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

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 »

Nick_Mirzoeff's picture

Occupy the Everyday

Just to remind people that the cluster “Occupy the Everyday” is now up and to let everyone know that it has today been updated with pieces from:

Caitlin Bruce (Northwestern) “Occupy Philadelphia: Representing Activism”—covers Occupy Philly up to 11/27 and the threatened eviction


Keith Miller (NYU): “Power’s Cool Use of Force” on UC Davis


Khujeci Tomai: “Beyond Liberty Plaza”—OWS after the eviction

Fraylie Nord: “Occupy: the Open Body, the Public Signifier” ... read more »

fraylie's picture

Occupy: The Public Body, The Open Signifier

On October 15, Michael Kimmelman, the architecture critic of The New York Times, published an article with a discursive take on physical structures.  Readers were confronted with a discussion of the politics of space.  (Kimmelman calls it place, though I would contest that the difference between place and space is that the former is purely physical and the latter involves enacted discourse.) ... read more »

Tanner Higgin's picture

Spatialized Difference in Videogames

Maps, Levels, and the Orchestration of Conflict

The notion that maps, and the cartographic processes behind those maps, are functions of power, most commonly imperial power, is a fundamental assumption of critical geography. As the diagrammatic products of territorial struggles between political forces, maps are both representations of the world and constructions of that world. They are ideological imprints that actively shape the relations they purport to scientifically reflect. ... read more »

Tanner Higgin's picture

Inception as Videogame

In the past year, I have been struck by how often I see videogames as informing other media productions. Up until recently, games were often thought of as struggling for legitimacy by trying (and inevitably failing) to represent/approximate “reality” and/or appealing to more respected art forms. Academics, designers, fans, and media have all been guilty of establishing these various limiting frames and viewing games through them. Fortunately, I think these trends are eroding. ... read more »