This week’s roundup features writing on the Far Cry games’ ambivalence, and reflections the uncomfortable ways games make us relate to our own minds. But first, This Week in Videogame Blogging brings you some examinations of how we relate to the economic systems around us through game systems.
Four pieces of writing consider the economics of games, and games that are designed to make us think about economics.
- We Let Our Readers Practice International Trade. They Started A Bunch Of Trade Wars. | FiveThirtyEight
Rachael Dottle, Oliver Roeder, and Julia Wolfe analyse a small experiment in game theory.
- On mouse clicks and paperclips: the dark, frustrating pleasures of tedium games • Eurogamer.net
Emily Gera traces the connections between AI’s creation of mechanical minds, and the mind-numbing pursuit of mechanical action.
- Radiator Blog: A call for video game neorealism
Robert Yang further develops his argument about photorealistic countercultural game development.
- On the Path towards Unionising the Games Industry – Historian On Games
Seva Kritskiy recounts the history of attempts to unionize, from the early days of Silicon Valley to the present.
A vast number of different ways of thinking about narrative were crammed into just two pieces this week.
- Opened World: Kentucky Route Zero Act II – Haywire Magazine
Miguel Penabella brings together writing by a number of critics in his examination of space in the second game in Cardboard Computer’s series.
- Gamasutra: Gregory Pellechi’s Blog – Structures of Narrative
Gregory Pellechi shares some useful specialist terminology for analysing videogame stories.
Two critics thought about marginalised positions in society this week, looking for ways that people find agency through media.
- Prey (2006) | Unwinnable
Inspired by Black Panther, Brock Wilbur reflects on the need for portrayals of Native Americans that give indigenous people agency and self-determination.
- E-soterica: The Quiet Exclamation of ASMR | Unwinnable
In an interview with the creator of an ASMR game, Khee Hoon Chan brings out extra layers of virtual embodiment in online life and gender dysphoria.
In a fascinating pair of articles, critics examined their own relationship with psychology through games.
- Why I Play | Kotaku
Keza MacDonald explores the highest and lowest motivations driving a lifelong relationship with games.
- “Share Melancholy Thoughts” – First Person Scholar
Ingrid Doell examines the cultural imaginary behind the Sims “Asylum Challenge” and the game’s portrayal of mental health.
Finally, the new Far Cry game has people talking about villainy.
- Far Cry’s villains are sick of Far Cry • Eurogamer.net
Edwin Evans-Thirlwell surveys the antagonists of a series of insecure satires.
- “Far Cry 5 Militarizes Faith in America,” by Reid McCarter – Bullet Points Monthly
Reid McCarter looks at the ideology of cult violence and its portrayal in the latest Far Cry game.
“Far Cry 5 begins to reflect what author and professor of psychology and psychiatry Robert Jay Lifton, identified as the modern doomsday cult’s “ideology of killing to heal” or “altruistic murder.””
- February-March Roundup: History – Critical Distance
Mark Filipowich rounded up a fantastic month for BoRT – thanks so much to everyone who contributed!
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Have you read, seen, heard or otherwise experienced something new that made you think about games differently? Send it in!