Category Archives: analysis

The great space question

Welcome back to Subject Navigator, returning to action after a five-month travel induced hiatus. I have a hell of a lot of blog ideas from my travels, but first of all, I wanted to start with you. Before I start haranguing the internet with my own ideas about videogames and space, I want to ask you all a collective question that hopefully will yield some very interesting discussions and debates for this blog.

What are the most interesting physical spaces you’ve ever been to, and what makes them interesting?

It’s the second part of this question that is important, of course, and I have a few ideas of my own. But I want to really try and quantify this thing; to eventually get some sort of semi hard-and-fast definition going. Of course, it is a subjective criteria, but as a result of my travels and videogame playing I firmly believe that there are certain ways space can be rendered more interesting to the human mind.

I eagerly await your responses. It’s good to be back.

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Brothers in Arms, the strategic desensitizer

war games

There are few games that have struck me as wanting to be a film as Brothers in Arms: Hell’s Highway. Or rather, wanting to be a TV series. The first ten minutes of Hell’s Highway had me seriously tossing up asking its creators if they shouldn’t just have just applied to work on The Pacific instead. The cutscenes – in the beginning, interminably long – have perfected that Band of Brothers tone and feel, and even the musical theme appears to share the same first few intervals. Now, I like Band of Brothers. But I’d rather watch the real thing than play an imitator. My patience was wearing thin, however, I knew several people who swore by the series, so I stuck with it. And I’m glad I did: Brothers in Arms presents a compelling take on World War Two that I don’t think could be achieved in any other medium.

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Call of Duty 2 and the World War Two theme park

theme park

There is definitely a place for theory and lofty concepts. A blog is one such place. However, I very much admire L.B. Jefferies’ sentiment when he suggests that there comes a point when theorising is useless without practical implementation: “Talk is cheap and in abundance on the internet, it’s actually doing something that’s in such short supply. If you want things to change, just act that change out yourself.”

In that spirit, then, I’ve decided to put my money where my mouth is, and instead of presenting Subject Navigator readers with another post on how one concept from one medium is like a different concept from another, I’d like to analyse a game or two. I want to look at some World War Two videogames, overpopulated as the genre may be, and think about what their gamespace says about their approach to the period. I’m starting today with Call of Duty 2, and I’ll be continuing later on in the week with Brothers in Arms: Hell’s Highway.

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Filed under analysis, space, videogames