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Playtime has a wide range of artists, readers, critics, and fans. Most of Playtime’s staff bonded over our love of film at several old film message boards. We invite you, not only, to explore our many back issues–but to jump in and leave us a comment here or on our forums.

Cultural Comment

Utopia, In Part


Anyone who listens to Glen Beck’s description of his Independence Park project will undoubtedly come away with a distinct impression of what such a place signifies. For the moment, let’s set aside its political import and concentrate on an aspect that may not be getting the attention it deserves: its educational goals. At the very heart of Beck’s utopian city is a library, which he describes as his own personal […]

Towards Speculative Poetry


In which I attempt to recreate the experience of reading speculative poetry for the first time, but in prose.

It was the announcement from a major comic book publisher that split the Internet in half. Or the one for that week, anyway. Actually, it was really the one for that month – the announcement was that big. We refer here, of course, to the announcement that they were radically changing Wonder Woman’s costume. The ever-shrinking strapless one-piece swimsuit that the Amazon princess had worn into battle for over half […]

Any representation of urban life in Black cinema during the early 90′s would inevitably find itself contending with John Singleton’s Boyz n the Hood. The amount of praise Singleton received was enough to make him the first of only two African-Americans to receive an Academy Award nomination for best director.  The rising tide of Black experience in cinema came at a time when African-Americans in poor Los Angeles neighbourhoods were […]

What happens when video games enter the classroom? For the past thirty years, video games have been mired in negative stereotypes. In the last ten years, games have gone from social pariahs to a hotly-contested topic about their artistic merits. The conversation about the video game’s artistic value isn’t the conversation that is radically changing the way games are used in our society. Thanks to the work of literacy and education researchers, video games are gaining prestige as powerful learning tools.

Adam W’s Titanic: Now an Internet Disaster


  As Playtime guest contributor Adam W. workshopped his article “A Clash of History and Fiction in Titanic” in the Playtime contributor forums, his early draft touched off a heady exchange concerning the role of historical accuracy in James Cameron’s Titanic in particular and in fiction in general. The Titanic and Historical Accuracy Daniel Swensen: It seems a trifle odd to me to pick on Cameron for “capitalizing on a […]

I’m a semi-novice at many things. Within the past few years, I’ve become more and more of a semi-novice Luddite. I’ll often see some new piece of technology, with buttons and a screen of some sort, and be absolutely smitten.

The Playtime Staff discuss Oscar-winning pictures, past and present. And we slapfight a little over Forrest Gump and Pulp Fiction, because that’s the kind of shop we run here.

Here’s a situation you will all be instantly familiar with. You’re watching a movie. Could be at the local multiplex, could be the latest rental. Could be stumbled upon during late-night cable surfing. Doesn’t matter. This actor shows up. You might recognize him, or not. You might even be able to put a name to him (a trick I never mastered). Again, doesn’t matter. What matters is, you’ll recognize the […]

Ocarina of Time, the landmark prequel to Majora’s Mask, holds the seeds from the which its future sibling springs. Some of these seeds are quite obvious: the masks, for instance. But, in my imagination, the most important seeds can be found in two seemingly unimportant moments. The first involves Zora’s Domain. As many dejected fellow gamers might recall, the enchanted winter that shrouds the Domain cannot be dispelled, even after […]

In terms of world news and events, the 2000s have been an intensely involved period, and a depressing one. From attacks on America, two large-scale wars, genocide still, horrific natural disasters and a global recession the “Aughts” haven’t been too kind on us as a whole. Cinema has really moved up its game during this time, however, producing a better quality of comedies, dramas and musicals compared to the previous […]

Portal was a surprise when it was released in 2007. An inconspicuous and concise addition to the venerable Half-Life franchise, Portal was anticipated mainly for its unique gameplay mechanic: a gun that, instead of killing enemies, allowed a player to essentially draw doorways everywhere. Shoot blue energy at a wall and a blue circle appears. Shoot orange energy at another wall, or somewhere else on the same wall, and an […]