The following is a reprint from Unwinnable Weekly Issue Twenty-Seven. If you enjoy what you read, please consider purchasing the issue or subscribing. ——— The modern BioWare phenomenon begins with a choice. Part of the way through the first Mass Effect game (released in 2007), you and your party land on a planet called Virmire and you’re tossed into a big action sequence. At its climax, two of your party members leave to do two different things, something goes wrong and you have a choice: save Kaiden, or save Ashley? One lives. One dies. That’s not how big-budget games were supposed to
Rowan Kaiser learns that for simulations like Football Manager, too much data makes for a boggy pitch.
Garrus Vakarian is the Mass Effect series. All right, that’s a strong statement, and obviously not literal. So to put it another way: more than any single component of Mass Effect, Garrus embodies the tone, theme and characterization of the series. Garrus is one of two characters who’s a full party member in all three Mass Effect games, alongside Tali. (Unless, of course, you let him die in Mass Effect 2 and import that save into Mass Effect 3. It’s also apparently possible to reject him if you time things right in Mass Effect 1, but I’ve never even seen
Rowan Kaiser discusses Community‘s “Digital Estate Planning” episode, which seems to have gotten the other-media representation of videogames right.
Death to the demoness! Rowan Kaiser examines the treatment of videogame logic in Cronenberg’s cult movie eXistenZ.