July 22nd

Although it’s typical for AAA games to attract the majority of the in-depth writing, in the context of increasing tension around labor exploitation, more critics are considering the power dynamics of big publisher corporations and populist gamer culture. This week in videogame blogging, writers look at impactful mods and bootlegs, the role of games in political protest, and alternative histories.

Detection

Three writers look at creepy places and the art of creeping around.

“Just because we can detect or observe an object or force does not mean that we understand either.”

Defection

In writing on videogame storytelling, two critics examine the duality between militaristic bravado and tense intimacy.

“What Metal Gear Solid presents is a type of masculinity that overlaps with war fiction of the 80s and the visual tensions of gay porn. Kojima idolises the soldier, not the state, and means to recreate this through a politically complicated series where soldiers defect to fight the state itself.”

Distortion

Three pieces consider how different versions of history proliferate in and around games.

“This is the slippery, ephemeral nature of our game history, passed along through half-memories and demographic survival alone. Left vulnerable to distortion, it became distorted: within four or seven years, the truth inverted itself.”

Division

The relationship between games and power come out in three pieces on politics, art, and resistance.

“This seems an apt avenue for bridging the art/games divide—viewing video games not just as a technological medium, but as a multimodal cultural force with all the complexities of human interaction included.”


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