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Video Games as Literature 2.0

Felicitations, friends, family, and faithful followers!

Now that I've gotten my alliteration over with... Can you believe it, I'm alive! After a brief struggle with a doctoral program, I am now taking time to focus on my health and my writing for a while. Here I will outline my plans for the near future and some information you should know about:

I have been spending a lot of time focusing on my Video Games as Literature Instagram account. You can check that out here: @ringwraith_games_and_lit

My Master's Thesis has been published online. If you are interested in reading it, here is the link: Master's Thesis

I am late to the party, but I am planning to participate in SciFi Month November once again this month. Here's some information about that.

I will also be changing the way that I post on this blog, to make life easier for me and to make my posts more interesting for my readers. Instead of writing a scholarly essay for each post, I will be interspersing more ca…

Update Time! I finished my thesis!

Hello all,

Long time, no write! I apologize for my vacancy on this blog and on social media lately -- over the last few months I have been busy with finishing my thesis! Now that it's finished, however, I am ready to get busy and create a lot of new blog content for you guys! I have several great entries in the works, so look forward to reading some interesting literary topics in the coming weeks. 
I have some questions for you guys:
In order to make more content for this blog, would you like to hear more about literature in general, rather than just video games? Do you have any suggestions for me or questions you would like for me to answer? Feel free to discuss these topics in the comments. I would also appreciate it if you would take a few minutes to fill out a survey I have created to try to gain a better understanding of what my readers want to see. Thank you for your interest in my humble blog!


The Cthulhu Mythos in Sci-Fi and Fantasy Video Games

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When I was a sophomore in undergraduate school I wrote a ten page paper on the influence of the Cthulhu mythos on popular culture. Since then I have come to realize that the Cthulhu mythos is such an overwhelming force that affects so many aspects of literature and popular culture it cannot be contained to a mere ten pages. While I no longer have a copy of my sophomore paper, I would like to tackle the subject of the Cthulhu mythos again, this time focusing on a few of my favorite games that fall into the genre of Lovecraftian horror or Cthulhu-inspired Sci-Fi and Fantasy.

     In case you're not aware, Cthulhu is a god-monster created by early 20th century author H. P. Lovecraft. Lovecraft created an entirely new mythos revolving around mysterious terrors like Cthulhu, and his works have influenced most modern stories in the sci-fi horror genre. Works of literature, games, and films in this genre are often called Lovecraftian horror, after the man who defined the genre. Gen…

Disabled Heroes and Heroines in Mass Effect

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One of the most popular and thought-provoking franchises in the Sci-Fi genre continues to be the Mass Effect trilogy (which will be receiving a completely original sequel sometime next year). There are numerous articles and videos on the internet about the ambiguous ending of the original trilogy's story, and any fan of the series you come across is likely to have a lot to say about the ending. I, personally, am usually a fan of bleak endings (unless it involves the death of beloved Harry Potter characters) and found the ending of the Mass Effect trilogy acceptable, if confusing. The developers re-made the game's three endings after receiving a huge amount of backlash from the fan community, and these re-made endings are acceptable to me, if unacceptable to most fans. Why do I find the ending acceptable? Because ultimately, no matter how much "control" the player has over the direction that the story takes, this is still a piece of literature that has been writ…

We've Made The New Yorker!

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Rejoice, gamers, for a video game has been referenced in that oh-so-literary magazine, The New Yorker. It's not much, but an acknowledgement that their readership would understand a video game reference is certainly a step in the right direction for canonizing video games as a form of literature. The reference appeared in a cartoon published today, as seen below:

Source
While "Mortal Kombat" may not be the most literary of games, and many New Yorker readers have already pointed out that Scorpion never actually says "Finish him" in the game, I still feel that this piece shows just how far we've come in the area of video game acceptance. Game developer Brianna Wu gave some interesting insight on this on Twitter:

Mortal Kombat:
1993: Violent, Satanic filth that must be censored by the government
2016: Cute election commentary for prestigious magazine https://t.co/n22p4U4P0c — Brianna Wu (@Spacekatgal) October 19, 2016 What are your thoughts on video games be…

We're Back Up!

Hi everyone! I must apologize profusely for this website's several month disappearance. If I am to be completely frank, I am still learning when it comes to website hosting. That means that, through an unfortunate email kerfuffle and an inopportune trip to the hospital, I lost the web domain videogamesasliterature.com (don't click that link -- it'll take you to the scalpers who want to sell me my domain back for almost $1,000). If you look in your address bar, the website is now www.videogamesaslit.com, and I hope it will stay that way as long as possible! So, please, if you like my blog and my writing, change your bookmarks to the new address! Or if you're too cool for bookmarks, make a mental note of the change. Note that everything else is the same: the Twitter page, Steam group, and Facebook content have not changed! So if you're following any of those, they will continue to update you whenever I have new content available to read.

On to more interesting topic…

Book Review: "Game On, Hollywood! Essays on the Intersection of Video Games and Cinema"

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I love browsing books on the shelf in my local library. I headed into the stacks yesterday to look for a book titled Vader, Voldemort and Other Villains (I thought it sounded cool) and ended up checking out a book I had never heard of before: Game On, Hollywood! Essays on the Intersection of Video Games and Cinema. My very first reaction was one of excitement; Ramona Flowers is on the cover. The authors in this book must know what they're talking about.


Now, you may note that this book is about the connection between video games and cinema (or movies and television), which is a tenuous but existent section of the literary world. You may imagine that every movie you can think of that was based on a video game has been pretty poorly made, and in many cases you would be correct. Hollywood has had a lot of trouble translating video games into films. The authors of this book agree, stating that "early games have a tenuous history of direct translation to film and television"…