Author Archives: Mark Filipowich

About Mark Filipowich

Mark Filipowich writes about older, obscure, overlooked and indie games that are great for people of low income trying to keep up with the very expensive hobby that is gaming. His writing has been featured in PopMatters, Unwinnable, Nightmare Mode, Medium Difficulty and elsewhere. He also has a personal blog at big-tall-words.

Welcome to the Machine: the ambivilent tone of The Last Story

After introducing her topic in an episode of “Tropes vs. Women in Video Games,” Anita Sarkeesian begins with some variation of the following: “It’s both possible—and even necessary—to simultaneously enjoy a piece of media while also being critical of its … Continue reading

Posted in Console Games, General Gaming | Tagged | 10 Comments

An Impolite Conversation: The relationship between sex and politics in three games

I recently played a game called Agarest: Generations of War for review (Filipowich, Mark. “Review: Agarest: Generations of War.” PopMatters. Oct 28 2013.). It sucked. Many games are built from the ground up on a problematic premise; baggage is built … Continue reading

Posted in Indie Games, PC Games | Tagged , , , | 11 Comments

Sturgeon’s Law, Taste and RPGMaker

Sturgeon’s Law states that “90% of everything is crud.” If TvTropes is to be believed, there are a number of addendums to the law, such as: “if ever less than 90% of everything is crud than one needs to adjust … Continue reading

Posted in Indie Games | Tagged , , , | 11 Comments

Expeditions Conquistador and Post-Imperial Arrogance

It’s no secret there’s a not-so-subtle undertone of colonialism in a lot of games, particularly in strategy games. Eador: Masters of the Broken World has the player reorganize the universe into its “proper” state by conquering every available territory in … Continue reading

Posted in Indie Games, PC Games | Tagged , | 12 Comments

The Perspective of Privilege

For the past month I’ve taken up the self-imposed challenge of playing nothing but JRPGs. There are few reasons for this but all of them can be traced back to “I like them.” In playing and replaying games in the … Continue reading

Posted in Indie Games | 24 Comments

Sexism and Power Dynamics in Breath of Fire 4

Recently, I’ve started replaying Breath of Fire 4, a game I remember affectionately. Like many, my video game diet growing up was rich in JRPGs and, while the genre tends to offer little more than empty carbs anymore, it’s fun … Continue reading

Posted in Console Games | Tagged , , , , | 9 Comments

The Longest Journey and Dreamfall

Writing about the game that gave this site its name feels a bit like smugly opening a discussion about science fiction with “Did you know that Blade Runner is kind of a big deal?” But with creator Ragnar Tørnquist’s new … Continue reading

Posted in General Gaming, Indie Games, PC Games | Tagged , , , , , , | 9 Comments