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I Dream In Pixels: I’m tired of killing

Posted by on Dec 7, 2016 in Arts/Entertainment, Feature Slider | 0 comments

It was a few days before leaving for Thanksgiving break that I found myself lying in bed with my heartbeat thumping in my ear. Nothing was happening. I was alone, staring blankly at my roommate’s bed. But as has begun to happen with increased frequency, my anxiety had taken over my body, and it was all I could do to refrain from hyperventilating and potentially passing out. I wouldn’t pretend that the 2016 presidential election is solely responsible for the recent collapse of my mental health, but it has certainly done me no favors. Prior to Nov. 8, my anxieties were precariously stacked like some sort of cerebral “Jenga” game. I was in no way “fine,” but I was coping to the best of my ability. In some ways, I had begun to crawl out of the abyss, but...

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LGBTQ+ Students Find Sanctuary at Maryville College

Posted by on Nov 16, 2016 in Feature Slider, Features | 0 comments

  June 26, 2015 was a historic day for human rights. After years of advocating for the equal right to marriage, the LGBTQ+ community finally achieved a tremendous victory when the Supreme Court ruled that all states must allow same-sex marriage. Across the nation celebrations could be seen. People gathered in streets and buildings as diverse as The White House and the One World Trade Center which were lit with the colors of the pride flag. It would seem we had arrived at a point of unmatched progress and equality, but, like the civil rights movement post-desegregation, day-to-day discrimination doesn’t simply end with a court ruling. On Oct. 6, just months after the Supreme Court’s ruling, a meeting was held at the Blount County Courthouse to vote on a law “condemning judicial tyranny and petitioning God’s mercy.” Proposed by...

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I Dream In Pixels: Falling out of love with the modern blockbuster

Posted by on Nov 16, 2016 in Arts/Entertainment | 0 comments

In a 2013 interview with Kotaku, lead creative director on the “Bioshock” series Ken Levine said that the reason games so often rely on shooting as their main mechanic is “a limitation of the medium.” From his perspective, there is a narrow range of possibilities for what games can center around, and chief among these is violence. Look at any of the most popular games currently being released and you can see Levine’s words echoed back at you. “Battlefield,” “Assassin’s Creed,” “Call of Duty,” “Halo;” aside from Nintendo’s “Mario” franchise, you would be hard pressed to find a blockbuster game that is not predominately about violence. To Levine and seemingly many developers, this is simply a fact of game design— the result of having, as Levine calls it, “fewer forms in the game-space.” I find this bothersome. For the...

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I Dream in Pixels: Queer Games and the Importance of Safe Spaces

Posted by on Oct 26, 2016 in Arts/Entertainment | 0 comments

The first time I played Nicky Case’s “Coming Out Simulator 2014,” I was still largely ignorant to the LGBTQ community. Growing up in a conservative, isolated household, it had taken some time for the outer world to seep through the filters put up by my family. It was in my mother’s basement that I read/played my first coming out story. The pseudo-autobiographical narrative experience, “COS2014” is a short interactive vignette told through text messages about Nicky Case’s experience coming out as bisexual to his parents. While coming out stories are often sad and painful to read, the act of playing as someone having such an emotional and intimate experience struck me more than words alone likely ever could. By the end, I was in tears. In subsequent years, I’ve learned far more about the existence and struggles of the...

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Newly chartered “MC Gamers” is ready to press start this semester

Posted by on Oct 26, 2016 in Features | 0 comments

“This is so exciting!” said MC Gamers president, Renee Reeve. Reeve set down her notebook as the first club meeting of the semester came to a close. After a rocky beginning at the tail end of last Spring, the newly chartered campus club is making up for lost time with a calendar already packed with events for the coming weeks. MC Gamers – which existed as an interest group for several years but only became officially chartered near the end of the 2016 spring semester – is dedicated to bringing students together around games of all forms. Video games, card and board games – even tabletop role-playing games are represented. “When I went to college…I found that it was harder to form a group of friends to play [games] with,” said faculty sponsor Robert Lowe, assistant professor of the...

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