Introducing Mike Bloomberg, the Democrats’ Donald Trump

In th run-up to (and aftermath of) the 2016 election, pundits and commentators raised a common rhetorical question aimed at the Democratic base—”if there were a Donald Trump on the left, would you have voted for him?”

There’s a different version of that question that, in hindsight, makes a lot more sense. “If there were a Democrat version of Donald Trump, would you have voted for him?”

Let’s take a moment to answer that one, shall we?

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Myles Garrett, Football’s Hypocrisy, and the Absurdity of “Consensual” Violence

Myles Garrett’s violence created a flashpoint for that mindset—it evoked the reaction that it did because, in a game where multiple players were taken off the field with more damage to their skulls and brains than Mason Rudolph received from Garrett’s helmet-slam, it revealed just how transparent that line of thinking really was. It revealed complicity and, in doing so, a wash of cognitive dissonance from everyone from nameless twitter eggs to Adam fucking Schefter himself. It revealed the sheer absurdity of football, starkly and plainly, and people just couldn’t handle that.

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In Outer Wilds, They Blew Up the Sun, and There Was Nothing We Could Do

Outer Wilds is infused with a lingering tinge of melancholy, coupled with an overwhelming sense of smallness… All of these systems operate like clockwork, unfazed by your minuscule intrusions. In much the same way the Sun will never respond to your pleas. As you uncover the story of the Nomai, you learn—through implication and observation, through long-forgotten writings and the broken remains of their stations—that because of a lack of foresight and one too many human mistakes, there is no way to stop the progress they tried and, in their time, seemingly failed to set in motion. Millions of years later, their machines blew up your sun. And there’s nothing you can do to stop it.

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On Dark Souls II: Ephemera, Entropy, and the Inevitability of Loss

The ragged white knights in Heide’s Tower of Flame don’t even rise when you first enter the area; they wait for you to slay the area’s first boss before even bothering to stand. The soldiers in Drangleic Castle begin as statues, shaking themselves to life as if awaking from a thousand-year slumber. They still fight, but everything seems tired. Exhausted, even. Like they don’t even know what they’re fighting for.

This is fitting, because it elucidates Dark Souls II’s core thesis. At its heart, this is a game about loss.

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Six Years before Breath of the Wild, Dark Souls Reinvented The Legend of Zelda

But the bond between Dark Souls and Ocarina of Time runs far deeper than their initial obtuseness—to a point where the first Soulborne game feels like a crystallization of the first 3D Zelda’s design ethos. Both present the player with complex, interlocking worlds; spaces that revel in a secret, paradoxical linearity that curves and bends and doubles back on itself, that focuses on shortcuts and secret paths to optimize the player’s path forward. In Ocarina, those are its dungeons; in Dark Souls, that’s the design philosophy behind the entire world.

Read More Six Years before Breath of the Wild, Dark Souls Reinvented The Legend of Zelda