Category: Uncategorized

  • Alan Wake 2’s Mind Place doesn’t work

    (Other than some very brief details, there are no plot spoilers for Alan Wake 2 or for any other game in this post, though gameplay mechanics of Alan Wake 2, Return of the Obra Dinn, Outer Wilds, Condemned 2: Bloodshot and A Hand with Many Fingers are discussed) In my last post, full of praise…

  • Alan Wake 2 is a tonal masterpiece

    (Plot spoilers for Alan Wake 2, which if it isn’t obvious from the article title, you should go play) I don’t think there’s any other game I’ve played in recent memory that is as confident and bold in its presentation and conveying of tone and atmosphere than Alan Wake 2. It deftly blends and moves…

  • Steelman (and I don’t mean Adam Smasher)

    (Spoiler Alert for the ending/s of Cyberpunk 2077 and the expansion Phantom Liberty) The expansion to Cyberpunk 2077, Phantom Liberty, intrigued me even more than it already did when I learned that the expansion would introduce a new ending to the base game. Upon first starting the expansion, Songbird, a new character introduced in Phantom…

  • Westworld, Architecture, and the Cityscape

    This is the transcript for a video essay I made a while back. The video itself was not very good so it’s now delisted, but the words are not too bad I think. Here it is in full with accompanying images from the video. This is the McNally Campus of Lasalle, College of the Arts,…

  • Empathy (and the lack thereof)

    [Warning: major plot spoilers for Baldur’s Gate 3] Baldur’s Gate 3 has an impressive cast of characters, all of whom have their own army of fans ready to bat for them at the drop of a hat. There is however one character who doesn’t really have such a fanbase, but nevertheless seems to provoke more…

  • AI Am Inevitable

    In the previous blog post I discussed why dismissing AI Art completely (rather than critiquing the structural economics) is a misguided perspective. There is, however, a more fundamental reason why I believe this: I think this is a fight that artists will inevitably lose. (I know, finally, a REAL hot take.) Assume, as I think…

  • Plagiarism/Inspiration or: 3000 Words of Prompting

    (You probably have inferred what this whole blog post is about by now!) Arguments against AI Art are plenty. Here’s some: Argument 1 is an argument against AI Art at this point in its technological development. Yes, a lot of it is quite ugly, but an argument against the now is not an argument against…

  • In which I take the ‘Free Marketplace of Ideas’ metaphor too seriously

    There’s a striking contrast to the diametrically opposed concepts of ‘the free marketplace of ideas’ and ‘cancel culture’. Both are phrases used by free speech advocate types, yet sub-textually they couldn’t be further apart. ‘Free marketplace’ invokes the cold, hard, quantifiable logic of markets, commerce, and capitalism (it’s probably no coincidence this marketplace metaphor originates…

  • How I learned to start worrying and hate the cloud

    Over the span of 2022 I have been steadily engaged in the process of ‘degoogleifying’ myself, that is, removing or reducing my dependence on cloud service providers like Google, Microsoft, Dropbox, etc. and instead relying on self-hosted alternatives to these services. Like many others I have a very ‘online’ life and that typically means depending…

  • 1 Year

    We released The Signal State 1 year ago today! “Graphics are the first thing finished in a video game”. Here’s how the game looked 1 year before release. It’s sold really well. It’s been well received by its players. We got some cool coverage from major press sites. More coverage came from youtubers and streamers.…