XXX7: The Best Year in Gaming

The best years in gaming end in 7.

As 2017 draws to a close, two manifestations have converged to make me realize this.

One, there has been consensus across the industry lauding 2017 as one of (if not the) best years in the short history of video games, and I must agree. Nintendo released the Switch, the most radical system upgrade the industry has seen since the Wii, alongside a handful of critically acclaimed games; PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds caught the world by storm and earned near-universal praise, maturing the battle royale genre, and reinvented multiplayer which had staled since the rise of the MOBA a few years back; the game release calendar was filled with standout new IPs such as Horizon Zero Dawn and Cuphead, alongside refreshing entries in established franchises like Assassin’s Creed: Origins, the Prey reboot, NieR: Automata, and more. In such an excellent year, it’s impossible to provide an exhaustive list of all the amazing releases. Continue reading “XXX7: The Best Year in Gaming”

Review: Rituals

A critical review of the game Rituals.

Let’s mix up little drink, shall we? Grab one part Myst, mix in one part Half-Life, add a dash of Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within, and stir with a one-man development team. Voila, we now have Rituals. Drink up.

Rituals is a short-form first-person adventure game created by Tymon Zgainski, a developer from Edinburgh, Scotland. Before going into the review and saying nice and not so nice things about Tymon’s creation, I want to preface that I am in awe and a proponent of single-developer creations, and believe that no matter the quality of the product, there is always something special about a game created by a single person from beginning to end. I have done this and recognize how difficult it can be. So regardless of how critical this review is, know that I applaud Tymon for doing something so few can.

Continue reading “Review: Rituals”

One-Upping the Competition: How Nintendo Built Its Cultural Hegemony

An academic analysis of Nintendo and why they’re awesome.

This is an academic paper I wrote for Professor Kenneth Pyle’s ‘The Emergence of Postwar Japan’ class at the University of Washington. It explores capitalism, technology, and history to understand how Nintendo came to power and maintain its cultural dominance in the gaming space. The paper was a lot of fun writing, and I thought someone else might enjoy reading it. Oh and by the way, I just got to write about Nintendo for school.

One-Upping the Competition:
How Nintendo Built Its Cultural Hegemony

Love them or hate them, play them or watch them, video games have permeated the world. Whether on mobile phones on the bus ride to work, movie adaptations during the summer blockbuster season, or e-sports taking timeslots on cable TV[1], games in some form or another pervade our lives and are daily unavoidable. Regardless of one’s opinion, the industry’s astronomical rise to the mainstream in such a short time warrants close consideration. Like most entertainment, the video game industry is merciless, and in its short history has witnessed the rise and fall of countless companies, mascots, and personalities. One company, however, has traversed this precarious minefield of unforgiving investors and volatile consumer bases where so many others have failed. Nintendo dominates the competition and is ubiquitous with gaming in ways no other company can dream of. Nintendo plays with power. Continue reading “One-Upping the Competition: How Nintendo Built Its Cultural Hegemony”