June 24th

Abstract image evoking bird silhouette

Worlds are created and destroyed within computers. Spaces are created through code and protected through play. Many videogame critics take on the role of observing and examining these new and fascinating modes of being. This Week in Videogame Blogging brings you a roundup of all their most insightful writing.

Moral choices and norms

Two writers look at morality this week: one contemplating moral choice in game stories, and one making a case for moral complexity in games criticism.

“The ability to recognize and carefully consider moral complexity is vital. We should fear those who find every moral question simple and easy.”

Simulators

Two pieces look at the kind of mental states or roles that games put the player into.

“the madness behind the cultists doesn’t feel so alien. The all-consuming nature of their study becomes almost sympathetic. Cultist Simulator is not just a game, but a thought exercise.”

Get on with it

Dare I say it, “gamer identity” was examined through three very different lenses this week, generating new perspectives on this fraught category.

“Mainstream gamers tend not to take to Reddit and Twitter and all the rest of it to complain about video games. They tend to accept the way video games work and just get on with it.”

Eternal loop

Two pieces discuss videogames’ approaches to religious and philosophical questions about how the world is made and how it could be unmade – a kind of cosmology, but maybe instead of a big bang we just have a system churning on and on.

“It is easier to imagine an eternal loop of building and destroying than it is to produce an actual future.”

Constructed

Do we always need to tell stories about how things could be versus how they are? Is it possible to imagine other ways of creating narratives? Two writers ponder conflict this week.

“the way things are isn’t a brute fact, but something constructed as such, meaning it can always be constructed some other way”

Simply a vessel

Liminal spaces are explored in two very different ways this week: from a postmortem of a jam game about queer spaces, to a photo essay about the mythic in-between places in Bayonetta.

“We’re able to revisit Vigrid through a different lens, but in the process are shown something similar to the original Bayonetta’s portrayal of Vigrid: simply a vessel by which more violence perpetuates itself.”


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