Posts Tagged ‘S.EXE’

S.EXE: Seven Stories About Love

By Cara Ellison on January 23rd, 2015.

The first time I ever wrote anything about games, it was because I was still brokenhearted about a relationship that had dissolved years ago. PC Gamer edited the 4000 word essay into a six pager about Dota in 2012 and it is still one of the best things I have ever written. But wherever I go, whatever I do, games participate in a meaningful way in many of the relationships I see. Welcome to a special edition of S.EXE: the love letters edition. Brace yourself, you are in for chop. Here are seven stories about falling in love next to a loading screen.

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S.EXE: Romantic Encounters At The Dome

By Cara Ellison on January 9th, 2015.

Thanks but I'm just here to deliver this pizza where do I put this pi - MADAM

“You have made a career of playing stupid shit,” my friend tells me, as she stares at me playing a 2D MS-DOS platformer that sees a naked man with a semi erect cock jump around collecting beer and pissing on doors to open them. “It may be true,” I say, grazing the man’s knob-end off the side of a floating platform that is strangely reminiscent of Sonic The Hedgehog levels. I leave the naked man to idle for a moment, and his John Thomas drips. This is the eternal metaphor for video games, I think, looking at my character fire urine at things and try to locate a woman to bone, both using a thing that is just more flesh-coloured than usual. It’s time to go back to the old school of MS-DOS, friends! Come and visit Romantic Encounters At The Dome with me via Dan Dolme and Sex Vixens In Space. I promise one of them will be good.

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S.EXE: Coming Out On Top (NSFW)

By Cara Ellison on December 19th, 2014.

Today I am enjoying screenshots

RPS, I have been having a good time. An extremely good time. I mean a good time in every way: A new gay dating sim has snuck into existence, it is called Coming Out On Top, and it is funny, sexy, nervewracking, tense, charming… and it has fully naked, good-looking dudes in it. Who kiss each other! And do other hot 18+ things. Also there is a goldfish who keeps talking to you. The goldfish is a little overbearing. But we can get past the goldfish.

Tune in after the jump to read about a full release of the gay dude dating sim Coming Out On Top.

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S.EXE: Creatures Such As We

By Cara Ellison on December 5th, 2014.

mooning

When Max Payne, the dark bullet-time Sam Spade-‘em-up game came out in 2001, I thought it possessed a most ingenious game meta-narrative moment. (I was sixteen, and I was easily wowed.) If my memory serves correctly, at one point our raspy-voiced Phillip Marlowe stand-in Max is injected with an overdose of the drug Valkyrie, a heroinesque substance, and hallucinates for a few levels. At one point he remarks in horror that he can see his own health bar. He’s in a nightmare, he’s in a video game.

I am now twenty-nine and really difficult to please, but I can say confidently that Creatures Such As We is an elegant, intricate meta-narrative about player emotional investment and romancing non-player characters. Max Payne would do a Keanuface at it.

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S.EXE: Girlvania Summer Lust (NSFW)

By Cara Ellison on November 21st, 2014.

Someone sent me this ‘All-Girl Sex Simulation’ Girlvania because I guess I have this reputation now. What I did was I got some All Girls together (women who have sex with other women) in the New York Museum of Sex bar, plied them with alcohol, and asked them to look at the game. Is this a thing you can count as your job? I guess this is my job now. Asking New York lesbians what they think of virtual women fucking each other over outlandishly named cocktails. Anyway this is not going to be safe for work (in text or images) and prepare yourself for Jeff Goldblum sweats.

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S.EXE: Gateway Shuffle

By Cara Ellison on November 7th, 2014.

You know the first rule of combat? Shoot them before they shoot you.Stars glint off the side of the hull as the wartorn ship slowly turns in space. She sits in her underwear, staring out at the far-off smear of white on the blue-marbled orb and the drifting neon love hotels by the casino station. She is hung, suspended, her stomach grumbling, her muscles barely remembering what seiza is like, or what fish and chips taste like. Dirty laundry and wax strips drift by her face. Once she was stationed on space station Britannia, working regularly for the Rock Paper Shotgun outfit, but now she drifts in space, for hire only by those who can find her. She remembers the ones she left behind to the tune of Orbital’s Halcyon On And On.

The monitor bleeps, waking her from her hyperspace-lag. INCOMING COMMISSION it flashes. INCOMING COMMISSION. INCOMING COMMISSION. $100 WULONGS FOR THE HEAD OF A GAMES DEVELOPER. She scrambles for the button, her tummy growling, accidentally opening a tab on a game instead: Gateway Shuffle. 3,2,1 let’s jam.

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S.EXE: Vampire The Masquerade – Bloodlines Part 2

By Cara Ellison on October 24th, 2014.

Really annoying when you are trying to pluck your eyebrowsThis is the second part of my Vampire: The Masquerade – Bloodlines Diary. You can read the first part here.

All of this is huge spoilers so it’s only your OWN fault if you read any of this and then ruin your whole life because you spoilered this wonderful game and then you will never like anything again and love will seem hollow.

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S.EXE: VA-11 HALL-A

By Cara Ellison on October 10th, 2014.

Some of my favourite people in the world have been bartenders. I mean, I didn’t speak to many of them for more than ten minutes, and I know how it works – I used to tend bar too – you flirt for tips and for kicks. But a bartender has an uncanny way of being able to flip a switch in you. Not just with their sticky fluids, but also with their damn fine smiles, the ability to pay you attention for just those five minutes you want to order a drink after work. Sometimes you can make up stories about them, that the smile was really because you are the most handsome thing in the world, and they are going to Tom-Cruise-in-Cocktail you after their shift.

But ah, being the bartender. It’s a different sort of thing all together. It’s a real performance.

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S.EXE: Gone Home

By Cara Ellison on September 26th, 2014.

gross GROSS

Quentin Tarantino has a monologue about Top Gun in the little-known Hollywood metamovie Sleep With Me. In it, Tarantino discusses in his typical teenage terminology how Top Gun, as well as being a romantic Cold War macho-off, is a film about the main character coming to terms with his own homosexuality. Tarantino names this subtextual narrative ‘fucking great’ and ‘subversive’. But it would probably have been much more subversive had it actually been text and not subtext. In game terms, that narrative probably would have been The Fullbright Company’s Gone Home. Yeah I said it. Gone Home is a more explicit Top Gun.

GONE HOME SPOILERS FROM HERE ON~

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S.EXE: Indiana Jones And The Fate Of Atlantis

By Cara Ellison on September 12th, 2014.

Indiana Jones and the Fate of HIS FACE

A long time ago, when I was just a fledgeling writer who had just attended her first Game Developer’s Conference and only accidentally brushed shoulders with Tim Schafer at a bar, I was surprised to get a message on Facebook from Noah Falstein. He had noticed that my cover image was of the 1992 LucasArts point and click adventure Indiana Jones and the Fate of Atlantis. He saw it on my page thanks to a connection of a friend of a friend. He ‘liked’ it. And I realised: Noah wrote that game.

I guess that was the moment I knew I was privileged to be able to talk to the people who make the things I care about, and that I should spend my time critiquing their work. This week’s S.EXE is about the ‘team’ narrative strand of Indiana Jones And The Fate Of Atlantis. It’s got clinches worthy of Hollywood. I’ve not seen a kiss in a game that’s ever topped Sophia and Indy’s frequent tonsil-scraping embraces.

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S.EXE: F**k Everything (RNSFW)

By Cara Ellison on August 29th, 2014.

Fuck Everything

Well, it’s been a hellish two weeks, RPS. This week’s S.EXE comes to you from the heart of one of Europe’s most beautiful and sexually liberal cities, Amsterdam, where I am sat with a glass of Pinot Blanc, bread and some sort of Gouda, watching the internet try to hack away at the self-esteem, security, and self-belief of women who make and talk about games. I know it got to me: I sent a message to a colleague to ask his professional opinion. If I, a woman, wrote about a feminist game maker in this climate, would it be an irresponsible act?

I decided, with the gamemaker’s permission of course, to fuck all that worry to one side. It is not Regency England. Women do not need to ask a man’s permission to do fuck all, least of all worry what some anonymous ones on the internet think about anything. That’s what art is about: expressing what you want to. Let’s go on a journey into some real weird shit, RPS. Women are here. We are going to stay if we want to. We are going to talk about what we like. Today what I want to talk about is fucking chairs, fucking women, fucking men, and fucking monsters. If you don’t want to come that’s okay, but this here peculiar territory at 9pm is mine and no one else’s. This will not be safe for work. Let’s Fuck Everything.

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S.EXE: Dragon Age II And The Long Road

By Cara Ellison on August 15th, 2014.

same

I usually discover the best stories about games over a quiet drink with a friend. This week I am residing in the Isle of Wight, working with the artist Howard Hardiman, author of The Lengths. The Lengths is, amongst other things, an exploration of the world of male gay escorts based on real conversations with sex workers; illustrations and dialogue of the feelings and life of someone who lives to please other people. I found myself in The Mess asking Howard which games he liked that expressed something about the relationships between people. This will contain spoilers for Dragon Age II.

Howard explained to me that Aveline’s crush on a coworker in Dragon Age II almost broke his heart. So we went back home to play The Long Road.

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S.EXE: The Arboretum

By Cara Ellison on August 1st, 2014.

This week on S.EXE I am bringing to your attention the slowburning intimate relationship of two people in Matthew S. Burns’ The Arboretum. The Arboretum was just released on the always excellent Unwinnable dot com, a place that welcomes experimental writing and game design and published yours truly before she really knew who she was. The Arboretum is a gentle and deftly-written text adventure, linear and beautiful in texture. It is a delicate exploration of the feelings of two teenagers whose only dating advice came from hentai and anime, and their fumbling fights their own expectations of romance.

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