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spec ops the line

Spec Ops: The Line

specifically because it plays with shooter conventions to tell a personal story.

Similarly, Errant Signal’s video essay on the game discusses how The Line can only deliver its messages through the most conventional mechanics, and how it plays off the player’s expectation.

On the topic of whether or not The Line is ‘won’ by not playing it, Jim Ralph decides to call The Line’s bluff by not playing it, and finds this a particularly interesting way of engaging with a game.

One interesting aspect about The Line is how the characters evolve over the entire course of the game. At…

This Year In Video Game Blogging 2012

…“print,” but the world has changed in that time and things that would have been traditionally published have in some cases moved into digital representations of the same. Not in every case, but we honor both here.

One of the most talked about critical efforts this year, Brendan Keogh’s ebook Killing is Harmless: A Critical Reading of Spec Ops: The Line is a massive achievement for game criticism.

The book has received its own share of in-depth responses as people weighed in on its take of the game. Both Cameron Kunzelman and Darius Kazemi offered up their reviews of the…

Episode 22 – On ‘Killing is Harmless’

In 2012, critic and Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology PhD candidate Brendan Keogh released his long form critical piece on Spec Ops: The Line in the form of an ebook. Killing is Harmless: A Critical Reading of Spec Ops: The Line was at the time the first known published book of criticism on a single game. In the years since a cavalcade of books of video game criticism has been published and more to come in the future.

Two years after initially publishing the book, we decided to interview Brendan to get his perspective on the book, the reception and

Abstract image evoking bird silhouette

July 30th

…Exception – Haywire Magazine Taylor Hidalgo discusses the work of David Cage, arguing for the broader value of things as separate to whether or not one personally likes them.

  • Spec Ops The Line… 5 Years Later – YouTube (video: auto-captions. Spoilers for Spec Ops: The Line) Raycevick summarises the history of Rockstar Vancouver, and finds all kinds of hidden gems to build up an argument about how foreshadowing and disorientation are used to narrative ends in this much-discussed title.
  • Playlist: Far Cry 2’s Abuses of Body and Story – Virtual Narrative Justin Keever looks closely at the ludic and narrative…
  • This Year In Videogame Blogging: 2017

    …existing in an oppressive regime insidiously alters the way you think and behave, closing off resistance by bringing you over subtly, and the difficulty in properly resisting.

  • Choosing the impossible: Did BioShock define the last 10 years of video games? | AV/Gameological – Matt Geradi, Sam Darsanti, William Hughes, and Clayton Purdom A group of writers look back on the 10-year-old BioShock and the influence it has had on the gaming landscape over that time.
  • Spec Ops: The Line…5 Years Later | YouTube – Raycevick – Lucas Raycevick Raycevick looks back on Spec Ops: The Line and finds that it…
  • Now Accepting Submissions for TYIVGB 2013 Edition

    seeing it brought up. Pieces that get cited to this day. Examples from previous years include:

    –The New Games Journalism by Kieron Gillen ‘05 –Ludonarrative Dissonance by Clint Hocking ‘07 –Taxonomy of Gamers by Mitch Krapta ‘08 –Permanent Death by Ben Abraham ‘09 –Video games can never be art by Roger Ebert ‘10 –The Pratfall of Penny Arcade – A Timeline (aka Debacle Timeline) by Unknown ‘11 –Killing is Harmless: A Critical Reading of Spec Ops: The Line by Brendan Keogh ’12

    2. Any pieces that are an excellent example of larger trends within the conversation from the critical community…

    Abstract image evoking bird silhouette

    This Year in Videogame Blogging: 2014

    …fledge movement. Books and digital magazines are emerging to fill a long form space the web can’t quite satisfy.

    New videogame book publisher BossFightBooks opened strong in its inaugural year, putting out two notable publications. First, Anna Anthropy’s book on ZZT, focusing on the community aspect of this creative game. Second, Darius Kazemi put his money where his mouth was and produced his own videogame criticism book, on Jagged Alliance 2. Brendan Keogh wrote some thoughts on Kazemi’s book, continuing the conversation from two years ago following the publishing of his own book on Spec Ops: The Line, titled Killing…

    Episode 32 – Supplementary Grades

    …a short cartoon Youtube video as a basic introduction of design concepts, craft implementation and surrounding issues of the videogames industry. Over the years, supplementary shows have been added. You can check them all out (as well as specific episodes we discuss on the podcast) below!

    Direct Download


    Extra Credits Channel

    Extra History

    Extra Remix

    Extra Play

    Design Club

    Video Games and Storytelling

    Call of Juarez: The Cartel

    Spec Ops: The Line Pt. 1

    Spec Ops: The Line Pt. 2

    Power Creep in Hearthstone – What it teaches us about games

    Opening Theme: ‘Close’ by The Alpha…

    July 2nd

    …games about combat don’t have to lack critical reflexivity – and games that offer dialogue as a way of solving problems are not necessarily nonviolent.

    • Why Are There So Many Games About Cops This Year? – Waypoint Cameron Kunzelman rightly points out that most of the recent indie games about policing have come out of Eastern Europe, and tries to offer explanations for their familiarity to US players.
    • Dan Golding — Spec Ops: The Line and the fine art of subversion Dan Golding highlights the role of rock music in signalling the subversive intent of Spec Ops: The Line,

    This Year In Videogame Blogging: 2013

    …Dead Space Memoir and its mirroring of her own pain.

    Psepho at Commuter Gaming did a close reading of the virtual spaces in Porpentine’s howling dogs.

    In his column at The Escapist, Robert Rath explains why Corvo from Dishonored is not an honorable gentleman.

    Max Chis calls Kane and Lynch 2: Dog Days the anti-shooter long before Spec Ops: The Line.

    Ceasar Bautista takes Susan Feagin’s The Pleasures of Tragedy and applies it to Far Cry 2.

    Alex Duncan of The Animist blog look at what The Unfinished Swan as to say about creation and self-creation.

    Matt Sakey at Tap…