Kamen Rider Wizard and Depression

The 2012-2013 season of Kamen Rider, Kamen Rider Wizard may seem like a typical show about magic at first glance; hell the word ‘Wizard’ is even in the title. Its overall structure is the same as any toku series: a monster of the week appears up, the plot inches forward bit by bit until a big bad is found, and the world is saved. It has its pacing issues and its plot is rather rote, but there is this thing that draws me to it.

And that thing is how depression can be read into it as an important subtext.

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How Splatoon 2 Became a Space for Trans Positivity

So as I was capturing images for my Splatoon 2 review, I noticed that a couple of the miiverse-esque posts in the game were about trans positivity and trans inclusiveness. The more I looked, the more I found and I started wondering why? Why was there so much wonderful trans positivity in a game that, on the surface, does not immediately seem like a space for trans people due to its lack of acknowledgement of queerness, let alone transness, and the fact that it comes from the traditionally conservative Nintendo?

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Why Link Should be Allowed to Be a Girl

So this past week at the big sparkly, but eventually causing a sense of emptiness and some hype, Electronic Entertainment Expo, the new Legend of Zelda, named Breath of the Wild, was fully revealed. Prior to this announcement, there were a lot of rumours swirling around about Link potentially being a girl/woman this time round, or at the very least the ability to chose Link’s gender would be present. Turns out Link is still a guy in this new one.

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On Why Meaning and Emotion are Just as Important as Function and Mechanics in Video Games (at Least for Them to Evolve)

So as I was trawling tumblr, as I usually do, I came across this article (from Killscreen) and a very interesting response to it . Basically the jist of the article is that Unravel is bad because it “would sacrifice ‘fun’ at the altar of ’emotion’ ” and that it is a “commodification of childhood and emotion as some sort of antidote to ‘popular videogames’”. Now I can kind of see where this article  is coming from, but as Shawn Trautman points out in his response on his blog, the Killscreen article creates a false dichotomy over whether a game should be ‘fun’ or have a message. On top of that Trautman points out that the Killscreen article is quite cynical about its views on emotional or meaningful videogames and how it creates that false binary. Trautman’s response to the article is a good read and you should certainly check it out.

What I want to talk about in this article is how the false dichotomy of fun/mechanics versus meaning/emotion is troubling and bad for the medium and how that its a symptom of a wider issue of the medium that’s holding it back.

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