The world of video gaming

Part 2 of a special conversation on games and art featuring Destiny 2, Final Fantasy, Hitman, Tower of Druaga, Pathologic 2, and more.

Incisive analysis in games criticism is still hard to find. In part one of this special conversation for Touching the Screen, five critics discuss potential angles from which to approach video games as art.

By Dan Schindel | July 11, 2023

If Breath of the Wild found new possibilities for player choice in exploration, Tears of the Kingdom offers enticing glimpses of what is to come as game designers rise to meet the challenge of endlessly creative audiences.

By Dan Schindel | September 23, 2022

The titles forming this recent trend have diegetic time loops, ones built into their narratives and acknowledged by the characters.

By Sam Bodrojan | June 17, 2022

Elden Ring is not just a single-player game but a sandbox, a hobby, a lifestyle. It sold 12 million copies in a single month. It is, bar-none, the event game of the year.

By Sam Bodrojan | September 1, 2021

Faulkner evokes our uncomfortable relationship to the fascism that sits at the core of many games, a Pavlovian dopamine rush meant to mimic the very actions that imperialist militaries use to oppress, control, and murder in the name of jingoistic glory, and subversively offers an alternative path of interaction.

By Holly Green | May 28, 2021

It is a narrative reframing that suggests not empowerment from disempowerment, but rather, redemption through the redefinition of acceptable terms of success. And by overturning the traditional power fantasy, a sympathetic understanding of identity disorders emerges.

By Carly A. Kocurek | January 15, 2021

This is a series firmly situated in a fraught and flawed framing of the past. The core games play out against a backdrop that could easily have been lifted from a Western Civilization syllabus, and that is a foundational problem.

By Brendan Keogh | July 21, 2016

Lots of huge, multimillion-dollar video games look very impressive from the dominant but qualitative perspective of judging digital visuals by how much they don’t look digital at all.

By Brendan Keogh | March 24, 2016

Far Cry 2 perpetuates and depends on colonial themes and values as much as any open-world game, with the key caveat that it works a critique (or, at least, a cynicism) of the colonialist project into its playing.

By Brendan Keogh | September 3, 2015

It’s easy to make something big with three-dimensional graphics, but it’s hard to create a true sense of overwhelming largeness, of the self as puny in comparison to something else.

By Brendan Keogh | June 24, 2015

Yang’s games are explicitly political, explicitly homoerotic, explicitly masculine. They are technologically proficient and artistically confident. They are some of the most exciting works produced in the video game form in recent times, and are well worth engaging with.

By Brendan Keogh | May 6, 2015

Alien: Isolation’s ingenuity as a work that adapts a film to a video game is in its tacit acknowledgment that the player knows what is going to happen in this universe. It’s a retread of the original film, but one that is aware it is a retread.

By Brendan Keogh | February 18, 2015

To play FIFA 14 is less to play at what it is like to “actually” play soccer, but instead focuses on mixing together a sense of actually playing soccer with a sense of experiencing soccer as it is most commonly experienced through the television screen.