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Articles, Gamechurch, Misc., Published

Valor and Sacrifice in Call of Duty: WWII

In the wake of Veterans Day, I’ve found myself thinking about Medal of Honor recipient Desmond Doss. Doss was an army medic in the Pacific Theatre of World War II. As a Seventh-day Adventist, he not only requested to observe the Sabbath on Saturdays, but he also refused to kill a soul. As a consequence, his fellow soldiers ostracized and abused him for being a “conscientious objector.” When he was on Okinawa with his men, hundreds were slaughtered and had…

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Articles, Gamechurch, Misc., Published

Destiny 2 and Dependence

From destroying Wizards that came from the Moon to preventing the spread of SIVA, players that persevered in the original Destiny always rose to the top. Some Guardians with perfected Light levels even made some of the toughest Raids and Nightfall Strikes look like child’s play, in part by having the very best weapons and gear available. I may have struggled with some of the game’s hardest challenges, but I got a taste of the empowerment that pro players experienced when I…

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Gamechurch, Misc., Published

Embracing Defeat in Pyre

Heavy Rain’s opening sequence subverts our game instincts by giving us a glimpse into the main character’s relationship with his sons Jason and Shaun. It happens to be the former’s birthday today, so you engage in some shenanigans to celebrate. One of these includes a mock sword fight with Jason. Instinct would tell us winning is preferred. True victory, however, is found in relinquishing control to let Jason win. It’s a solitary subversive moment in Heavy Rain, but Pyre adopts this perspective as a core theme that influences…

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Gamechurch, Misc., Published

Beauty From Ashes: Unpacking Grief in RiME

RiME explores a humanly ubiquitous experience that no one is ever prepared for: grief. This isn’t a mere melancholy, but an intense aching of the soul that immobilizes the whole being. The oft cited five stages of it are visually and metaphorically portrayed through the game’s narrative, which capture the tumultuous, irrational directions our emotions sway in when sorrows befall us. Denial, anger, bargaining, depression, acceptance—these ebb and flow with us, sometimes going out of sequence or reverting in order with…

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Articles, Gamechurch, Misc., Published

For Honor and The Impossibility of Peace

The Great War took the lives of around 17 million people. It also served as the catalyst for World War II: the most devastating conflict in human history that claimed four times as many. Another distinction between the two events is purpose. Whereas the latter was wholly just in what it prevented, the former left no one knowing why anyone was fighting over time. Historians debating its primary causes demonstrates in itself that the nations essentially warred for the sake…

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Articles, Gamechurch, Misc., Published

The Last Guardian And The Fruits of Patience

Trico is not your friend—the game opens with the creature roaring in your face. It’s wounded, chained, and starving. There’s no obligation to free the creature, but since you can’t escape the pit you’re both confined to, why not help? Despite being knocked unconscious twice from the beast’s kicking, you eventually remove the spears stuck in its body and its metal leash. Though it shows hostility, you feed it barrels filled with an energizing, blue liquid. Check out the full…

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Articles, Gamechurch, Misc., Published

Tempted and Tried: Aragami

As I slink across roof tiles in a still city, I gaze below where steely guards patrol its streets. These Kaiho army grunts may harness light, but I command the darkness. On this single night, I’ve been called from the nether to save a princess in their grasp. I’m not sure who I am or what’s going on, but I thrive in the shadows. Given the tremendous power my character possessed, I can teleport to any shaded location and briefly…

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