This week, critics discussed topics such as trans representation and the politics of the undead in horror and strategy games. This week’s roundup starts, however, with writers bearing witness to excellent visual artists.
The passing of a celebrated artist prompts some touching tributes, while one critic highlights the specific role of animation in a dating sim.
- Remembering Bob Wakelin – Eurogamer.net
Graeme Mason tells the story of a classic game cover artist who passed recently.
- The Classic Video Game Box Art Of The Late Bob Wakelin – Kotaku
Logan Booker simply shares some of the iconic box art he created.
- The Case for Amagami in 2018 – Medium
Tom James highlights the importance of eye animations in the emotional resonance of a dating sim
“Eyes are an unsung, but hugely important piece of the puzzle, placed on just as high of a pedestal as its art, writing, and voice acting when it comes to characterization.”
- Not Another Word: Silence as a Game Mechanic – Not Your Mama’s Gamer
Jordyn Lukomski explores how a lack of sound is significant not just as a way of building anticipation, but as an exercise in control and restraint.
Three critics take detailed, nuanced approaches to looking at gender politics in game communities and narratives.
- The Stereotype That Women On Twitch Are ‘Asking For It’ – Kotaku
Cecilia D’Anastasio interviews women who stream on Twitch with a variety of business models, coherently showing that regardless of how they dress or perform, everybody deserves safe and supportive working conditions.
- How ‘The Red Strings Club’ Sabotages Its Hopeful Cyberpunk Vision – Waypoint
Danielle Riendeau highlights a misstep regarding trans representation in a new cyberpunk bar game.
- Exploring the Shades of Gender in Genderwrecked – Unwinnable
Khee Hoon Chan relishes mythic, lovecraftian metaphors for gender liberation.
“Genderwrecked broke down murky gender concepts through metaphors and allusions, which can be occasionally enigmatic but are almost always relatable.”
From cuddles to capitalism to living corpses, four articles examine the modes of being evoked by interactive systems.
- Project Horseshoe 2017 report section 3
This report comes out of a team of designers’ exploration of “coziness” in game design, and aims to highlight design strategies and define emotional and aesthetic outcomes for players.
- Playing with Money (1): The Adventurer Shop – ihobo
Chris explores the history of merchants in RPGs, and traces their changing significance as they moved from tabletop to videogames.
- Everything I learned about game design last year I learned from Dead by Daylight – Eurogamer.net
Keith Stuart finds remarkable opportunities for role-play in a multiplayer horror game without an AI enemy – and has stories to tell about beautiful moments emerging from player improv.
- They Are Billions: Steampunk, Colonialism and the Undead – Paste
Playing a steampunk real-time strategy game, Dante Douglas takes a kind of pleasure in the inevitable failure of a colonialist exercise to indefinitely subdue the masses.
“And when the final walls do fall—and they do, often—I cannot help but think there is a relief in that. The tension breaks, and the horde consumes all I have made.”
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