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Blake P


The Metal Gear Solid Novelization is a Modern Classic

I’ve never played a Metal Gear Solid game. For years I thought the series was impenetrable, a shadowy and undecipherable opus hidden behind the mythic auteur of Hideo Kojima. By sheer cultural osmosis and the impact of Death Stranding last year, I finally decided to finally give the franchise a…

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Metal Gear Solid

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Digimon Games Need Less Monster Battling, More Depressed Teens

Close your eyes and think of a popular, yellow, lovable video game monster who stars in a popular children’s anime series. Happy, friendly, big teeth and giant giant head — a digital monster, a friend all the kids know and love. Agumon, right? He’s the one that shoots electricity from…

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Digimon

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Spyro the Dragon and the Search for the Perfect Reboot

Spyro the Dragon — that purple teenager with attitude who happens to breathe fire — is the epitome of an era in which big-eyed mascot characters ruled video games. Spyro was my introduction to 3D platformers, and like a beloved childhood toy, I thought he would be in my life…

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Who Owns Cartoon Characters in the Age of Fandom?

When I was a little kid, the toys I played with were my first taste of story-telling. I created elaborate narratives, plot-lines, and soap opera levels of drama within the confines of playsets and plastic figurines based on cartoons. All that mattered was that I had my own agency over…

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How Games Are Taking Us Back to the Early Days of the Internet

Games are often about escaping to fantastical realms, but they can provide more mundane excursions too. Games like Animal Crossing let us relax in alternate worlds that are simultaneously everyday yet distant from our contemporary lives. Perhaps, then, it was only a matter of time before a new generation of…

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How Granblue Fantasy Players Built a Community

Although Japanese role-playing games have a tradition of being single-player affairs, Cygames’ mobile and browser title Granblue Fantasy is anything but. Granblue isn’t officially supported by any English-speaking app stores or marketplaces, however this limited accessibility hasn’t hindered its massive popularity in the west. Thankfully, sites such as the Granblue…

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How Bullet Hell Games Helped Me Work Through Anxiety

My first experience with carpal tunnel happened after a five-hour marathon of indie Japanese shoot ‘em ups called Touhou Project. A semester, later, and I couldn’t even move my wrist — too much arrow key smashing. I was shocked that something I did for fun ended up physically injuring me…

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An Interview With Love Shore’s Dynamic Writing Duo

Love Shore is a queer, science-fiction thriller visual novel currently in development by Perfect Garbage. I had the opportunity to talk with the game’s lead writers, Son M. and Emmett Nahil about the world of Love Shore, cyberpunk cities of the future, queer identity, Arab representation, and what it takes…

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The Curious Case of Doctor Robotnik’s Mean Bean Machine

With the addition of Super Mario Bros. 2 to the Switch’s library of NES games, Nintendo Switch Online subscribers now have a chance to play one of the most unique Mario games of all time. As most fans now know, the game originated as the Japan-exclusive 1987 Doki Doki Panic, adapted as the…

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