Welcome back readers.

It’s a Monday Mulligan this week as I catch up on this week’s reading. It’s also December! That means our end-of-year review is just around the corner, so be sure to get your recommendations in!

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

Time Loop

In a way both of these first selections are about memory–the short memory of the industry, the selective memory of creators.

“The story of John Romero, by John Romero, is about dramatic things happening to a person who is not affected by them.”

Walled Garden

There was a really thoughtful cross-platform discussion on “coziness” as a genre this past week–its values, its tendencies, its omissions–so we’ve captured some of the triangulation points here.

“There’s value in people seeking and finding comfort and connection in a world that wants to deny both to them, but for that to work, you have to be very precise about who is seeking the comfort and who is being kept out in order to maintain it. You can’t just shut the door behind you and call that an act of radicalism.”

The Dev Is in the Details

Here are a pair of cool developer interviews, capturing both indie and AAA perspectives.

Rose Seed Replica is a fairly dialogue heavy game, clocking in at over 170,000 words between all of its different paths — however the game itself takes only a few hours to complete, even while it navigates through all the complexities, both mundane and exciting, of a burgeoning relationship. It also has the added benefit of being extremely gay.”

Representative of the Medium

Now let’s talk about representation and its pitfalls, both when it comes to customization and established characters.

“The common pushback here is, “Should white creators only create white characters?” This is a false binary. White creators are welcome to create black characters but should understand that their perspective is an outsider one. Absent prominent black developers on the team, early consultation is important. The nuances of black life (and the sub-cultures), nuances that will not be readily apparent because the people most versed in it won’t talk about it, is what establishes authenticity. When something is normal, you take it for granted and it fades into the background. It’s only when it’s out of place that it comes into focus.”

Connection Established

Here we’ve got a pair of critical meditations on connections and communities.

“I think about how God can also mean Duty, and can also mean Beauty, and Transformation, and then Creation. I also think about how there will always be a way to say hello or ask for help or say thank you regardless of the language. Games like Chants of Sennaar give me a lot to think about.”


Now let’s look at play and its contexts in a section spanning backlogs, the review grindset, and unearthed save files.

ObsCure is the last straw for me. I think it may have cured me, funnily enough. I cannot hold onto guilt for a reason as silly as this. Sometimes, you can enjoy a game just for a moment: you can appreciate it for what it is and then let it go.”

Critical Chaser

Only I have the brains to rule Lylat!

“The image of the brain in both The Evil Within and Star Fox 64 is one that also represents the mind. This is the enduring symbol of the mind-brain identity thesis, which is ever-present in popular media and science fiction. Some of that fiction flirts with a central problem of that thesis, namely that it can have some horrific consequences for how to accomplish intersubjectivity. Perhaps the answer lies outside of the brain.”


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