Hey there, readers.
How are you? It’s been a minute. This time, for a much delayed TMIVGV, we cast our gaze back to vods released between July and September 2022. That is to say, last year. Toot toot.
Thank you to everyone who has continued to send in their video essay suggestions for inclusion, even as updates have been slow. I’m taking it as a sign of faith that I’ll get this column back on track at some point. And I will.
Those Months In Videogame Vlogging highlights the most compelling critical videos about videogames from the specified calendar month/s.
Our first trio here for this tri-month package consider knowledge, fan theories, the power of hiding things… and sometimes Zelda.
In Search of Mystery – Pixel a Day (31:39)
Kat formulates a theory for the different ways that game worlds generate appeal through hiding information from the player, divided into ‘graphical mystery’ and ‘expositional mystery’. (Manual captions).
Every Zelda is the Darkest Zelda – Jacob Geller (40:07)
Jacob Geller contemplates the pervasive tendency of fan theories to equate depth with ‘darkness’ by demonstrating how the narratives, settings and themes of many Zelda titles can be interpreted as either ‘dark’ or optimistic, depending on which aspects the critic chooses to focus on. (Manual captions) [contains embedded advertising]
The Wind Waker and the Apocalypse – Skyehoppers (1:04:44)
Skyehoppers argues that The Wind Waker mechanically and narratively emphasises the power of community, cooperation and connectedness as vital tools for a new generation to overcome existential threat. (Manual captions)
Let Them Eat Flesh
This next pair of vods look at how games can get under our skin, so to speak, by upsetting expectations around comfort and closeness.
Gross Games about Flesh and Stuff – Jacob Geller (27:02)
Jacob Geller speaks to the profound staying power of gross bodily themes in short-form titles Perfect Vermin and How Fish is Made. (Manual captions) [Embedded advertising]
The Silent Hill Game That Changed Safe Rooms – eurothug4000 (17:24)
Maria argues that Silent Hill 4’s apartment horror scenario is so effective because it inverts pre-established associations of safe rooms as a prominent mechanic in survival horror games. (Manual captions) [embedded advertising]
Going on Holiday
These next three consider videogames, representationally and mechanically, in view of the work-holiday cycle.
action button reviews boku no natsuyasumi – Action Button (6:12:00)
Tim Rogers explores Japan-only PS1 “vacation game” Boko No Natsuyasumi, summer holidays, memory’s shadow, Kansas, and the nature of nostalgia, in a wide-ranging and, at times, deeply affecting marathon of a video essay. (Autocaptions)
Why The Hell Are There So Many Fishing Minigames? – Adam Millard (21:40)
Adam Millard discusses the role of “diversions” – such as fishing minigames, management loops, and cutscenes – in providing a chance for a player to refresh, and thereby increasing a game’s staying power. (Manual captions)
The Sims and Suburban Hell – Leadhead (14:53)
Leadhead recounts the too-real tragedy of a Sims 3 family who seem just as trapped in the rat race as their player counterparts. (Autocaptions)
Our final grouping here is loosely bound by discussions around the processes, people and periodisation of game development.
The Games Industry Is Failing the Working Class – People Make Games (18:27)
Sam Greer discusses the myriad self-reinforcing ways that people of working-class backgrounds are kept out of, or kept at the bottom of, the videogames industry. (Manual captions)
Quake and Stories About Now – Talen Lee (21:28)
Talen Lee muses over how Quake’s simplicity and timing make it a discernible nexus point for various modern day videogame phenomena. (Autocaptions)
Bloodborne PSX: Recreating Bloodborne as a PlayStation One Game – Noclip (43:31)
NoClip talk to Lillith Walther about her experience of building a PS1 era-inspired “de-make” of Bloodborne. (Manual captions)
The Rise of Extraction Shooters: The New Battle Royale? – Pixels for Breakfast (14:18)
Pixels for Breakfast tracks through a brief history of shooting game genre evolutions to argue that “extraction shooters” has emerged as its own distinct subgenre. (Autocaptions)