CRITICAL INTEL

Remember when Call of Duty had you defend a border wall from Latinos?

Call of Duty: Ghosts seems much, much weirder now that a core part of its plot is part of America's actual national discourse.

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The Japanese horrors that inspire Yo-kai Watch

This popular series draws from Japanese monster myths much more directly than Pokemon ever did.

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A History of the Evil Corporation: from Abstergo to Umbrella

Evil corporations are a classic fixture of videogames and modern film-- but distrust of powerful, unfeeling companies actually dates back hundreds of years, to some of Europe's earliest big companies.

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Gambling dens and gamer monks: Asia’s offbeat videogame subcultures

How arcades, game stores, and game-playing culture differ in Hong Kong, Japan, Cambodia, India, and elsewhere

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The Imaginary Racism of Bioshock Infinite

How Bioshock Infinite misses the mark with its commentary on 19th-century racism in general -- but gets its commentary on religious racism right.

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6 historical details you might have missed in the Battlefield 1 beta

The Sinai Desert map draws heavily from the real conditions of battle that soldiers experienced there a hundred years ago.

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Godzilla Resurgence is actually a biting political satire

Japan's new-- extremely successful-- Godzilla film is actually commentary about the Japanese government-- and Fukushima.

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No Man’s Sky is a Captain Cook simulator

18th century explorer James Cook has had an unexpectedly long legacy in science fiction.

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The folly of calling Stranger Things ‘unoriginal’

Immature poets imitate, but mature poets steal.

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Telltale’s Batman: Mo Money, Mo Problems

Telltale's new Batman game is focusing on the rich-guy half of Bruce Wayne's two-part personality.

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The archaeologists who are using No Man’s Sky as a dry-run for exploring actual space

These scholars are trying to create a system of ethics for-- someday-- exploring real space ruins.

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We Happy Few built a dystopia with Mod culture, psychedelia, and Facebook

How this upcoming game got its inspiration from 1960s Britain.

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What an Ingress battle in Hong Kong tells us about the future of Pokemon Go

Pokemon Go shares many features with developer Niantic's previous game, Ingress -- so much so that we can use it as a roadmap for future updates.

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Pokemon Go hearkens back to the fun, and danger, of summers past

The same rules that applied to summertime adventures when you were a kid definitely apply to Pokemon Go.

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What historical games can learn from Hamilton

Hamilton tells a historical story-- and makes sure we care about it.

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Why Warcraft is a hit in China… even though it isn’t ‘good’

In China, Warcraft had a LOT of advantages-- and an audience with, perhaps, more favorable tastes.

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The ballistic politics of Hideo Kojima

How the history of Japan's post-war peace movements can help us understand Kojima's older games-- and maybe Death Stranding, too.

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Tragedy and E3: It’s Not Just the Guns, It’s the Stories We Tell

Tone, context and framing matter when it comes to violent games.

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The politics behind Hong Kong’s Pikachu protests

Why are some Hong Kongers protesting a planned Chinese Pokemon translation?

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Who needs No Man’s Sky? May was an incredible month for games

Last month saw a whole list of unusually high-quality AAA and indie releases. Let's count our blessings, folks.

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