Elden Ring and designed obtuseness

Type
Article
Category
Friday Features
Gaming

If most videogames are collaborative stories that the player travels through and participates in, like an actor following their part of the script, Elden Ring is more like a complex puzzle box that players collectively poke at, trying to find a way into to figure out its secrets. It pretends to be about masochistic individual performance but is in fact about collaboration, helping each other out, and working against a deliberately obtuse and unfair opponent.

Type
Article
Category
Film

There is nothing whatsoever wrong with Lightyear

If, as Andrew Todd has written, Sony’s recent Morbius was the triumph of intellectual property over storytelling, Disney’s Lightyear is intellectual property as storytelling. It is the story of a toy, written by people who don’t know that toys come alive. It is a movie that exists solely because of its franchise yet narrows its imaginary boundaries.

Type
Essay
Category
Climate politics
Memoir

Pandemic pastoral

Mum and Dad reckoned I was always a waterbaby. As soon as we stopped the car at the beach, I’d take off, a trail of clothes left in my wake, headed straight into the water. I didn’t notice the difference of the cooler waters down here until I was an adult. The water was always a refresher, a relief from baking hot sun and dusty throats. We would swim everywhere—Johanna, Kilcunda, Wonthaggi, Ninety Mile Beach, Mallacoota, Gunnamatta, Koonya.

Type
Article
Category
Politics

A quiet coup for technopopulism? The anti-politics of the 2022 election

Amid the slightly muted jubilation about a long-awaited change in government, certain similarities between Greens insurgents, ‘teal’ independents and, to a lesser extent, hard right fringe parties have received less careful analysis. These point to a shared anti-establishment, anti-corruption populism that, in almost every instance, articulated itself in terms of a ‘scientific’ consensus on either climate change or health policy.

Type
Article
Category
Film

The politics of the multiverse: simultaneity and trauma in Everything Everywhere All at Once

The multiverse can have deeper implications when the interests in self-conscious play and knotty conception are probed for a more consequential social commentary. While neither a flawless execution of the cinematic multiverse nor an exhaustive exploration of identity and inequality, Everything Everywhere All at Once is a productive example of this balance.

Type
Article
Category
Fiction
Friday Features
Friday Fiction

Fiction | The Offering

i feel you shiver-shift against my pillowed fingerprints feel the warmth of me slick your skin {dew-licked and humid}
I walked to the gates of the Botanical Gardens in my formal pleated shorts, purchased especially for the occasion. I wanted this experience to be memorable. I wanted to impress.

Type
Essay
Category
UBI

‘Bush pirates’ and other disguises

It seems to me that the utopian potential of Universal Income can easily be exaggerated, but so can its dangers and implausibility. There are struggles all around us which, on a daily basis, we’re forced to abandon and forget. Given increased power over our own attention wouldn’t make these problems disappear, even more would emerge. Material poverty, for all the most airtight policies and implementations, will likely never cease to exist.