‘Call of Duty: WWII’ Turns Your Grandparent’s Achievements Into a Lousy Theme-Park Ride
Call of Duty: WWII, the latest entry in the long-running first-person-shooter franchise, is monumentally terrible. Publisher Activision Blizzard insults gamers by failing to deliver a decent product, disparages history buffs by half-assing one of the darkest periods in recent world history and mocks those who endured the war by... Read more
‘Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus’ Reminded Me Why I Love America
This post contains extensive spoilers for Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus. Somewhere between blowing up Area 52 and burying a hatchet in the face of a Nazi Obergruppenführer, Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus reminded me why I love the United States of America. That’s how good it is. Wolfenstein... Read more
‘Papers, Please’ Almost Gave Me a Nervous Breakdown
This story originally appeared on Sept. 18, 2013. “Papers, Please,” I said. The man slid his passport, work permit, immunization records and entry permit across my desk. I took them and looked them over, hunting for discrepancies. His passport was expired. I denied him entry into the country. He... Read more
How Internet Trolls Became Terrorists
In early July 2017, Eric Ciaramella quit his job on the National Security Council. Ciaramella was National Security Advisor H.R. McMaster’s assistant and, because of that position, online trolls made his life very hard. Popular alt-right media personality Michael Cernovich published a hit piece about Ciarmella alleging, among other... Read more
Play the Pentagon-Funded Video Game That Predates Pong
This story originally appeared on July 24, 2014. Before Call of Duty, before Mario and even before Pong there was Spacewar! The brainchild of six graduate students at MIT in the early ‘60s, Spacewar! was the first true video game. A few guys had done cool tricks with oscilloscopes in... Read more
‘Rising Storm 2: Vietnam’ Balances U.S. Firepower With Militant Tricks
Tripwire Interactive’s Rising Storm 2: Vietnam, a computer game released on Steam in May 2017, fits somewhere in the middle of the realism scale for a first-person war shooter. On one end are the “arcade” shooters such as Call of Duty and Battlefield. On the other end are the open-world... Read more
America’s Homegrown Terrorists Are Pop-Culture’s Newest Villains
The pop culture a society consumes says a lot about what that culture loves and loathes. In the 1980s, every other action flick depicted strong American military types laying waste to Soviet foes. In the 1990s, serial killers and corporate scumbags rampaged across silver screens. Since 9/11, Islamic terrorists... Read more
The Revolution Will Be Photographed in ‘1979 Revolution: Black Friday’
The interrogator leans over Reza. “My name is Assadollah Lajevardi,” he says. Reza is bloody and bruised. Scratches on his face, ropes across his wrists. The room is the non-descript gray of torture chambers everywhere. This is Iran’s Evin Prison — a building that’s easy to enter, but impossible... Read more
This Game Lets You Sleep With Tanks
It is illegal to have sex with a sentient military-owned tank in Japan. According to obscenity lawyer Myles Jackman, fraternization, mechanophilia and property laws make it illegal. A private tank is fair, but a military tank can’t consent and it’s considered defamation of military property. Even if she’s super... Read more
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