Death, rebirth, and triumph.

enter the Painting, and see what lies beyond

I bought a PS4, my first ever console, in November of 2018. Along with it I got a Spider-Man game, which I didn’t care for, Horizon Zero Dawn, which I liked well enough (with some growing misgivings over time), and Bloodborne.

I bought Bloodborne because it was, according to friends and random people online, the “approachable” soulslike. It was the different one; the one without the baggage of an entire series of convoluted and intimidating entries, the one you could play by itself. I played it, and, after my fair share of frustration and a couple…


a way to mark time

2020 was a year of wreckage.

I spent the year dragging myself away from it. Dragging friends, or family. Sometimes strangers — but not often enough. It’s not new wreckage, not really. But for a lot of us, it was clarifying. I’m furious, and I should have been furious before now. But there’s no sense in dwelling, because that doesn’t get us anywhere.

We saved what we could.

I had a lot of trouble playing games this year. I had a lot of trouble doing anything, honestly. I spent my time hauling myself to and…


Or at least, it doesn’t have to be.

The Dragon Age Setting

When the new Dragon Age info dropped towards the end of August — the first information in years, about a sequel to a game that came out in 2014 — my friends and I lost it. Most of us have mixed feelings in varying degrees about the series. There’s a lot to be mixed about — often uncomfortable and unhelpful deployment of real-world oppression analogs, inconsistently written lore and characters, stilted combat, poorly implemented open world design — the list goes on. Despite our reservations, all of us were ready to get…


Care about others, and yourself.

Note: Spoilers for the finale of this series follow. They have been marked; please skip from the spoiler warning to the final paragraph if you wish to read. Thank you!

It’s May 25th, 2020. As of this writing, Washington state has been under quarantine since mid-March. Spring has passed us by, as something deadly and uncaring runs rampant, given even greater power by the lies, cruelty, and apathy of those in charge. I’ve felt more isolated, more cut off from the things and people I care about, than I’ve ever felt in my life. …


Prize won for “Most Extremely Video Game Moments”

Let’s begin this with an apology: For me, 2019 was the year of the third person action game. Over half of the games on this list fit that bill, which is, frankly, embarrassing. There is a massive breadth of wonderful games with fascinating and innovative mechanics that open up a vast array of unique experiences out there, and I was drawn in by the siren song of one of the most well-established, honed, and best-understood genres around. I mean, come on.

And yet, though I wish I’d spread my reach a little further, I’m actually surprisingly satisfied with how my…


Even the game’s cover knows who’s most interesting

Note: Spoilers for the Golden Deer and Black Eagle routes of Fire Emblem: Three Houses to follow.

Fire Emblem: Three Houses is a game about forging children into deadly weapons. It has an exceptionally charming, well-polished wrapper, with smartly-played anime tropes and robustly sketched character dynamics, but the core remains the same. When I turn the slight, blue-haired Marianne from a quiet, depressed girl with suicidal ideation into a holy knight who can confidently call down holy destruction upon my enemies from the back of a mighty steed, I feel a sense of pride and accomplishment. …


This dude? Not valid

This is a silly one, and I’ll keep it short. We all have more important things to do than write about what video games are doing to our brains, probably. But as I’ve moved on from Sekiro — my third FromSoft game in a row, following Bloodborne and Dark Souls 3 — into new things, and back into old ones, its hold on me continues to make itself known in interesting, if irritating, ways.

Some stuff is apparent: Going back to other melee action games is hard, hard in the same way that the transition between other games and Sekiro


The cycle of success and failure as a prism for the Ages of Fire and Darkness

And that’s the point!

Dark Souls is a series about cycles, which is great, because I’m a sucker for exactly that kind of nonsense.

There’s nothing new under the sun, including this reading, and being a latecomer I’ve only played Dark Souls 3 and Bloodborne (Ed. 06/10/2021: This is no longer true), but this game touched me in a way I wasn’t expecting and I want to dig at that. When I came to its end, and watched all light fade from the world, knowing I could have…


As the galaxy gets ever bigger, the world of Star Wars games stays safe and small

Hey, is that another broody dude video game protagonist? Wow!

Sometimes, when following media you love, you experience whiplash. Particularly when it’s something big and sprawling like Star Wars, you can find yourself on one end of some spectrum here, only to be yanked back to the other end at a moment’s notice. Maybe the spectrum is tonal, maybe it’s thematic, maybe it’s in the genre, but Star Wars is embedded deeply in popular culture, and even canon interpretations can seem to blot out the sun.

A lot of folks I know experienced whiplash…


Is anyone else having trouble truly, genuinely believing it’s already April? Am I the only who feels like they’re being yanked around by the inexorable passage of time? I’m going to assume it’s not just me, just for my own sake.

Anyway! I realized I haven’t really posted any updates on the media I’ve been spending time with recently, and I figured I’d quickly rectify that. Nothing too in-depth, yet, though hopefully that will come soon enough. …

A. W. Meyer

Storyteller and story-breaker. I think about different worlds too much, and try to make sense of this one. They/them. @lightwoven

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