Seasonal greetings, dear reader! It is my pleasure to welcome you to today’s game crit round up, the last of your regularly scheduled program before we close out the year with a series of delicious treats. So have a seat, have a read, and let us celebrate the good times.

It’s This Week In Videogame Blogging!

This One’s For The Players

According to a recent Pew study, nearly half of all American adults play videogames, but only 10 percent consider themselves gamers. Adrienne Shaw expands on the topic by talking about other research, possible explanations, and how gender factors into it all.

Some people suggest that we need everyone who plays games to identify as a gamer. I don’t think that’s necessarily true. I do think it is important that anyone who does feel an investment in that label to feel the right to adopt it […]. But I also think that it is just as important and politically necessary to suggest that you don’t have to be a gamer to care about games.

In other news, Twitter hired a “Director of Gaming Partnerships” this week. Nobody is quite sure what that means, but Maddy Myers provides us with some entertaining speculation.

Meanwhile, Femhype contributor MostlyBiscuit interviewed Kayla Squires, who recently became the first woman to qualify for the Call of Duty World League.

On Unwinnable, our own Riley MacLeod talks about his response to the unreliable narration of Secrets Agent and Dr. Langeskov, and on PopMatters, Jorge Albor talks about his love-hate relationship with Fallout 4.

Should old acquaintance be forgot?

On Gamasutra, Brandon Sheffield brings us the most surprising 90s games, a list chock-full of doozies. While we’re on memory lane, John Romero recently provided us with this video showing the demo for a PC port of Super Mario Bros. 3 that never came to be.

December is the time of retrospectives and the boring canon of normative top ten lists. With that in mind, Kill Screen provides us with a series of more interesting looks at 2015, including Joshua Calixto’s The Year In Feels, Gareth Damian Martin’s The Year In Space, and Josiah Harrist’s The Year In Boardgames.

Brought To Mind

On Femhype, we have this interview with game designer Rachel Pope led by Miss N, and this article about fan-made patches queering up Harvest Moon by Pluto.

In the meantime, Eurogamer provides us with both an exhaustive history of the Kinect by Edwin Evans-Thirlwell, and Keith Stuart’s look at game violence in the context of crime fiction.

Speaking of books, Joel Couture recently reviewed Nick Suttner’s volume on Shadow of the Colossus, and on First Person Scholar, Xi Rao reviewed Brian Upton’s book The Aesthetic of Play.

How The Bratwurst Is Made

On the German side of things, a new issue of the essay magazine WASD (to which I contributed) is available, and some articles have their way to other sites. For instance, Philipp Sickmann’s discussion of Christos Reid’s OCDemons and Roman Lehnhof’s look at the lack of leftist philosophy in games.

On Superlevel, Nina Kiel continues her ongoing discussion of sex in videogames, and Katherina Kavermann looks back at the 1997 game Overblood. Should this sound interesting to you, let it be known that the site has recently launched a Patreon campaign.

It’s The End, My Friends

That’s about it for this week, thank you so much for tuning in! Next week we are going to send off the old year with This Year In Videogame Blogging, and it’s not too late for you to submit articles for our consideration. Just email them to us, same as you would any other week, and use This Year in Videogame Blogging as the subject line.

You also have our traditional end-of-year podcast and our much-coveted Blogger of the Year award to look forward to, and of course there’s also still time to write something for this month’s Blogs of the Round Table, themed around joy.

We are able to bring all these things and many more to you thanks to your generous support on Patreon, but unfortunately our funding has dropped significantly over the last months. If you’d like to help us out, consider pledging to our campaign, if you can. If you prefer, you can also use Recurrency, or make individual donations via Paypal.

It was my spectacular pleasure to welcome you to this last TWIVGB of 2015, and I hope that the coming weeks have nothing but wonder in store for you. See you next year!