffering Yields Stuffing

Animal Crossing’s Merchandising Efforts Tell Me That Suffering Yields Stuffing

Animal Crossing fever will probably never die, and the well of merchandise has continued to be full since Animal Crossing: New Horizons’ release in March 2020. This huge merchandising campaign is still trucking along to commemorate that game’s release. Animal Crossing, the aesthetic, will remain a spark of joy for many, but that feeling becomes a susceptible, vulnerable target for new ventures despite New Horizons’ latency. (more…)