Exploring My Queerness in Pelican Town

Exploring My Queerness in Pelican Town

Stardew Valley is a farming and life simulation game created by Eric Barone (ConcernedApe). The player plays as someone who leaves their soul-crushing job at a big corporation, Joja, to take over the farm their grandfather left them in his will. What sets Stardew Valley apart is how deep the story is. There are many secrets to unlock about the town while befriending, and potentially romancing, the NPCs. Yes, farming is fun. And there are other activities like mining and repairing the town’s Community Center with the help of some forest spirits called Junimos. But you don’t have to do any of that. If you want to just run around and befriend everyone you can do that too. (more…)

Lego Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga Gave My Star Wars Obsession a New Hope

Lego Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga Gave My Star Wars Obsession a New Hope

I can’t remember a time in my life before Star Wars. The movies and related content shaped my identity and fostered my creativity. My first crushes were Han Solo, Luke, and Anakin Skywalker; meanwhile, Princess Leia ignited a years-long queer awakening. I watched the movies over and over, read the Expanded Universe (now called Legends) novels, and played the Lego games until my PS2 was barely functioning. I scrolled boards.theforce.net for hours, where I discovered the magical world of fanfiction. From childhood to my late teens, Star Wars and the fandom were the twin suns around which my world revolved. (more…)

Level Up Your Poetry, Part 3: The Name of the Game Is Immersion

Level Up Your Poetry, Part 3: The Name of the Game Is Immersion

In my two prior essays about the craft of video game poetry, I’ve touched on the roots of poems inspired by art and other media (i.e., ekphrastic verse) and broken down some examples of my own work to show how digital games can inspire wildly different homages. Now, I’d like to dig into one of the best practices of poetry in general, something that should be a natural fit for gaming poems in particular: creating an immersive experience for the audience. (more…)

Chip Chat #3: Becoming the Elden Lord (of Snacks)

Chip Chat #3: Becoming the Elden Lord (of Snacks)

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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Sneak Peek: Postgame.14 – Theseus’s Flat Ass

Sneak Peek: Postgame.14 – Theseus’s Flat Ass

Welcome back to Postgame, Sidequest’s monthly Patreon-exclusive podcast, where the editors lay down hot takes on cold games. This month marks the Postgame debuts of Maddi Butler and Zainabb Hull, as they, Zora, and Melissa talk about what they were playing in… September of 2021. We’re working though the backlog, we promise! (more…)

The Visceral Voyeurism of Horror Playthroughs and Silent Hill

The Visceral Voyeurism of Horror Playthroughs and Silent Hill

While having terrible nerve pain in my neck and back in October, I was stuck for a whole week sitting up on bedrest. This was when I picked up watching playthroughs of the Silent Hill series. It was Halloween season after all, so what better time to visit a series I had been meaning to consume since I was a teenager? The only exposure I’d had to the series was the occasional Pyramid Head and Bubble Nurse cosplayers wandering the hallways of various anime conventions, obligatory fanart, and casual mentions of the movies, most of which were received by fans with mixed reactions. I knew I had my hands full when deciding to visit the story and lore of Silent Hill, a series with eight main titles and several spinoffs, but I started with the one that was and still is the most highly praised of them all: Silent Hill 2. (more…)