Welcome back, readers.

Videogames? Videogames. I’ve looked up from a packed-but-gratifying semester of teaching queer Twine games just long enough to put together this week’s latest issue, which features nihilism, Deltarune, story ideologies, and another out-of-context fish picture. Enjoy!

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

Unpacking Ideologies

Nihilism, war crimes, and death distraction are the themes that open our issue this week as three writers explore the ways in which games reflect our existential anxieties.

“So you play in the graveyard, in the twilight of a once vibrant civilization, one that once lived and died. And you struggle vainly against the natural decomposition of the Final End. “The light and darkness saga will end … Destiny 2 will not,” remember. Your unnatural, inhuman bodies will continue to twirl and frolic through the dark, cycling through nonsensical emotes, casting yourselves off ledges and into canyons while your anxious ghosts hurriedly suck you back into corporeal existence.”


Deltarune‘s latest chapter dropped a short while ago, and the critical discourse is starting to unpack the ideas it brings to the table. Here are two of my favourite recent selections.

“When we refer to something as “formulaic”, we often mean it as a bad thing, a criticism or insult. After all, once you recognise the formula of something, it ceases to be distinct or even surprising, or at least in the eyes of many. But what this notion misses about formulas, is that a game can surprise you because it adheres to one.”

Fresh Impressions

There’s lots of other cool and interesting stuff out recently besides Deltarune. Here’s a couple of critical pieces on this week’s pieces on new and re-newed games.

“Sable is, ultimately, a game about needing space to figure yourself out. Sable is still a child, and the story sets no stakes above her figuring out who she wants to be.”

Dev Talk

We’ve also got two interview highlights this week, touching upon Boyfriend Dungeon and a forgotten Half-Life expansion.

“With that background in mind, it was always going to be impossible for Boyfriend Dungeon to please everyone. It’s a statement that Short agrees with when I ask her about the reception to the game, and whether she feels that queer creators in particular are being held to an impossible standard. “I do feel that we’re held to a higher standard, and I do wish that standard was more evenly applied.” She tells me.”

Rising Action, Falling Action

Our next selection of three pieces highlights narrative ideologies, authorship, and the fluctuating limits of storytelling in mass media.

“The only Batarians I interacted with in Mass Effect 1 were heartless criminals. They were slavers, they were raiders, they were drug smugglers. They existed in my bloody backstory and in combat encounters. As far as I know, the only Batarian with a speaking role did so by holding a room full of people hostage.”

Critical Chaser

A little Spine to close out the week.


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