December Roundup: ‘Joy’

Happy New Year everybody! With 2015 lovingly tucked away let’s round up an ever so short-and-sweet Blogs of the Round Table looking at the theme of ‘Joy’:

Are there any joyful memories of unwrapping a favourite new game over the holidays? What moments of joy have you shared with others over a game? Or maybe the Joy is lost now that you’ve changed or that the gaming environment has (or hasn’t!). Can you think of any games that celebrate Joy for its own sake or are conflict and violence too tightly wrapped into their structure?

It must have been a busy holiday season for everybody, we have but two pieces to share but I hope they’ll brighten your last look of the last year the same they have for me.

The first, from Not Your Mama’s Gamer, comes from Alisha Karabinus, who writes how the adorable mobile cat watching simulator, Neko Atsume (sort of) saved her and her colleagues during a busy writing schedule:

Some people like stress balls or kickboxing. I like refilling virtual cat dishes. Take your joy where you can find it, do the things that help you destress, and relax when it’s all over.

And Taylor Hidalgo over at The Thesaurus Rex brings describes how the virtual playhouse of The Sims offers him a sort of joyful tranquillity that’s difficult to find otherwise:

There’s a weird amount of joy hidden in the passive hand of The Sims. This strange sense of comfort with playing in a digital dollhouse while a bad writer and inexplicably worse chef tries to burn his §10,000 house down over middling italian food. That there’s a world where reading cook books is of personal importance and writing books with titles like “Love, Sweet Throbbing Gondola” is of any significance help make the things of actual significance outside of the digital world feel less suffocating.

So there you have it. Brevity is the soul of wit, so I’ll let the work speak for itself.

January’s theme will be up soon and 2016 will offer a brand new year of #BoRT for new and old alike. In the meantime, the latest episode of our podcast we review the highs and lows of 2015. Also, I hope that you’ve given a look at our round up of critical work as well as the announcement of our blogger of the year.

All of Critical Distance’s projects depend on community involvement to bring our attention to writers producing criticism and to celebrate their work. Take a look at our Patreon or Recurrency pages and consider contributing a monthly donation.

Lastly, I want to extent a farewell to my co-coordinator Lindsey Joyce. Thanks again, Lindsey!