“Make love.” — Daft Punk, 1993–2021

Prologue

This is not a review of Zack Snyder’s Justice League. There is much about the film I dislike, and I certainly don’t care whether you like it or not. I just want to write about how I found the film to be, almost in spite of itself, a compassionate one. …


Dontnod has a knack for place, for memory, and for the link between the two. In Life Is Strange, I relished the opportunities I was given to just linger in a location, feeling out the emotional character of a place, how Max felt about it, and what existing there might feel like for her. …


NOTE: This piece assumes the reader has watched season one of HBO’s Perry Mason.

“Don’t give up, ’cause somewhere there’s a place where we belong.” — Peter Gabriel, “Don’t Give Up”

Let’s start here: I feel like a lost soul.

I had written a big flashy introduction to this piece, meant to show how thrilling I find it that the new HBO series Perry Mason responds to the classic CBS show not only by reimagining its central characters and dramatically shifting its ideological perspective, but also by defying our expectations about what Perry Mason does. The season finale features a…


PLEASE NOTE: This piece is intended as post-game reading. It discusses plot events in detail, including the ending.

“Why on earth are we here? Surely not to live in pain and fear.” — John Lennon, “Instant Karma”

“What’s broken can always be fixed. What’s fixed will always be broken.” — Jens Lekman, “Your Arms Around Me”

I’ll tell you the exact moment that The Last of Us Part II lost me completely. It was during the climactic fight on the beach with Abby. Abby refuses to fight Ellie, and Ellie holds a knife to the throat of Lev, just saved…


(PLEASE NOTE: This post contains spoilers for Final Fantasy 7 Remake.)

Reviews serve a necessary function. They assert that art matters, and that the conversation about art matters. When a new work is released, reviews can enrich or challenge our perspective, giving us new ways to think about our own experiences with it, and giving the larger cultural conversation a place to start. But that’s all reviews should be, a starting point. Once a work is released to the public, the conversation may go in revealing new directions. …


Before its release, I was suspicious of Animal Crossing: New Horizons — suspicious of the idea that it could have anything to offer me, anyway, that it could do anything but make me feel worse than I already did. I definitely didn’t see the appeal in all of Tom Nook’s talk of island getaways in my Twitter feed, and for a very simple reason: my life feels like an island already. People visit sometimes but there’s never anyone who stays.

I live alone in a studio apartment. I have a small number of people I consider close friends but I…


When Cardboard Computer announced that the fifth and final act of their magical realist adventure game Kentucky Route Zero was finally coming out on January 28th, I decided to replay the first four acts one more time in preparation. I’ve always found that KR0 rewards repeat playthroughs, as I routinely pick up on things I hadn’t before, or come to better appreciate the way that minor details mentioned in passing early on gradually develop into major components of the story. …


This is my attempt to write something cleansing in the final hours of this decade, so that I can start the next one with the right mindset and the right heartset. If you read it I hope you get something out of it but, cards on the table: I wrote it for myself.

As the discourse around the new Star Wars trilogy has revealed, these three films are about a lot of things, most of all themselves, and by extension, through the arguments and debates they’ve generated, they’ve become about what we want from our myths and legends, and what…


Writing in The New Yorker in June of 1981 about the upcoming film Raiders of the Lost Ark, film critic Pauline Kael made it clear that she was not a huge fan. The action sequences left her exhausted and unmoved. “Kinesthetically, the film gets to you,” she wrote. “It gets your heart thumping. But there’s no exhilaration in this dumb, motor excitement.” And later in the same review: “Seeing Raiders is like being put through a Cuisinart — something has been done to us, but not to our benefit.”

I quote Kael here not because I agree with her about…


“When you showed me myself, I became someone else.” — Joseph Arthur, “In the Sun”

Last Saturday I was in Seattle to record an episode of Feminist Frequency Radio at GeekGirlCon. At one point, we all showed clips from our picks for Best Love Story of the Decade. Anita had chosen Gone Home, due in part to its cultural significance, the way it told a story about people video games had previously so rarely told stories about.

The clip Anita showed was of the player standing in the upstairs bathroom, listening as we hear Sam Greenbriar say these words:

Lonnie…

Carolyn Petit

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