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Cara Ellison

5 years ago

Feature:

S.EXE: Gateway Shuffle

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.…

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Feature: Father figures

S.EXE: Vampire The Masquerade – Bloodlines Part 2

This 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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Feature: Cyberpunk Bartending Sim

S.EXE: VA-11 HALL-A

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…

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Feature: The Top Gun Of Videogames

S.EXE: Gone Home

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…

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Feature: Hollywood Romance

S.EXE: Indiana Jones And The Fate Of Atlantis

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…

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S.EXE: F**k Everything (RNSFW)

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.…

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Feature: HE DOESN'T EVEN LIKE TO TALK ABOUT SWORDS

S.EXE: Dragon Age II And The Long Road

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…

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Feature: In The Dark

S.EXE: The Arboretum

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…

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Feature: "ticklish school romance adventure" doesn't begin to cover it

S.EXE: Hentai Edition (NSFW)

I have been aware, for a while at least, that for S.EXE you wanted me to do something on Hentai/eroge/H games, and so this week I fulfilled your wish with Da Capo. For a pretty long time I didn't want to cover Hentai, the main reason being that I couldn't find one that appealed to my personal libido and I am very selfish. (Though when…

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Feature: Touching Peters

S.EXE: Groin Gravitators

My circumstances have changed yet again as I make my way around the world on a silly adventure with game developers. I find myself writing this week's S.EXE in the muggy heart of the most boisterous American city, New York. It is currently pissing it down, and yet, as my friend Rob Dubbin remarks, it is hot like 'a city on the surface of Venus'…

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Feature: Sexy, terrifying bastards

S.EXE: Vampire The Masquerade – Bloodlines Part 1

When you think of California, you probably think of sun, people wearing shades, the wide, flat pavements sunbleached and neat. But when the night falls in Santa Monica, CA, it gets mortuary cold. I'm staying there this month and I found myself thinking of Jeanette the other night. Something about a tumultuous relationship, smudged kohl, and Jeanette. So I paid for another copy of Vampire:…

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Feature: wordy rub 'n' tug

S.EXE: Snowblind Aces

Ah, mes cheries. This week's S.EXE is a romantic tale of two hot-shots in a clinch. It's hard to find well-written romance in games, but it's also hard to find dialogue that's naturalistic or flowing... Unless you go to the tenderly-kept gardens of the Interactive Fiction forums, where, somewhat ignored by Gamers At Large, the wordsmiths of choice and nuance solder their delicate meanings together,…

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Feature: Positive Space

S.EXE: Merritt Kopas On Porn, Pain, And Power

This week's S.EXE entry is an interview with a person who speaks and writes regularly about sex in games and who has made games about relationships along the way. I first became aware of the multimedia artist & game designer Merritt Kopas through her shrewd skewering of games on the website Nightmare Mode, for which I was also writing at the time. The website has…

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Feature: Things That You Can Win

S.EXE: Increpare’s Striptease (NSFW)

Today's sex and/or relationship game is Increpare's puzzle game Striptease. I'd like to point out that this game, though it might seem from its title to be lighthearted titillation, contains depictions of violence against women and addresses issues of sexual assault. If this might trigger or distress you in any way, I'd recommend to take care in reading this, and consider whether playing this game…

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Feature: A Digital Romance

S.EXE: Auriea Harvey & Michaël Samyn

Many of Tale of Tales' games have erotic undertones, and you might begin to wonder exactly why that is. You remember I wrote about Tale of Tales' FATALE earlier in this column, of course. And after winning the Nuovo Award for Luxuria Superbia at the IGF Awards a few weeks ago, Auriea Harvey & Michaël Samyn explained in their acceptance speech that they did a…

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Feature: Smash Together

S.EXE: Teen Girl Squad

No, not the beloved Homestar Runner animation, this fortnight it's a celebration of teenage girls and their sexual agency being front and centre of the narrative! "Hey Cara," I might hear you say, "I have never heard of a game that even gave the tiniest crap about teenage girls' libidos!" Well, I'd say, you've clearly never been near the Otome genre, or a copy of…

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Feature: Gush with love

S.EXE: OutRun 2006

The sound of the sea on the menu of the classic arcade racer OutRun 2006 is drifting through Tim Rogers’ Oakland apartment. For whatever reason I find myself in the ex-Grasshopper Manufacture designer’s house, and this guy is making a game, ‘Videoball’, that demands that the voice actor on his new game sound like she comes from OutRun 2006. So I am playing OutRun 2006.…

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Feature: Schlongs of Skyrim

S.EXE: Hot Mods (NSFW)

This week I have been inspired in my work for this column by the magnificent website Critique My Dick Pic, which attempts to rate the erotic quality of dick pics with 100% no size shaming. I enjoy that website because for some reason dicks, especially erect dicks, are conspicuously absent from our media, including videogames, and I think a good dick pic can certainly be…

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Feature: You've Got The Look

S.EXE: Tale of Tales’ FATALE (NSFW)

Shakespeare's Helena once said 'Love don't cost a thing'... Hang on, that wasn't it. She said, 'Love in an elevator, living it up when you're going down...' No, that can't be right. That is somewhat anachronistic. No, it was 'Love looks not with the eyes but with the mind. And therefore is winged Cupid painted blind.' But what about desire? What about lust? Isn't lust…

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6 years ago

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