This week, critical writers in games were moved by the final moments of Demon’s Souls, disturbed by the empty lives of non-player characters, and concerned by xenophobic portrayals of history. We round up the most original writing of the week in the latest post for This Week in Videogame Blogging.


Three critics consider the role of time in storytelling and game experiences, with perhaps a particular focus on how things come to an end.

“An otherwise unmentionable videogame convention is transformed into an expression of metaphysical dread.”

Shaping design

Focusing a little more on interaction design, two critics consider different skills that are tested by games – memory, and movement.

Moss gives thoughtful consideration to the notion that technology can do more than shape design—but aid it.”


Looking at the storytelling structures of games, two critics examine the relationship between the player’s agency and a game’s narrative themes.

“You’re forever the outsider, the only person with any kind of free will. Townsfolk simply go about their business from day to day and season to season, forever trapped, endlessly repeating yearly rituals in this pastoral purgatory.”


Four writers look at inclusivity issues, from positive portrayals of sensitive masculinity to criticisms of xenophobia and transmisogyny.

Deliverance selects from the past what best serves an exclusionary, xenophobic vision of Czech history – one that considers ethnic and linguistic minorities a historical detriment.”

Artificial object

Finally, a piece of writing on visual design highlights how the framing of a screen contributes to narrative.

“The physicality of the game’s frame only emphasizes its status as an artificial object; it is constantly self-conscious of its presentation as an artificial world and the limits of that artificiality as an instructive tool.”


Before I you check out the links to subscribe and contribute below, I wanted to pass on news of two book releases that were announced this week:


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Have you read, seen, heard or otherwise experienced something new that made you think about games differently? Send it in!