June 17th

Are you so bloody bored of E3? Well, this roundup of the week’s insightful critical writing is pretty much an E-zero. No consumer hype here, just earnest, authentic examinations of games that already exist.

Fanfare

First, a lovely little piece about music!

Surroundings

This piece on unconscious prejudice in games criticism could well be contentious.

“many of our aesthetic convictions are culturally informed – both by what our surroundings are, like where we’ve grown up, and how certain aesthetic heritages are valued more than others”

Dragons

Two pieces on narrative tropes and themes in RPGs provide a very helpful perspective on the status of game storytelling.

“The problem is not the dragon. The problem is expectation: the expectation of dragons in fantasy, sure, but more specifically the expectation of escalation.”

Springs

Two writers consider cultural issues in the representation of marginalized people’s struggles. (Content warning for racism and transphobia)

“Black people don’t have superhuman powers of endurance. We’ve been broken and killed under this country’s unjust laws and attitudes.”

Norms

Two pieces look at evolving attitudes to conservatism in gamer audiences, specifically with reference to Battlefield. (Content warning for sexism and the far right)

Noms

Finally, this week brought another interesting piece on Vampyr – I’m excited about the ideas this game in provoking!


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