Hello everyone! Welcome to This Week in Videogame Blogging! Let’s get started.


In The New Yorker, Ben McGrath writes a profile of Sasha “Scarlett” Hostyn, professional Starcraft II player and “the most accomplished woman in the young history of electronic sports.”

Some exciting happenings: our own Mark Filipowich is heading a series at Good Games Writing to highlight women writers, scholars, journalists, and critics in gaming. There are already three profiles posted, on Alice Kojiro, Becky Chambers, and Rachel Kowert. Make sure to take a look at their fantastic work!

Ikea Materia

Chris Cesarano revisits Final Fantasy VII, reflecting on the game’s characters, plot, and his personal history with it.

And speaking for PBS, Kill Screen’s Jamin Warren discusses the game design paradigms inherent in IKEA’s store layouts. (This is a topic Dan Golding latched onto in 2009 as well.)

Pop Goes the Media

At PopMatters, Jorge Albor writes on Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare‘s failure to meaningfully and consistently explore its themes, and Nick Dinicola defends Alien: Isolation‘s inconsistent cat-and-mouse systems.

Design Notes

In Gamasutra’s blog section, Josh Bycer examines two styles of stealth game design, what he calls “Active and Reactive” designs.

At Rock, Paper, Shotgun, Cara Ellison has another segment of her S.EXE column, where she looks at Girlvania and its subversions of the “sex simulator.” The Go Make Me a Sandwich blog has a piece asking why sex in videogames is so dull and unsatisfying.

And at Videodame, Ludeshka reflects on her childhood playing early PS1 and Genesis games.

We Are Videogaming

Simon Parkin looks back on the year-old Grand Theft Auto V and the various perspectives players bring into the game.

And Lastly,

At Paste, Javy Gwaltney uncovers Advanced Warfare’s surprising portrayals of disability in character and action.

Regular Business

Some final notes: remember that you can submit an article to us by email or on Twitter.

There is a little time left to get involved in this month’s Blogs of the Round Table prompt, “Home Sweet Home.”

And if you’d like to support the work that we do here, you can help us continue our curating work at our Patreon. We’re scraping $2,000, which is just enough for Senior Curator Kris to do this full time. So help us out!

But that’s it for this week. Happy reading, and take care.