by Marina Z | Jun 20, 2022 | Features, Video Games
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…)
by Marina Z | Jun 14, 2022 | Features, Video Games
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…)
by Katherine Quevedo | Jun 6, 2022 | Features, Poetry
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…)
Katherine Quevedo was born and raised just outside of Portland, Oregon, where she lives with her husband and two sons. Her poetry has been nominated for the Pushcart Prize and the Rhysling Award, and her debut mini-chapbook, The Inca Weaver’s Tales, is forthcoming from Sword & Kettle Press. Her speculative fiction appears in various anthologies and magazines. When she isn’t writing, she enjoys playing old-school video games, watching movies, singing, belly dancing, and making spreadsheets. Find her at www.katherinequevedo.com.
by Madison Butler | Apr 26, 2022 | Features, Video Games
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.
Madison Butler is Sidequest’s self-proclaimed jock editor. She co-founded the blog Critsumption and once got really into powerlifting via Fitness Boxing for the Nintendo Switch. She tweets at @_maddilo.
by Natalia Lopes | Apr 5, 2022 | Essays, Features, Video Games
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…)
Natalia is a queer Latinx illustrator making queer horror art, comics, and zines. She runs MystoPress, a micropress that is home to her eerie and nightmarish works, and has been funding her comics on Kickstarter as of 2019. When she is not freelancing or working on new projects, she teaches classes to teens and adults in non-profit art centers around North Carolina.
by Zora Gilbert | Feb 1, 2022 | Features, Video Games
This piece contains spoilers for Pyre throughout.
In Pyre, Supergiant Games’ 2017 sports sim, players take the role of a faceless and nameless “Reader,” a character who is able to read both the stars and the written word. Having been convicted of some loosely defined crime, the Reader is exiled from the world above and forced to wander the wastelands. Over the course of the game, my Reader found themself committing to bigger and bigger causes: to friendship with the three weirdos who ultimately recruit them, to the sports team they form in an effort to escape exile, and, ultimately, to revolution. In 2021, this revolution felt peculiarly prescient—not because it represented reality, but because it represented what it’s easy to want reality to be. (more…)
Zora Gilbert cares a whole lot about words, kids, and comics. Find them at @zhgilbert on twitter, and find the comics they edit at datesanthology.com.