Video game theory and criticism Archives - Joohn Choe

EOTech XPS2 - XPS3 - using the 2-Dot Ballistic Reticle

Fake Scopes, Fake Trauma: Fetishism In Video Game Scope Reticle Design

I’ve been playing FPS games for better than 15 years now and learning the craft of rifle and handgun shooting for the past four or so, and one thing that has always annoyed me has been scope reticles. Recently, having some time playing Call of Duty: Ghosts has made me realize that it’s gotten seriously […]


GTA Online: The end of the cheater war

So I have a confession, of sorts: For the last few months, the one game I’ve really, really enjoyed playing – to the point of developing doctrines and how-to’s and teaching others to do it – has been hunting down and repeatedly killing the characters of video game cheaters. The majority of this activity has […]

fixing a charging handle impingement

A quick note on video games and mass shootings

If you’re anti-gun, the only gun you’ve ever “interacted with” was probably in a video game. And you might think, lacking any training, that what you learned in that video game was sufficient to shoot a gun effectively in real life. In fact, looking at some of the more modern shooting games, you might even […]

My preferred form of normative play: Sniping in-game assholes and cheaters.

The War of Art, Part 2: Self-Definition Through Video Games As Art

I’m starting a mission with two friends – a 32-year-old mother of two from Sacramento, let’s call her “LadyBoss” and a teenager from somewhere in middle America judging by his accent whom I just call “Crab” – and a random player, some low-level novice I don’t recognize, let’s call him “UnluckyBastard”. As we start the […]


The War of Art, Part 1: Tryhards, Trolls and Emotional Play

The evening gloom is gathering in consensual virtual city that is Los Santos. My character is sitting high on a rooftop above the city in the growing darkness, standing atop a skyscraper with a ridiculously massive semi-automatic heavy caliber sniper rifle held lightly in his hands. I’m barely seeing him; my attention is on the […]

Children in GTA:O in particular seem to prefer characters with masks. At a guess, these two characters are probably being played by kids younger than 12.

Philosophy, Grinding and The Video Game as a Bullshit Machine: Moral Learning in Social Video Games

So… what does video game philosophy matter? It’s an open and valuable question – what’s the point of even thinking about this? Why does anyone care about video game philosophy – especially since philosophy is so marginalized and meaningless these days? The first and best answer is that video game philosophy matters because how we […]

Grand Theft Auto Online: Negative Decision Architecture, Consent and the Sociopathic Contract

From a rooftop, through a 16x scope on a horribly simplified in-game version of a Barrett M99 in a notional fictive universe, I’ve seen things. I’ve seen impromptu car shows develop with players in front of their player housing drawing garishly colored Mustang and Camaro look-alikes out of their garages to show off to each […]