Hello my friends!
Our cover story this month is by frequent contributor Mark Hill. He examines a group of indie games that center on the same vaguely comforting cliches about death and the afterlife and argues that we deserve better.
Our second feature, by Jeff Spoonhower is an in-depth look at subtextual storytelling, both broadly and as it applies to videogames. He does a great job of explicitly explaining something most folks are vaguely aware of — I love a story that brings that kind of clarity.
In the columns, we have Gavin Craig ruminating on the World Series win of the Washington Nationals. Astrid Budgor has two months worth of metal recommendations. Noah Springer has a new batch of hip hop records. Blake Hester travels to Japan and finds himself in a place he knows very well thanks to the Yakuza videogame series.
Deirdre Coyle departs from her usual theme to offer up a guide to goth sub-subcultures via videogame characters. Ben Sailer learns a bit about the impact of journalism in Headliner: Novinews. Matt Marrone is 16 years old again when he picks up the 25th anniversary edition of REM’s Monster.
Yussef Cole finds a fascinating thread between Fire Emblem: Three Houses, real world imperialism and tea. Justin Reeve explores the architecture of Gotham City in Arkham Knight. Rob Rich finds himself terrified of the Disney+ streaming service. Jason McMaster plumbs the depths of Death Stranding. And, finally, we chat with tabletop RPG designer and artist Bodie H.
If you are in the States, I hope you have a happy Thanksgiving. We’ll be back in a couple weeks with a new issue of Exploits. See you then!
Kearny, New Jersey
November 15, 2019