As GDC wraps up and Ben heads on home, the reigns of TWIVGB will return to their rightful hands next week. Of course despite most of the big guns focus being firmly on GDC, there was still plenty to go around.

But, before we get into this week I have a few leftovers I missed from last week. Yes, even after the biggest TWIVGB yet, there’s still more. Chris Breault at post-hype gives his detailed critique of the problems of Jesse Schell’s talk and Scott Juster follows up his partner at Experience Points on gaming as a directorial/actor medium.

The Border House was on fire this week. Starting with Alex responding to Bad Company 2‘s developer [mirror] on why there are no women in their version of the military. (Hint: next time, developers, the answer is, “We screwed up.”) Then guest contributor Katherine O’Kelly looks at ‘Intersex Characters in Digital Devil Saga.’ [mirror] And Alex came back to finish the week off with ‘Feminism and Video Games 101: Shooting Female Enemies Isn’t Icky.’ [mirror

It seems you can’t keep the big ones down as multiple critics come back to take another look around Rapture. Justin Keverne looks at Rapture’s villains as partial entities of SHODAN [mirror], because one can never read enough on System Shock 2. Paul at Little bo Beep, a site I just heard about, asks if Bioshock really is a good critique of Ayn Rand’s philosophy [mirror]. And Josh Harmon at Quarter Down calls Bioshock 2‘s multiplayer “an Avant-Garde Masterpiece” [mirror] in a great work of satire that I think may be more on the mark than he’s willing to admit.

In a way, BioShock 2 merely takes the multiplayer shooter to its logical conclusion.  What is a n00b if not a societal leech, attempting to profit from the skill of others without bothering to succeed of his own accord?  What is teabagging if not the Randian artistic ideal, your dominance made manifest in physical, objective form?

Mass Effect 2 also proves its staying power. Chris Breault talks about the ‘Best Story in Mass Effect 2.’ While David Carlton takes a wider look at the game and then at the end does our job by linking to over a dozen posts about it.

The Artful Gamer has a double header this week, first talking about the problems with Heavy Rain [dead link, no mirror exists] as interactive storytelling, then asking the question, ‘When do you call a game a Game?‘ [mirror

Roger Travis thinks we should first understand our tabletop relatives before confining our thoughts to the digital screen.

Michael Clarkson explores the concept of ‘Camp‘ in video games.

This week’s Big Red Potion [mirror] is an in-depth talk taking apart Heavy Rain to its core. Warning: it is over two hours.

Nick of Before Game Design, the day after last week’s TWIVGB, comes back with an even more in-depth explanation [dead link, no mirror exists] of globalization and Battlefield: Bad Company 2.

Cruise Elroy looks at the most famous video game theme of all time: Super Mario Brothers [dead link, no mirror exists].

L.B. Jeffries, instead of just writing the series off, actually plays and figures out Ubisoft’s Imagine series… and then writes it off, with ample supporting evidence.

Eurogamer takes a look into the past at David Cage’s first game and the sheer amount of ideas it contains.

Matthew Kaplan calls Dante’s Infernothe Sincerest Form of Flattery.’ [mirror]

Jorge Albor writes a response to last week’s ‘The Psychology of Video Games.’

And finally, Tales of a Scorched Earth writes a first-rate review of Ghostbusters [mirror] that contends that too much of it was based on nostalgia rather than any concepts of its own.

Seeya everybody. It’s been a blast.

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