Trouble at the South China Morning Post

Trouble at the South China Morning Post

There’s a great piece in the Guardian today from Tom Phillips on trouble brewing at the Hong Kong publication the South China Morning Post. The SCMP, one of the most respected newspapers in East Asia and certainly the most authoritative English-language broadsheet, has been slowly slipping towards viewpoints and positions more favourable to Beijing, at least according to some of The Guardian’s sources. Phillips’ (and Christy Yao’s) work uses as its hook the case of Zhao Wei, a young Chinese...

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This is the Dark Souls of a short post about a YouTube video

This is the Dark Souls of a short post about a YouTube video

Oh my word. I am pretty sure that all human development to this point has led to this moment. I genuinely appreciate being able to get jokes like this. My belated discovery of the wonder of Dark Souls last year, in addition to fostering an addiction to complex games essentially focused on esoteric storytelling and exploration, finally granted me entrance to a fascinating subculture of Dark Souls adoration that tends to be a lot more fun than such a description...

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Grading All Day…

Grading All Day…

Today I reap what I have sown, and in between prepping for tomorrow's classes I have plenty of grading to do. It allows me to make a silly Chris de Burgh intentional malapropism: Break out the diet coke and away we go... More blog posts to come in future, I promise. For now hang out while I read fifty takes on Urban II's speech at Clermont in 1095 and another thirty or so on the Meiji Constitution of 1889.  

Deus Vult

Deus Vult

I found this article in Polygon fascinating, discussing the odd conflation between an alt-right adoption of the term “Deus Vult” and the growing online community around the game For Honor. I find it fascinating in no small part because I gave my students Robert the Monk’s version of the famous Pope Urban II speech that gave life to this particular term, and did so with no knowledge about the online alt-right connotations. Allegra Frank describes the historical nature of the...

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The Holocaust and the Edges of Denial

The Holocaust and the Edges of Denial

This past Friday the Whitehouse shared a public statement to commemorate the international day for remembrance dedicated to the Holocaust, as they do every year. This year, however, had a notable difference from previous ones, in that the statement did not mention Jewish victims of the Holocaust. When asked about this, Whitehouse spokesperson Hope Hicks asserted that the Trump administration is inclusive, so inclusive in fact that they feel it is important to recognize the millions of non-Jewish victims of...

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Apocalypse Now, Again

Apocalypse Now, Again

A lot of information is hitting me at the same time right now. People are making an Apocalypse Now game, Francis Ford Coppola is involved, and there is a lot of talk about how video games are ready as a medium to add something of genuine meaning to Coppola's initial artistic offering. Says the auteur genius behind Apocalypse Now, The Godfather (Parts I and II) and Jack: Forty years ago, I set out to make a personal art picture that...

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Game of the Year (Not this year, last year)

Game of the Year (Not this year, last year)

‘Tis the season of GOTYs, or rather it ’twas before I spent Christmas having fun and not writing and then dove into an intensive January of teaching (more of that soon) and I come to share my own. As has been the case in recent years, my enjoyment of video games is nowhere near as closely tied to the annual release calendar as it once was. I have no regrets from not being up to date, but it does make...

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The Curious Expedition and plans to come…

The Curious Expedition and plans to come…

I missed this on Tuesday, but Rock Paper Shotgun named The Curious Expedition as best "roguelike" game of 2016 as part of their consistently excellent annual Advent Calendar. Congratulations to The Curious Expedition and its developers, Riad Djemili and Johannes Kristmann! I'm quite taken with the game myself and must write about it soon. I am planning to give it to my world history students this coming spring as the assigned text for a short assignment. I'm not sure just...

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Thinking about the dissertation

Thinking about the dissertation

This is a post I began to write in early August, but let fall through the cracks. I have decided to share it today, and I have resisted the urge to edit too much of my thoughts from the heady days of August 2016. I  want to write a little bit about my work this summer in a future post, but in planning out that particular post I started thinking more and more about my PhD dissertation. I defended it...

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Death Stranding teases more historical allusions

Death Stranding teases more historical allusions

He has, as they say, gone full Kojima. That can mean a lot of things, of course. Hideo Kojima’s status in the video game community has only improved since his recent falling out with Konami, giving strength to an running online in-joke/slogan/act of defiance. Even Kojima’s famous new friends like to get in on it. That status was vaunted already; as the mastermind of the Metal Gear Solid series Kojima can do no wrong in the eyes of many, a...

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