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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.

Monday, June 10, 2019

Evil Be Thou My Good, or Why Dirk Strider Is Literally Satan

Homestuck was a Gnostic story. The Homestuck Epilogues are a satanic one. Dirk Strider is the devil. To understand, we'll have to consult a poet who's of the devil's part: John Milton.

Monday, June 3, 2019

Who Killed The World? Solarpunk After The Apocalypse RELEASE

Solarpunk won't save the world. The nascent movement, infatuated with solar power, sustainable cities, a high tech Art Nouveau aesthetic, and local business, can't stop the rising sea levels, wildfires, mass extinctions, plastic gyres, and droughts... unless it can rapidly evolve to survive its enemies.

But who killed the world?

From Steampunk, Cyberpunk, and Solarpunk's other precursors comes a set of possible answers. This collection of essays on -punk seeks its radical potential to re-imagine the past, present, and future. Splicing together utopia from these odd pieces will be messy work.

But nothing's more punk than a mess.

Monday, January 28, 2019

Best of 2018 PART THE SECOND

Hey remember when I said this would be up the monday after New Years'? Hahaha. Anyway, part 1 of my Best of 2018 list is here; part 2 is below. Thanks to everyone who supports me on Patreon I was able to use the money from the last article to see an actual oral surgeon, so thanks for helping me out like that.

Monday, December 31, 2018

Best of 2018 PART THE FIRST

Hey 2018 sure did suck. There were occasionally some good things though. This is me celebrating those good things, because I need a quick $300 to pay for a visit to the oral surgeon so I can maybe eat without excruciating pain again, and also because it is good to reflect on the blessings of the year or whatever.

It's split into two parts, because as usual I can't shut up.

pictured: me exiting 2018

Friday, April 13, 2018

Hiatus Announcement

Storming the Ivory Tower is going on hiatus! For at least a month. Maybe more!

Here's the thing. I've got a new part time job doing an Art Related Thing out in meatspace that pays better as a part time job than StIT currently does as something I'm spending most of my time working on or at least thinking about. Meanwhile, if you've been following my increasingly frustrated asides in various Patreon posts you'll know that I haven't really been well since, like, sometime in December probably. I don't know when I'll stop not being well, because I don't know what's wrong and getting actual healthcare is Pretty Difficult. Also meanwhile, I need to find a new roommate because my old one got chronic fatigue and had to move out. Also also meanwhile, my subscriptions on Patreon are shrinking, and so is my readership on individual articles.

Though it does seem that while individual users are going down, the time people spend on the site is going up slightly so... so I don't know what that means. In fact I'm feeling a bit bewildered by the whole project at this point, on a lot of levels. So, while I have an actual stable source of income, I'm taking a month (or more) off to take stock, make some more progress on some larger projects, and maybe get to a better place with physical and mental health.

I am planning on posting some progress type stuff on Patreon in the intervening time so if you want, like, effectively free content from me, it's probably worth staying subscribed. You can jump over there for some more detailed plans if you're already subscribed--oh, and of course, that's a good way to find out when I return. In a month. Or more.

Saturday, March 31, 2018

Let's Pop Together Part 2

Is what Pop Team Epic does to everything it touches that different from what Ready Player One does to The Iron Giant? After you flatten pop down, break it apart, and repeat it to the point of meaninglessness, can you find a way back to sincerity?

Saturday, March 24, 2018

Let's Pop Together: Part 1

What is it that makes today's Pop Team Epic's so different, so appealing? And can it explain why people hate the marketing for Ready Player One so damn much?

Thursday, February 15, 2018

Freakangels Of Arcadia

Solarpunk already has some solid foundational texts. This might be a problem for Solarpunk, particularly since both sources--a classic short story and a decade-old webcomic--predate Solarpunk... and they don't exactly get along.

Sunday, December 31, 2017

Sam Keeper's Top 20 Of 2017

Every year, increasing in frequency as we approach New Years Eve, you can find me grumbling to myself that I'm going to write this specific article. The amount of grumbling varies based on how many articles sort of like it I've seen within a few days of each other, and how annoyed they made me.

Oh yeah folks I really don't love the "top x of y medium" genre. What the heck even is a genre? Who elected these stooges deciding what wins and what doesn't? What's the criteria here, huh? 

This year it's not too bad. Sure there's the usual stupidity of, say, top 10 comic lists that snidely proclaim that there's not been any good comics this year. Just for example. Which, for the record, let me pull anyone thinking this aside and gently suggest that you fire up a Computing Device and surf onto the information superhighway, since webcomics are actually culturally relevant in a way that print comics are, bluntly, not. But as exasperating as that kind of weird medium parochialism stuff is, it's counterbalanced by things like Colin Spacetwinks un self consciously wandering through a "top 10 games" list that included ports of weird fishing rpgs and digital versions of vintage pinball tables. (Publisher Giant Bomb also let Nier Automata developer Yoko Taro do something similar, so, good for GB for taking this exactly as seriously as I do.)

It's a little odd, then, that this is the year I finally decided to write a flippant parody listicle, since I'm not actually all that irked. Maybe I've just been waiting for the right mental moment where I could translate that feeling of irritation into something more productive, though. Anyway, my alternative is to finish writing a screed about how disillusioned I am with open source as praxis and that just seems exhausting to me right now. Somehow after a year of relentless catastrophe, constant retraumatization, and a bunch of shitty superhero shows, I actually feel, bizarrely, like sincerely celebrating some of the bright spots in the wretched slog of 2017.

Screw doing this in any kind of reasonable way though. This isn't top 20 comics or movies or concept albums about self annihilation and transformation into some sort of vengeful ghost of knowledge haunting the present.

This is just my top 20, of 2017.

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