Building and Embracing Creativity with Genshin Impact’s Serenitea Pot

Building and Embracing Creativity with Genshin Impact’s Serenitea Pot

I’m sure you’ve heard of the many comparisons made to HoYoverse’s best-selling game, Genshin Impact. From comparisons to Breath of the Wild for its exploration, Cooking Mama for cooking, or Bomberman, Pacman or Tetris for the limited minigame events—the list goes on. But regardless of its similarities to other games, Genshin Impact is more than just a regular gacha game for the masses. Within the main game, there’s the Serenitea Pot, a system that allows players to create and build outside of the gameplay mechanics and story-driven narrative. (more…)

PAX West Diary 2023: So Many Games, So Few Played

PAX West Diary 2023: So Many Games, So Few Played

Has there ever been a normal PAX? Has there ever been a year when some wild shit doesn’t happen personally or more broadly? I think not. But nonetheless, we persevere, dragging ourselves to the Seattle Convention Center (now split into three different buildings, because why not) despite whatever madness is going on in our own lives and the gaming world.

This year, we (Melissa Brinks and Kael Langdon) made it to PAX to look at, and conceivably write about, games. But, as always, PAX West and its many madnesses had other plans for us. (more…)

Level Up Your Poetry, Part 4: Games, Prose Poems, and Liminality

Level Up Your Poetry, Part 4: Games, Prose Poems, and Liminality

Video games occupy a liminal space, a threshold between digital and physical worlds. Our choices and actions in one directly influence the other. Video games conform to their own sets of rules, which may or may not mimic the laws of physics, morality, etc. In this sense, they share quite a bit in common with prose poems. (more…)

Monster Hunter Rise’s Character Creator Gives Me Gender Euphoria

Monster Hunter Rise’s Character Creator Gives Me Gender Euphoria

As a series, Monster Hunter has a lot to offer: challenging, punishing combat; fantastical, yet somewhat biologically justified creatures; and a massive selection of armour and weapons to be crafted from their body parts. Despite the games never veering far from these core elements since the first title in 2004, continuous adjustments and mechanical additions, such as Rise’s high-flying Wirebugs, have kept the series from ever feeling dated. However, one aspect of the series that often goes underappreciated is its character creator. (more…)

Autistic Representation in Video Games

Autistic Representation in Video Games

I was eighteen when I was told I was on the autism spectrum. It was at that moment, sitting in that dimly lit doctor’s office, that many pieces of my life finally found their place. Suddenly those ‘weird’ things I did or those ‘abnormal’ reactions to things made sense, and for once, I felt a sense of acceptance for myself, by myself. Another thing that suddenly made sense was my ability to hyperfixate on things—especially video games. (more…)

The Dreamcast and Hypersensitivity: A Neurodivergent Christmas

The Dreamcast and Hypersensitivity: A Neurodivergent Christmas

Content note: This piece includes mentions of self-harm.

The holidays are a weird time for me. As saccharine as they are often portrayed in popular media, they are designed to be loud. I suppose that’s part of the whole appeal. Having the whole family together, stories new and old being shared, familiar jokes being repeated and laughter being heard—there’s plenty to appreciate about them. Holidays, I once heard someone say, are the only time family gets together (more…)