Welcome back readers.

Long issue this week–lots of good stuff to read. If you want to make my reading list even longer, you are very welcome to come hang out with us on our Discord server. Since Twitter ceased to be a good space for connecting with critical writing, community-driven curation has become that much more essential to our ongoing mission. So come hang out!

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

Decentering Empire

Let’s start things off this week with a pair of academic pieces on the warped and racialized perspectives which remain prevalent in western game dev, with a focus as well on the reverberations and harms that cross from digital back to material reality.

“So necropolitics continues to help us understand the targeted ways that Black bodies experience death in both physical and digital spaces. These systems of social control extend far beyond the physical spaces of jails and prisons, and these practices underscore how carcerality is embedded in and sustained by a range of processes and dynamics, including creating stereotypical characters (Blackness as criminal), the limiting of the Black expression in games (Blackness as the help or sidekick), and the devaluing Black life (Black death as seen in Battlefield 1). And the justification of Black destruction in the media is a part of the process to justify the continued destruction of Black bodies IRL (in real life).”


Next let’s look at a pair of conversations featuring critics and developers.

““In 1920, the press was fundamental for shaping the conversation,” Pérez says. “Our main character being a journalist opens the door to those spheres.””

Art Lessons

Now let’s explore broader conversations on art, digitization, and exhibition as they (sometimes) relate to games.

“The Rain Room simulates the experience of a natural real-world event, sanding down the rough edges of reality to make a play-space for self-expression, for performing and curating identity. All I’m saying is that in the broad view, there’s not much difference between that and Call of Duty.”


Featured author Bigg this week is right to identify a paucity in critical writing (and attention on that writing) when it comes to adult and porn games. By the same token, there’s an opportunity to right the ship; here’s two picks to start conversations.

“I worry about a future where porn games don’t exist, where all the games that exist now and the experiences of the people who played them are easily memory-holed by a puritanical monoculture that despises erotic art and sexual exploration. In a way the culture of silent sneering ignorance towards porn games and porn game developers makes it feel like we’re already living in that future. I find this state of affairs repulsive as someone who enjoys porn games, and embarrassing as someone who enjoys critical writing about games. So, finding the body of critical works regarding porn games and porn game culture so thin, we must set out to nourish it.”

Prince of Persia: The Lost Crown

There’s a new Prince of Persia out in a couple of days and it looks. . . interesting? Here are a couple of early impressions on the series’ pivot to the Metroidvania format. Looking forward to the longer-form critical distillations will follow as well.

Prince of Persia: The Lost Crown may seem like a bit of a strange digression in the long-running series, especially considering the Sands of Time remake that’s been delayed and rebooted and remains an unknown quantity. But it’s a fantastic Metroidvania about a character you wouldn’t expect in a series that desperately needed somebody to blow the dust off.”

Social Links

We’re moving a little outside the strict purview of games again here but that’s okay. Here are two pieces which explore connectedness and ephemerality.

“Thelot looks at the communities that form around these pit stops, and the individuals working to make sure these moments aren’t forgotten. Their sudden deletion, Thelot suggests, serves to remind us of the ease with which digital memories can disappear completely on third-party platforms.”

Cyberpunk Futurities

I’m playing a little fast and loose here with topic organization, but this section brings together writing about cyberpunk worlds real and imagined, retro and contemporary.

“A movie where Robocop splatters a new room with the blood and crumpled bodies of dozens of enemies would be noteworthy if for nothing else than the amount of attention given to the act of killing. In a videogame, spending an hour gunning down a few hundred goons means nothing if it isn’t portrayed with weight or flair.”

Critical Chaser

This week we’re closing things out with a pair of crunchy lists.

“I’ll be real with you. I love Armored Core. I love Mechwarrior. I love Virtual-On. I fucking owned the Steel Battalion with the controller. I have big opinions about mech games. I have complex and layered thoughts about every game in the Armored Core franchise that I’ve played. So it’s with all of that history and understanding that I say to you…Zone of the Enders: The 2nd Runner might be the greatest mech game ever made.”


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