Welcome to the first installment of Sunday Funday, Videodame’s curated collection of short, free-to-play games you can play right in your browser.

This week’s collection leans towards the drier side of fun—Zoe Quinn’s Depression Quest kicked off my search for other games that similarly explored uncharted territory, at least in the world of gaming. While some may question whether games about depression, Alzheimer’s, or failed relationships and the like can really be all that “fun,” I was impressed how all five of these games succeed at placing the player in the shoes of someone experiencing these various facets of life, and while I didn’t recognize myself in all of them, I recognized others or pieces of myself.

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September Player 2 Jared Ettinger finds a kindred spirit in Metroid: Other M's Samus Aran.

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September Player 2 Jared Ettinger finds a kindred spirit in Metroid: Other M's Samus Aran.

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Being committed to not engaging with the sociopolitical meanings in games is just as much of an agenda and just as much of a political statement as being committed to thinking critically about those meanings. It is an agenda blindly supporting the ideologies present in media, letting them sail on by uncriticized, un-remarked-upon, still consumed but not critically consumed, just thoughtlessly absorbed.
  • Paul Simon: I was twenty-one years when I wrote this song.
  • Me: Really?
  • Paul Simon: I'm twenty-three now but I won't be for long.
  • Me: Jesus Christ.



do vampires just use their teeth to make a puncture wound and then suck, or are their fangs like a straw

i havent slept in three days

I have wondered this too.
plz to weigh in thnx.

They mostly puncture then suck/lick (as vampire bats do), but there are as many iterations of fangs and feeding techniques as there are people writing vampire stories, so there are definitely some vampires that use them like straws. These may be inspired by the hollow fangs of venomous snakes, though of course the snakes use their fangs to inject poison, not withdraw fluid. Sidenote: Do non-venomous snakes have hollow fangs? (interpretivescreaming?)

Here’s a thing I, a huge dork of a vampire aficionado with a whole thesis about them under her belt, have always ruminated over—why the heck do so many vamps go for the carotid? The way I understand it, cutting the carotid is a surefire way to create a scary, messy fountain of blood. I can see how a layman would think it’s a way to quickly drain a body of all its blood and thus keep feeding time to a minimum, but shotgunning a beer is a way to quickly drain a can of all its beer and thus keep drinking time to a minimum, and my god, would you really do it with eight pints?

Plus, it makes sense that you’d not want your victims to bleed out. Nibble on the heartier yet still sexy trapezius muscle and do one pint at a time, then patch them up and do it again in a few days. Keep a few humans on hand to get your fill during a meal and always have some fresh ones in rotation. Change up their diet to play with flavor and aroma. Write a New York Times-bestselling book detailing your methods for other vamps. Call it In the Kitchen with Vlad: Oprah’s Favorite Recipes. Become a three-star celebrity vampire chef and open up a successful chain of nocturnal restaurants. Retire to a villa in the Carpathians.

10 Books That Struck a Chord

Tagged by tehloneprospector

Rules: In a text post, list ten books that have stayed with you in some way. Don’t take but a few minutes, and don’t think too hard—they don’t have to be the “right” or “great” works, just the ones that have touched you. Tag ten friends plus me so I’ll see your list. Make sure you let your friends know you’ve tagged them.

1. Dracula, Bram Stoker. There are a thousand reasons why this book is important to me, but I’ll focus on one. Re-reading it as a young adult after being obsessed with it as a child was the first time I realized a person could write about one thing and be talking about another. The fact that the book about the coolest scary guy ever was really about repressed sexuality, yet it flew over my head the first fifty times, blew the young mind right out of my ears.

2. Hamlet, William Shakespeare. I love so many of Shakespeare’s works, but I went with old Hambone because I can quote almost all of it by heart. AND I DO, much to the annoyance of my workmates.

3. The Catcher in the Rye, J.D. Salinger. Holden Caulfield’s the worst, but there’s a genuine sweetness to his affection for his little sister. Ok listen, I’m not proud of this one, but here we all are.

4. A Tale of Two Cities, Charles Dickens. Sydney Carton was the first of many tortured, brooding, cynical, but ultimately noble characters that I would fall hard for, plus I dig how my bro Charlie never met a heavy-handed metaphorical surname he didn’t like.

5. Moby-Dick, Herman Melville. Nathaniel Philbrick calls Moby-Dick an American Bible, and makes a damned good case for it in his book, Why Read Moby-Dick? (also great, and a much slimmer volume than its subject). Like some do with a Bible, I can pick it up, open it at random, read just one chapter and feel a bit more centered. As a writer, I take comfort ruminating on it and thinking to myself, listen—one time a guy decided to write an epic tome about a commercial whaling ship and spend an entire chapter talking about knots, so go ahead, champ, write that long-form essay on the dog from Fallout 3!

6. Changing My Mind, Zadie Smith. Zadie Smith is the kind of writer that makes me angry because there’s just no goddamned way I will ever be as good as she is. If Melville’s laser-focused attention to detail gives me comfort, Smith’s absolute mastery of the personal essay keeps me from becoming complacent.

7. The Dark is Rising, Susan Cooper. This was the first fantasy novel I ever read, even before The Hobbit, and I devoured this story about an average, slightly beleaguered kid (named for Will Shakespeare, no less) who discovers he’s one of an ancient line of guardians against The Dark, and capable of wielding great power, besides. It might have been my first exposure to the Hero’s Journey. (Probably not—I must have had already seen Star Wars.) I initially didn’t realize it was part of a larger series and didn’t read the others until many years later, which may be why none of them ever quite produced the same spark.

8. Infinite Jest, David Foster Wallace. This is the only book I hated so much I didn’t finish it, so credit where credit’s due. I bet if I had read it around the same time I read The Catcher in the Rye I would have loooooooved it. I still keep a copy on my bookshelf in order to, as Cate Blanchett says in Elizabeth, always remind me of how close I came to danger.

9. Gnomes, Wil Huygen and Rien Poortvliet. I pored over this book so many times as a child. Poortvliet’s artwork is spectacular and Huygen’s “field notes” on the titular creatures are presented so unironically as to make me believe there’s still a chance I’ll catch a glimpse of a house gnome weaving between the legs of a dining room chair in my own home. This book was also very much the gateway to the graphic novels and comic books I enjoy to this day.

10. Griffin & Sabine: An Extraordinary Correspondence, Nick Bantock. This is my favorite book-as-object. The story is almost pedestrian, two lovers exchanging notes and letters, but it’s presented in a clever way—the letters and postcards are kept in envelopes attached to the pages, requiring the reader to open, retrieve, and sometimes unfold each piece of correspondence. I told my husband how much I loved it when we were dating in college, and he went to all the used bookstores downtown looking for the next two in the trilogy. One of many signs he was (and is) a keeper.

Tagging: danieljhogan eva-cybele gavinjcraig goseebananafish jervo sassy-gay-justice sillyraccoonknight startrekrenegades teatime-with-tigers wreckofthewinterwar

Bonus 11th tag because I don’t think she comes on tumblr anymore: fishwhofloatsideways

The past couple of weeks, y’all.

I usually do Party Chats (irregularly) on Fridays but so much has gone down between games journalists and gamers the past two weeks that I wanted to make a post rounding up important links, if only as an explanation as to why I have been so, so unmotivated to write about games.

And man am I unmotivated to write about games. I haven’t even really played any games lately, to be honest. I’m no games journalist—I’m far too invested in writing about my feels to be comfortable labeling myself as anything more than a games writer (and does that sound like I write the scripts for games, or what? Games memoirist, maybe? PS. why is it always a plural “games” with this stuff?)—but a whole bunch of my IRL and internet friends are journalists, and in spite of it all, other people sometimes think of me as one. But I’m a gamer too, and through all of this I’m finding it hard to understand how and why those two things are somehow mutually exclusive.

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