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David Murrieta


History, Life, and Death in ‘Disco Elysium’

Disco Elysium’s world is a corpse. The symptoms of its ongoing decomposition can be seen everywhere, creeping upon the shoulders of every character, reflected by the wild, fragmented expressionism of the protagonist’s mind. It emerges from a well-spring of nothingness, the chemically-bound erasure of a past self whose denial is nonetheless…

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In 2019, Games Explored the Meaning of Travel

When video games depict travel, it’s usually as a kind of limbo, an in-between wrapped in loading screens or a sense of uselessness, an obstacle in fulfilling some other purpose. However, this year, three games have made travel their main subject in different, yet interconnected ways. Pilgrims, by Amanita Design,…

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Blasphemous Gives Us Another Way to Think About Difficulty in Games

After your first duel in Blasphemous, your character the Penitent One anoints themselves with the blood of the fallen monster, pouring it inside their helmet so as to entirely cover their head, gruesomely dripping into the neck and chest. This self-baptism kickstarts the trials of Blasphemous, the latest game by…

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War’s a Beach: Surf and Sand in Strategy Games

If you do a quick Google image search for “beach,” it might strike you that most of the photographs, whether taken in Panama or Ireland, are crafted similarly: sun, sand, some trees, maybe a lone recliner looking outward into the ocean. What unites all these images of the beach, apart…

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