The eighth chapter of Tom Bissell’s Extra Lives reminded me that video games have a remarkable potential for ruthlessness. Or, rather, it reminded me what video games can force (or allow) the player to do. Of course this is something people have written about before: from the very genesis (no pun intended) of video games, moral guardians have questioned the violent nature of “the collision and disappearance of two blocky abstractions (Bissell, page 130).” This has evolved into heated arguments over the ethics of crime-related series such as Grand Theft Auto and Saints Row, or violent games such as Mortal Kombat, Gears of War, or Call of Duty.… Read the rest
This past weekend I attended an anime convention at the National Harbor in Maryland known as Katsucon. As with every anime convention I got to experience many weird and wonderful panels, merchandise and cosplay.
One panel I thoroughly enjoyed during my stay was Kowai: Ghosts, Yokai and Japanese Monster Culture, a lecture done by Charles Dunbar on the cryptic creatures of Japan known as Yokai (check out his blog here: http://www.studyofanime.com). What are Yokai you may be asking? Well the short definition is monster but as Dunbar has said the term Yokai is a broad one and therefore has no precise meaning; other definitions include (but are not limited to): spirit, goblin, ghost, fantastic being, a strange unexplainable experience and even just changing thing.… Read the rest