Top 5 Movies of 2016

We typically write about games, but Jen and I saw so many movies this year we wanted to share our favourites. There were so many great films this year and so many awesome performances. It was another great year for strong female leads, from Star Wars to Moana to Ghostbusters– the next generation of young girls and boys will grow up with the best cast of diverse and empowered female characters ever. So here’s our favourite films from the year that was 2016. Enjoy! Continue reading →

Our Telltale Wishlist

Telltale has made quite a name for themselves since they created their own subgenre of the adventure game with The Walking Dead back in 2012. Since then they have applied that same formula to several notable franchises from Borderlands to Minecraft and most recently Batman. Telltale’s uncanny ability to take an established property and put their own story-driven, quick time event laden brand over it to deliver something new has earned them quite a following. And while I don’t particularly like all of the work they do (looking at you Minecraft) they’re just printing money with these games so there’s clearly a huge market. So with that said, I thought it would be fun to think about some franchises that would adapt to the Telltale formula in an interesting way! Continue reading →

The “Whitey McStubbly” Concept

I realized that I had been using a phrase in my posts that a lot of people are unfamiliar with, so I decided you all deserve an explanation. It’s one of my favourite phrases when discussing characters in video games:”Whitey McStubbly”. I first heard the phrase in an interview with Tomb Raider writer Rhianna Pratchett and started using it immediately. You’ve seen countless of them, but when you really stop to think about the protagonists in popular video games it’s quite startling how many of them are white, middle-aged men with that five-o-clock shadow and a slight scowl. Continue reading →

Awesome Games Made by One Person

It’s becoming a bit of a trend. Through the power of crowdfunding and readily available game-making tools with a very low barrier to entry games are able to be made by smaller and smaller teams. Sometimes a single person conceives a game, sees it through the countless hours of development and releases it to the world. These pure passion projects are becoming more and more prominent as they receive not only financial success but unprecedented critical acclaim. As these one person teams are making more critically acclaimed games loved by fans Continue reading →

The Crowdfunding Confliction

I have a problem. Up until this point in my life I have steered clear of crowdfunding sites like Kickstarter, Indiegogo and more recently Fig. There hasn’t been a game that’s turned to crowdfunding that I HAD to support. There’s been interesting games and projects I’ve thought “oh that’s neat, I’ll play that if it ever comes out” but not something that I felt compelled to support. This combined with the uneasiness I have about putting money towards an unsure thing meant I never contributed to a campaign. Haven’t until now, that is.

With more and more seasoned developers turning to Kickstarter for their projects in lieu of a traditional publisher it’s becoming less and less of an unsure thing and more of a very early pre-order. Such is the case with Knights and Bikes, an awesome new Continue reading →

Mental Health in Video Games

As I discussed in my piece on mental health in popular culture, mental illness is more often than not presented in films, books and games as something to be feared. Characters like the Joker, Hannibal Lecter, Vaas and others all embody the “mentally insane” crutch that writers use to explain a character’s motivations. Rather than create an actual backstory that explains a character’s motivations writers just make the character “mentally insane” and think that’s enough to justify their actions. The association of mental illness with violent behaviour is a falsehood that video games have perpetuated for decades. There are countless games that rely on fear of the mentally ill to motivate players to hide from, beat up and even murder said mentally ill characters. There are some games however that do work to combat the gross misunderstanding of mental illness by the general public. Let’s take a closer look at some games that handled mental illness poorly as well as the games that handled it well. Continue reading →

Stigmatizing Mental Illness in Popular Culture

Mental illness has been and continues to be the subject of many movies, novels and video games. It’s a topic widely misunderstood by the general public in part due to the lack of education on the subject and more significantly a misrepresentation of mental illness in our popular culture. These gross misrepresentations create a stigma around mental illness. Continue reading →