Tanner Higgin's picture

The Killer of Sheep of Videogames

[NOTE: A version of this work was presented at the 2013 Society for Cinema and Media Studies conference. Here is a PDF of the slide deck.]

Measured Representation ... read more »

Tanner Higgin's picture

So Far Away

In Red Dead Redemption, the build-up to crossing over from the United States to Mexico is tangible. Up to this point you’ve been confined to New Austin, the mythical 1911 region of south Texas that is your training ground. Like Grand Theft AutoRDR funnels movement cleverly. The player is faced with a region that is expansive but just a slice of the broader world that is waiting to be populated on the large but empty map. The brilliance here is in the tease. A blank map waiting to be populated. A glimpse of the modern city of Blackwater in the opening cinematic. ... read more »

Tanner Higgin's picture

From Black Box to No Box

We’re used to Nintendo’s E3 press conferences being awkward and odd. It’s part of their charm. But this year was particularly strange because many audience members, especially those watching at home, were utterly baffled: was Nintendo announcing a new console or just another Wii peripheral? ... read more »

Tanner Higgin's picture

Coming of Age in Hillsbrad

When first entering World of Warcraft’s (WOW) world of Azeroth, you’re provided an intensely guided and relatively safe area, called a starting zone, from which to learn about the game and experience it in microcosm. Depending if you’re Alliance or Horde and what race you choose, you’re located in a particular geographic region, well guarded from members of the opposing faction. This is primarily accomplished through geography. ... read more »

Tanner Higgin's picture

Smuggle Truck’s Failed Satire

From Representation to Experience ... read more »

Tanner Higgin's picture

Making Men Uncomfortable: What Bayonetta Should Learn From Gaga

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about Bayonetta. I gave up on it about a month ago, mostly because I found it tedious, incoherent, and punishing (purely from a receptive standpoint), but also because I felt embarrassed playing it. I found myself having to explain the indulgence to my partner, whom, while sitting next to me on the couch or passing by the TV, would reel in horror as Bayonetta’s porn star Barbie body fought doll faced angels with stripper like finesse. From an outsider’s perspective, Bayonetta is an encapsulation of all that is wrong with videogames. ... read more »