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.


First, a lovely little piece about music!


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”


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.”


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.”


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


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


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