The Worst Filing System Known To Humans

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Reload the Canons!

This series of articles is an attempt to play through The Canon of videogames: your Metroids, your Marios, your Zeldas, your Pokemons, that kind of thing.

Except I'm not playing the original games. Instead, I'm playing only remakes, remixes, and weird fan projects. This is the canon of games as seen through the eyes of fans, and I'm going to treat fan games as what they are: legitimate works of art in their own right that deserve our analysis and respect.

Tuesday, June 6, 2017

It's Basically Fucking Ridiculous That Sense8 Got Cancelled

Sense8 is dead. But all the pieces were there for it to be revolutionary. I don't even have a good summary for this article I'm just fucking pissed that we had all these pieces in place and still for some reason it didn't come together, and I'm left with this multi-part series that I wrote most of before the show was cancelled so like what the fuck. Here's some bewildered rambling about tech history I guess.



Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Back to the Past: Why Samurai Jack Season 5 Was Great; Why The Ending Failed


Samurai Jack finally got back to the past. But why has the ending left so many feeling let down, and what does the show's brilliant animation reveal about the narrative's fatal flaws?


Thursday, May 18, 2017

Infin8 Stream: Is Sense8 The Future Of TV?

We live in an era defined by the Epic Streaming Show and Netflix. But is the Netflix hit Sense8 the precursor to an even stranger and more brilliant kind of hypermedia storytelling still to come?


Thursday, May 4, 2017

Announcing: A Star Wars Collection



Rogue One is a controversial film, inspiring some with its surprising, improbable radical politics, while seeming to distress as many others with its unconventional storytelling and seeming break from the tone of Star Wars.

This upcoming (as yet unnamed) collection, featuring revised and expanded versions of Storming the Ivory Tower's Star Wars articles alongside exclusive content to tie it all together, lays out not just a defense of Rogue One but a defense of the more radical potential lurking in the apparently thoroughly corporate Star Wars franchise, and takes aim at the various misreadings of the series propagating on the Web.

The collection will be available in downloadable epub form, alongside four previous StIT collections, to $5 supporters of the Storming the Ivory Tower Patreon, and the raw, unformatted text will be available for just $1. Subscribe now as a $5 Patron to get your name in the final book as a sponsor of the project!

(Note: Twilight of the Superheroes is still happening, it's just much much more complicated than I expected, so I'm pushing out this collection while it's fresh in order to tide everyone over while I continue working on the Superhero project in the background.)

Sunday, April 30, 2017

Nerd-On-Nerd Violence: Why Is Geek Star Wars Crit So Lousy?

"Star Wars fanboys don't know what they're talking about," grouses Mr Plinkett! But aren't all these bad Star Wars theories, Red Letter Media's popular garbage videos included, totally characteristic of fanboy analysis? And does geek culture encourage us to disengage from the empathetic core of the Star Wars franchise?



Tuesday, April 25, 2017

You'll Teach Me And I'll Teach You: Do Pokemon's Mechanics Actually Work?

Pokemon has a brilliant mechanical narrative where you're encouraged to treat your pokemon as living creatures, and use them to fashion an identity for yourself... or at least that's how it works in theory. In practice, do Pokemon's mechanics actually work... and is Ian Bogost right to suggest that maybe chasing after narrative in games is a lost cause?
Reload the Canons! is an ongoing Storming the Ivory Tower project where I play through The Canon of videogames. Except I'm not playing the original games. Instead, I'm playing only remakes, remixes, and weird fan projects. This is the canon of games as seen through the eyes of fans, and I'm going to treat fan games as what they are: legitimate works of art in their own right that deserve our analysis and respect. You can support Reload the Canons! and my other projects on the Storming the Ivory Tower Patreon.



Monday, April 17, 2017

Film Theory Theory: MatPat's Star Wars Theories Are Nazi Garbage

"Save the Death Star!" shouts MatPat, "because destroying it would make the money sad!" How does someone argue himself into supporting Space Nazis? Why do fandoms eat it up? And might Star Wars itself have something to say about the way that the culture we live in clouds our vision, preventing us from seeing the stories in front of us?


Friday, March 17, 2017

To Train Them Is My Cause: Why Do We Care About Our Pokemon?

Pokemon games, whether canon or fan-made, live or die based on the bond between Pokemon and players. Can we use the mechanics of the games and the way those mechanics are altered in Pokemon Uranium, Pokemon Insurgence, and Pokemon Infinite Fusion to explain why we care about our Pokemon?
Reload the Canons! is an ongoing Storming the Ivory Tower project where I play through The Canon of videogames. Except I'm not playing the original games. Instead, I'm playing only remakes, remixes, and weird fan projects. This is the canon of games as seen through the eyes of fans, and I'm going to treat fan games as what they are: legitimate works of art in their own right that deserve our analysis and respect. You can support Reload the Canons! and my other projects on the Storming the Ivory Tower Patreon.


Thursday, March 9, 2017

Modern Myth-Busting: Are Rogue One's Characters Worthy Star Wars Heroes?

"Rogue One is too dark and gritty," cries the Internet! "It sullies the black and white morality of the Modern Myth, Star Wars!" But are these thinkpieces, reviews, and fandom metas really paying close attention to the movies they claim to love? And what does it say that Rogue One's cast is held to a different standard than Han Solo?



Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Starkitecture: Should We Be Worried About Black Panther's Concept Art?

A few weeks ago we got our first glimpse of the MCU's Black Panther in the form of several concept art pieces. The images look cool at first glance, but does Wakanda's setting design suggest some deeper limitations to the Marvel imagination, and the potential for this film to give us something really original? And what does a movement called The International Style have to do with it?


Thursday, February 16, 2017

An Eternal Golden Helix Fossil: Three Years On, What Can We Say About Twitch Plays Pokemon?

Three years ago I wrote an academic article about Twitch Plays Pokemon. The article was never published anywhere, but despite that blow to its notability TPP continued on, and is still going three years later. This week, I take a look at this article, which in many ways is a predecessor to my Reload the Canons! series, and comment on what I got right, what I got wrong, and how the issues surrounding TPP have shifted and changed over the past three years.
Reload the Canons! is an ongoing Storming the Ivory Tower project where I play through The Canon of videogames. Except I'm not playing the original games. Instead, I'm playing only remakes, remixes, and weird fan projects. This is the canon of games as seen through the eyes of fans, and I'm going to treat fan games as what they are: legitimate works of art in their own right that deserve our analysis and respect. You can support Reload the Canons! and my other projects on the Storming the Ivory Tower Patreon. 



Thursday, February 9, 2017

A Galaxy Very, Very Near: Are Time And Space in Rogue One Core to its Resistance Narrative?



Rogue One is a film about resistance and domination, time and space, environment and technology. Can linking these concepts together tell us more about the film's science fiction storytelling... and reveal something about our own forms of contemporary resistance?





Thursday, February 2, 2017

Announcing: Two New Twine Projects!


Twilight of the Superheroes

Narrowly winning the recent vote for what book project I should tackle next, Twilight of the Superheroes will collect my critical writing on superhero media that didn't make it into My Superpower is Manpain!, and release it with a bunch of bonus content and an overarching structure drawing upon Alan Moore's planned-but-never-realized superhero crossover epic of the same name. Like If The Train Stops We All Die, this will be released in an experimental Twine format that uses hypertext to imagine new possibilities for a series of essays about the failure of imagination in superhero media.

Twilight of the Superheroes will be available to $5 Patreon backers, and the raw text and bonus essays will be available to $1 backers.



A Host of Gentle Terrors

(a walking simulator)

You remember wandering in a strange and disorienting land, a land of fluid geography and unstable biology...

A Host of Gentle Terrors is a text-based exploration of a constantly shifting world and its strange inhabitants. Currently in demo form, this twine might be called an open-world procedurally generated walking simulator, or it might just be called a free-form narrative about discovery, monstrosity, and being alone in an often surreal and unsettling landscape.

This demo will be available both to Patreon backers and on (as yet undetermined) other platforms in the near future, with a fully realized release possible depending on interest.

This Cool Walking Simulator Features:

  • No Leveling
  • No Crafting System
  • Bullets! (but no guns to shoot them with)
  • No Stamina Meters
  • No Retro Pixel Art
  • Some Zombies?
  • Non-Euclidean Geography
  • Uncomfortably Biological Machinery
  • A Fishing Mini Game Everyone Loves Fishing Mini Games Right?
  • Tyranny And Mutation (The Concepts, Not The Album)
  • Queer Shit I Mean It's A Twine What Honestly Did You Expect
Keep checking Storming the Ivory Tower and the StIT Patreon for these releases, coming soon!
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