P.T.: Passable Thrills Or Pure Terror?

 

On August 12th, 2014, a free teaser for a mysterious game by unknown developer 7780s Studio popped up in the PlayStation Store. Ambiguously titled P.T., it appeared to be a regular horror game from an indie developer. The first users playing it, however, were confounded: rather than traditional horror, they were faced with a repeated loop of the same hallway over and over again, puzzles that seemingly had no solution, all the while being stalked by a ghostly apparition (afterwards lovingly nicknamed ‘Lisa’) who seemed to not only provide the occasional jump scare, but seemed to affect the system of the game itself. So what was P.T? What made this a horror game that is still being discussed today? And how did it transform the horror video game genre?

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The Curse of the Video Game Movie

At the beginning of the year, I was asked to write a short introduction on myself to be used on the Writer’s Block website. Honestly, I don’t know how people are able to condense their entire person to less than three sentences and still manage to make themselves sound even remotely interesting. Instead, I just figured I could mention some of my interests and then proceed to write about those. Looking back at the little Writer’s Block archive dedicated to my ramblings, however, I noticed a gaping hole in the subject material (and no, I am not talking about my failure as of yet to write an entire piece on my love of Ice Tea). I have written about films, I have written about video games, I have written about memes, but never about the ultimate combination of the three: the utter meme that is the video game movie.

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WB Valentine’s Poetry

 

It is no secret that we like good poetry here at Writer’s Block. But if there’s one thing that brightens our day more than good poetry, it’s bad poetry. Luckily for us, there is a special day, every year, which seemingly functions as a magnet to forced rhymes, nonexistent meters and toe-curling similes: Valentine’s Day.

As the editorial board, we process your poetry submissions all year through. Today, we decided to return the favor to the people. Through collective effort we tried to capture the most mediocre, Valentine-y poetry we could muster, in honor of this international day of bad poetry.

We hope you enjoy.

xoxo WB

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Pretentious Pirates: Why My Favourite Film Is Actually Awful But I Still Love It

 

There are certain expectations you have to meet when you tell someone you love movies, especially if that other person is a self-professed film aficionado. For example, you absolutely have to have seen *insert random “classic” here*, been to a midnight screening/premiere at least once, preferably dressed as a character from said movie. You also have to have gone at least once to a small, obscure art-house cinema where the seats are sticky and, instead of eating popcorn, people drink chardonnays while discussing the latest feat of an equally obscure foreign filmmaker. God forbid you mention an interest in the cinema without having done at least one of these arbitrary acts associated with a bone-deep passion for “the moving pictures”. Luckily for me, I can often pass this first hurdle in conversation. For me, the real danger lies in the unavoidable follow-up question you get when you pass level 1 in the cross-examination posed by a fellow film lover; the question to surpass all other questions that will determine definitively your past, present and future as far as your acquaintance with that person is concerned. “So then, what is your favourite movie?” To me, it is both the most difficult and dangerous to answer; not because I don’t have an answer (although picking just one film is an almost impossible task) but because of what my answer is. My favourite movie of all time is Pirates of the Caribbean *cue gasp*.

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How To Hype: ‘Overwatch’-ing The Videogame Market

 

About a year and a half ago, Blizzard (known for games such as World of Warcraft, Hearthstone, and the Diablo series) released one of the most highly anticipated games of the year, ‘Overwatch’. For those of you unfamiliar with the game, ‘Overwatch’ at its core is a team-based shooter where players pick from one of the currently 26 heroes and compete in a 6v6 format.  To this day, it remains the only game I have ever pre-ordered (and never regretted buying, which is more than I can say for some games I got on sale for next to nothing). So what was it that made me, and millions of others alongside me, so very excited for the release of this one game that we were willing to throw out one of the gaming community’s golden rules – “never pre-order”? How did Blizzard manage to create a game that was so cool (pun intended)? How exactly did this one specific game in the oversaturated and highly competitive video game market manage to get everyone so hyped?

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#ExplainAFilmPlotBadly: Why Describing A Plot Badly Might Make A Good Movie

 

A meme did the virtual rounds a couple of months ago, called “explain a film plot badly”. It asked internet users to take a well-known and universally loved movie, and write down the plot as horrible and in the most misunderstood way possible (think Harry Potter but with Voldemort as the hero). Not to read too much into a meme, but when these pictures with new and often hilarious captions littered my Facebook timeline it got me thinking.  Continue reading “#ExplainAFilmPlotBadly: Why Describing A Plot Badly Might Make A Good Movie”