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Episode 2 – Descent into Dissonance

…definitive answer to the question “How do we define narrative dissonance?” You don’t need to go to GameFAQS or Youtube to discover the ending of this conundrum; we don’t end up coming up with a consensus on the subject! My apologies to Roger Travis who become disconnected midway through the podcast and could not return due to prior obligations.

Direct Download (32MB, 42min)

CAST: D. Murray, Denis Farr, Travis Megill, Alex Myers, Eric Swain, Roger Travis.

Show notes: Iroquois Pliskin on Bioshock, Clint Hocking on Bioshock Michael Abbott on Theater and Videogames Corvus Elrod on Fabula

March 13th

…looks at Rapture’s villains as partial entities of SHODAN [mirror], because one can never read enough on System Shock 2. Paul at Little bo Beep, a site I just heard about, asks if Bioshock really is a good critique of Ayn Rand’s philosophy [mirror]. And Josh Harmon at Quarter Down calls Bioshock 2‘s multiplayer “an Avant-Garde Masterpiece” [mirror] in a great work of satire that I think may be more on the mark than he’s willing to admit.

In a way, BioShock 2 merely takes the multiplayer shooter to its logical conclusion. What is a n00b if not

Abstract image evoking bird silhouette

October 24th

…unsustainable holding pattern. Also like Bioshock, Metro 2033 treats conflict, in gameplay terms, as a transaction between the player and the game. Both are in this regard closer to first-person survival-horrors than first- person shooters, preferring to challenge the player with the threat of running out of ammo rather than the threat of receiving a surplus of ammo to the face. More broadly, Metro and Bioshock alike confront the player with decisions and revelations that ask them to reflect on themselves as game-players as well as player-characters; both share an interest in the ontology of interactive fiction, and to this…

April 21st

Hungry for some tasty Sunday reading? Look no further. It’s This Week in Videogame Blogging, the web’s best source for prime cuts of games criticism, analysis and commentary!


Set an afternoon aside for this one. Tim Rogers has finally finished his sprawling analysis of BioShock Infinite’s many systems and the best foot it chooses to put forward.

Over on Kotaku, guest commentator Jordan Ekeroth writes that rather than blasphemous, he found Infinite “deeply Christian.”

Reacting to the suggestion his last piece was “inflammatory,” Jeff Kunzler argues that there is plenty within BioShock Infinite

May 5th

…both made what you could call “critical Let’s Play” videos for an event in Chicago ran by Jake Elliott. Yang’s is on the first room of Half Life and Ryerson’s is about the CliffyB sleeper hit Bioshock Infinite.

Bioshock Againfinite

If you’re not totally burned out on anything and everything Bioshocky, Nicole Marie comments on Infinite, but with a particular focus on the critical discussion around Elizabeth as one of the best female characters of all time. Nick Dinicola also has things to say about the game, reading Booker DeWitt’s character arc as a failed one.


July 21st

…looks at the much derided final act of the original Bioshock and says that it instead of a mistake in fact drives home one of the game’s most important themes, that of choice or the lack of one.

Mark Flipowich on PopMatters notes the banner over the hall in the beginning of Bioshock – “No Gods or Kings, only Man” – and how it is reflective of video games as a whole with regards to how they treat religion.

Joel Goodwin, proprietor of Electron Dance, wrote “an incomprehensible essay about Ted Lauterbach’s complex and surreal puzzle-platformer suteF.” He…

August 18th

…it got stuck in the mind of its lead developer over at Polygon.

Bioshock Infinite

More barbie on the fire.

Nate Barham looks at the violence in Bioshock Infinite, particularly in the opening and how it misses the mark in the one place it’s supposed to have a transgressive impact.

Justin Freeman delves deeply into the character or rather lack of one of Bioshock Infinite‘s Elizabeth portraying her creation as a cynical attempt to justify the rest of the game.

The Last of Us


Edward Smith says The Last of Us’ opening…

Abstract image evoking bird silhouette

March 2nd

…press, for the most part, is salivating about what he’s going to do next, thereby enabling this sort of behavior the next time. Hovering over it all is the vicious irony that a man who made his name by writing about a Randian dystopia is going to be just fine because we’re currently living in one.

To round out the Bioshockery for this week, we have Kyle Fowle reviewing its box art and Felan Parker doing some amazing and specific work on how Bioshock Infinite fits into the larger cultural narrative of games and their status as art.

November 30th

Hope for all our US readers you had a lovely, stuffing Turkey Day and didn’t spawn too many family brawls. For everyone else, happy weekend. Welcome to This Week In Video Game Blogging!

Bioshock and Beyond Earth

Bioshock is back in the critical eye. Anthony Burch at his blog No Wrong Way to Play decides to see what the consequences of the little sister decision is by never using any of the Adam earned from making a moral choice and finds the game lacking in its response. Meanwhile, Rick Stanton at Rock Paper Shotgun looks at the