October 20th

Welcome back, readers.

As far as topical stuff goes, well, the Blizzard mess keeps trundling along, and I have no doubt that words on this matter will feature in future roundups. Not just yet though–the story still presents a moving target and it’s hard to find writing as of yet that will have much of a shelf life.

Also, keep the video submissions coming! We’ve got a plan to do more with them going forward.

This Week in Videogame Blogging is a roundup highlighting the most important critical writing on games from the past seven days.

Towards Better Representation

It’s a fantastic week for writing that reflects on inclusivity and representation in games. Here are four of the week’s best.

“Throughout a large swath of media, too frequently are the arcs of these characters subsumed by their trauma. While pain is definitely an element of the human condition, it does not define who we are; LGBTQ+ folks live rich and fufilling lives, and we have many things to share about ourselves outside of the pain we find visited upon us.”

Jank to the Past

Two popular narratives in gaming history are preservation and nostalgia, and they definitely inform and influence one another. What about the off-beat games of yesteryear, the bold experiments that didn’t quite land? Two authors this week discuss jank in games past and present.

“It felt like someone had covered Spyro in varnish and set him on a shelf in an Apple store. I missed the jankiness of the classic Playstation graphics mixed with the weirdness of a skateboarding purple dragon.”

Spooky Scary

Our curation of inspired articles on Halloween-themed games continues this week with two more entries.

Symphony of the Night is famous for being a game all about those nice little touches and as such I thought it’d be fun to crudely mash together two of my favourite hobbies – videogames and weird old books – and cast a Spengler-like eye over some of Castlevania’s most horrifically beautiful pixelled beasts, evaluating them on their two most important attributes: How impressive they look in the game, and how closely these appearances stick to traditional sources.”

Genre Royale

Two articles this week take aim at grand narratives in games and games discourse–be it forever games like the battle royale, or the sorts of overarching narratives that emerge in the discourse like games-as-art.

“No distinction is ever made between big titles that are created solely for the purpose of mass entertainment and independent “art games” that are made primarily for artistic expression, not even to amass modest revenue.”

Play, Together

We’ve got four great pieces this week about shared play experiences–shared with friends, with family, with let’s players.

“The beauty of so many games released around that time was the couch co-op. Baldur’s Gate was the sort of multiplayer where both players ran around on the same screen; I can’t imagine the patience my nan must’ve had watching me drag the screen around as I wandered into hordes of enemies.”

Critical Chaser

I will not make a food pun, I will not make a food pun, I will not make a food pun.

“From watching the cutscene about 74 times and examining the ingredients in the game itself, I’ve devised a meal containing the following: pot roast, potato au gratin, cream of mushroom soup, sausages, cheese, bread, and ale.”


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