1. By saying that “something is,” one refers to some parts of a thing to affirm that it is. This affirmation is always true when parts refer to the same parts, that is to say “something is something.” It is to affirm a whole thing as truth. Shouting “Fire!” accompanied by pointing is to affirm that the thing one points at is fire. But one doesn’t say this to refer to fire as a whole thing, nor to affirm the wholeness of this claim’s truth, but to alert about the dangers of fire. By uttering “Fire!” and pointing at a…

If we consider videogames as a series of signs, then what does the health bar signify? This trope takes the form of a scale that increases and decreases during play. In Doom from 1993, this scale is expressed in numbers, which may increase or decrease towards infinity. Once it goes below zero, it displays a game over screen that halts, then resumes play with the scale set to one hundred. To play is then to engage with the infinite that returns to an integer that’s always the same. It is to signify the eternal return of the same.

The game…

To offer a view on something, one must look at it repeatedly, then repeat this process on this view before offering it as such. This process of repetition culminates to a view, views and reviews. Notions preceding these views aren’t questioned, but offered after going through this process. It is a given to offer views in reviews. Through this given, notions outline what is given in these views by relations, which relations unveil what is given in related notions. To outline and to unveil is to lay the foundations of the given in the hazy ground of notions and relations…

In Connel & Messerschmidt’s reformulation of hegemonic masculinities, they describe the plurality and hierarchy of masculinities as a “fundamental feature of the concept” where verticality displays a pattern of hegemony. Power and value retain a similar ordering role in post-structuralist thinkers, like in Foucault’s work with the former and in Baudrillard’s with the latter. These theories relate notions to concepts to describe pluralities and multiplicities in what these concepts are related to, such as state institutions with Foucault and bodies with Baudrillard. …

1. Reference stems from pointing, expressed by words such as this and that. These words carry implications and explications, that is to say what this refers to by pointing is unclear unless specified. This is true to any word and series of words that makes referring ambiguous.

2. Consider a tree at the end of a finger. The person pointing draws on an idea of a tree to explain that it is such. This idea consists of trees, its parts such as leaves, and as part of something like a forest. Nature refers to trees, leaves and forests as well…

“This is it” affirms that what is pointed at as this is like that other thing, it. “This is a tree” associates a thing with a category to affirm that it belongs to it without disclosing its kindness. This object at the end of the figurative finger may be the same as every object in this category or resemble some of these objects in some ways. What makes a tree a tree is only clear if one knows what it consists of as a whole. Knowing its consistence in every part to form a whole brings up the question of…

Videogame glitches tend to be characterized as disruptive and alienating. Disruptive in a sense that they break linear narrative, and alienating in revealing the cogs of a narrative machine. These descriptors carry negative connotations that stand in opposition to beauty. To affirm beauty is to allude to a context where this affirmation gains meaning. This context is assumed by affirming beauty through negation. It is to describe something akin to something else. The person who describes this something doesn’t have to know its context but outline an assumption upon which the description hinges on. The same can be said about…

Opinion followed by a colon refers to editorials in newspaper headlines. This information cannot be known without familiarity with newspaper reportage categories. One may use this word followed by a colon to distinguish their opinion from text that isn’t. Quotation marks render this use moot as the distinction refers to two categories: a text that isn’t their own and a text that is. This is true by the implication of the quotation mark, unless the writer erred on its use. If the quotation mark is left out of negligence or plagiarism, the text cannot be the writer’s own but it…

A Kill Screen editorial from 2016 titled, “Burn in hell, Yarny” remains one of the more comprehensible polemics against videogame commodification despite being a byproduct of this commodification in combining twee social media speech and marketing malarkey typical of reflections about videogame culture from people being deeply submerged in it. A recent attempt of such reflection is the emphasization of motifs considered wholesome, exemplified by the “Can You Pet the Dog?” Twitter account that looks at the presence of pets in videogames and whether they can be cuddled. An Input editorial describes these short clips the account shares as “oases”…

Generation is a notion that alludes to society in a relational way without disclosing these relations. Sociology papers drawing on Mannheim’s theory of generations outline it in relation to events located in time and space. These papers look at people through events to find resemblances that leads to claims about similarities and differences in people’s event experiences. Generation as a concept thus locates notions different from itself within itself that ends up referring to itself. Generation itself forms a circle with itself. …

Zsolt David

Writer and critic from Hungary.

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