How Doki Doki Literature Club Paints an (Almost) Authentic Picture of Depression

From one angle, Team Salvato’s (free) visual novel Doki Doki Literature Club looks like an attempt to capture a bit of Undertale‘s signature metafictional magic. A game that begins as a piece in a well-defined genre ends up being anything but—picking apart both the mechanical and narrative tropes that a player might expect from, respectively, a visual […]

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This Book Kills Fascists

The most important scene in Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix does not take place in the Ministry of Magic. It does not involve Lucius Malfoy, nor Bellatrix Lestrange, nor Voldemort. It does not contain the death of Sirius Black, nor the destruction of the Department of Mysteries. The most important scene in Harry Potter […]

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Dream No More: How Hollow Knight’s Story Mirrors the Myth of Prometheus

[This piece is intended for readers who have finished Hollow Knight and unlocked its true ending. If you haven’t, my (mostly) spoiler-free review is a much better introduction to this fantastic game.] Deep in Kingdom’s Edge—one of the farthest reaches of Hollow Knight’s bug-filled land of Hallownest—rests the carcass of something ancient. Draped around the […]

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Punk Rock and Peter Parker: The Disctinctly Comic Book Politics of Spider-Man: Homecoming

At its core, Spider-Man: Homecoming grasps two fundamental truths that have largely escaped the Marvel Cinematic Universe up until now. First, that comic books and the masked avengers that inhabit their pages are intensely political—that superheroes not only embody the politics of their time, but that the best comics, the ones that remain relevant decades after […]

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