Category Archives: Video Games

In which Liz tells Frank about the future of entertainment (financially, anyway).

Liz Tells Frank What Happened In “Mass Effect”

Dear Frank,

As you know, every once in a while I reach out on Facebook and Twitter to ask people what they think you need to know about, because as a great philosopher once wrote, “true enlightenment comes from complete submersion into the unknown.” Okay, that great philosopher was me pulling some words out of my ass just now, but the concept is sound, right?

Anyways, a friendly fellow by the name of Woody Tondorf suggested that you needed to know about the video game series Mass Effect, which is a video game I have heard a lot about, but have never played, because as previously mentioned, my gaming abilities are pretty sub-par. However, I knew of someone who had played it: Kate Cox, of the video game criticism blog Your Critic is in Another Castle. Not only is the name of her blog AWESOME and her analysis of the video game industry from a feminist/media perspective very smart, but we went to summer camp together. Which makes her a most trusted expert.

So this week it’s less Liz Tells Frank and more Kate Tells Liz What to Tell Frank. But to be honest about it and show my work, below please find the chat conversation in which Kate reveals the first Mass Effect‘s secrets, I ask a lot of stupid questions, and we learn how complicated sexytimes in space can be. Read the rest of this entry

Liz Tells Frank What Happened In “Portal”

Dear Frank,

As you may be aware, another battle in the “are video games art?” war was kicked off this week thanks to Charlie Brooker, a guy you might have seen on British comedy shows (if you’re me and you’ll watch anything with Martin Freeman in it). He posted a column describing certain video games as the type of “intelligent entertainment” currently being shunned by “Hollywood.” Despite the fact that putting the entirety of Hollywood up on a pedestal of shame is starting to get stale (even when it’s earned), Brooker makes a solid point, mostly because one of the games he points to is Portal 2, an interactive puzzle adventure game created by Valve.

Frank, you’re probably a bit aware of the Portal franchise, seeing as you are a worldly man of intellect who does not eschew so-called “low brow” mediums. (I am basing this entirely on your recent promise of a recap of the Smallville series finale.) But let me explain what happens in Portal in a way that will make sense to a non-video game enthusiast, because while I won’t say I’ve played a lot of video games, Portal and Portal 2 may be two of the best I’ve ever played. Read the rest of this entry

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