Welcome back readers.

I don’t recall the exact date without looking, but I’m right around the four year mark of doing this whole senior curator thing. In that time I’ve read… a lot of cool pieces.

So here’s twelve more!

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

Made It

This week we open with an industry-focused section with an additional emphasis on labour conditions.

“In a sense, the current wave of deals is a clarifying moment for the video game industry, revealing its corporate machinations in starker relief than ever. With these deals, the foundations have been laid for at least the next decade, a time when video games will occupy a more prominent space in our cultural lives than ever.”

New Forms

Next up, games and publishers alike pivot into new (well, for the time) platforms, demographics, markets.

“Pocket Dungeon’s relatively unique status as a true PocketStation only title is both a blessing and a burden. On the one hand this is an ambitious game designed for hardware that would’ve sat around “posh Tamagotchi” technology levels at the time, one so extraordinary it keeps on doing things I had always assumed the not-VMU wasn’t capable of. But on the other it’s also a paid-for commercial product that uses one of the most influential and RPG-laden consoles of all time as a glorified transfer system, making it hard to shake the feeling any money spent on this could’ve gone towards something that was good good, and not “good for what it is“.”

Source Text

Let’s move now to a pair of articles which unpack the literary, cultural, and religious works which inform popular games, and which trace where those games meet or miss the mark in how those works are adapted.

“Nowadays we associate them with gold dust and eternally sweet faces, but the fairy is a sort of monster. Southeast Asia’s “yaksha” nature spirits gobble up stray travelers, the Germanic “erlking” can kill a kid with its bare hands. Elden Ring’s Malenia, Blade of Miquella, emerged from a rotting blossom with tangled wings, and is renowned as one of the most dangerous creatures FromSoftware’s ever created. She fits right in.”

Well Played

On deck, two authors situate their play experiences in their upbringings, identity intersections, friendships, and beyond.

“I used to despise people whose sense of home was so effortless to manifest, who were born into this coveted feeling of being safe and supported. Now I see I had a home all along; it was her.”

Design Traditions

For this week’s design section, we’ve got two featured authors highlighting breaks with tradition and roads not travelled.

“A metal heart beats at the center of a wild world, a steel poison creeps through plant-covered capillaries. It’s legitimately poetic, but relies entirely on imagery to make its point. Even the notoriously silent Super Metroid is more explicit.”

Critical Chaser

The Berlin Interpretation of dating platforms.

“By her count, she roped 22 men into her devious yet amazing scheme. Since it’s been a couple of years, she claims, she couldn’t show Kotaku proof that she convinced dozens of men to buy the unusually philosophical game. She did, however, have a handful of screenshots of conversations full of flirts, in which people would say that they couldn’t believe they were about to buy a video game just to impress a girl. [Editor’s note: This bar is low.]”


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

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