May 22, 2012

Resident Evil 3: Jill Valentine vs. the Consumerist Sex Monster

Featured on Critical Distance and Gamasutra.
[All images from]

The outfit works.

Not realistic, the mini-skirt/tube top costuming of Resident Evil 3's Jill Valentine helps stress the already uncomfortable sexuality of the series to maximum heights.

It's ridiculous that any human being might try to escape a monster-infested city in that get up, of course, but realism is not for fictional mediums. Jill's outfit tells us, as any good character design should, information about both the character and the game it is in.

May 1, 2012

Mass Effect 3, the nerd cult, and American education

All Mass Effect 3 images copyright

After a $80,000 charity campaign by fans, a $1,000 cupcake-baking campaign, a response from Forbes, and uncountable angry forum posts, it is impossible not to see the success—and importance—of Mass Effect 3's ending/s. Like Michael Bay's signature film style, no matter how you view the ending/s quality they act as important cultural artifacts that have the power to change a medium.

Bay's style altered how films are edited and thus how we can read film, while BioWare's endings are pushing the very nature of company-consumer relations and DLC. More than that, that people are so passionately engaged in Mass Effect 3's endings is proof that something is working in there. There is something powerful in there to cause people to do all of the above, gain interest from the Better Business Bureau, and still create headlines over a month after release.