Welcome back readers.

Monday Mulligan strikes again, but I’d like to think it was worth the wait; we’ve got another big issue this week stuffed to bursting with the good stuff. Take a load off and settle in for a spell.

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

All Corporations Are Businesses

Let’s start the issue with our industry-level selections for the week.

“Pirates are usually fined in court, but Bowser’s case was meant to draw attention. “The sentence was like a message to other people that [are] still out there, that if they get caught … [they’ll] serve hard time,” he says. As he tells it, Bowser didn’t make or develop the products that sent him to prison; he “just” updated the websites that told people what they could buy, and kept them informed about what was coming next.”

New ‘n’ Tasty

This time we’ve gathered our reading list on new-and-current games in one place, combining shorter impressions and longer meditations.

“Nothing can hit like watching Ellie’s face contort and make itself ugly as she snuffs out another human life, and the knowledge this is what she wants. You are the engine and what you want is immaterial, she is driving you. The tension of The Last of Us, what makes the whole thing go, is being the passenger.”

Strange Days

Next let’s focus on creative and experimental moments in wider franchises.

Black Ops 3 is effectively the best Ghost in the Shell game we’ve ever received. Infinite Warfare easily has the meatiest campaign in years. Cold War is a choose-your-own-adventure spy thriller. Vanguard offers an anthology of meaningfully distinct microcampaigns. Now Modern Warfare 3 offers an unparalleled amount of player agency in a franchise often derided for de-prioritizing agency for spectacle.”

Nomura Heroes

How about a Final Fantasy/Kingdom Hearts double feature?

“Sora’s willingness to die and Kairi’s weakness are facts of the world. Even Sora’s friends simply go about trying to save him, in faith that he can be saved. There is sorrow that he is not there with them, but there is also certainty that he is still out there. Sora’s sacrifice is sad, but it is not questioned. Sora does not hesitate. He dives right in. It does not even seem a burden to him.”

Romanticizing Saga

Lifestyle, loneliness, and liminality are the dominant themes in these explorations of digital places, unplaces, and our transient existence between the two.

“Video games are the closest thing that we have to existing in someone else’s dream. Carefully constructed fantasies that we share with players. These are our fever dreams, both pleasant and awful.”

It’s a Pal World

Welcome to an ultra-rare Quad Chaser–Quad for Quad Damage! Consider this a suggested reading order for maximum psychic peril.

“Most days, Omelas is sunny and beautiful and nothing bad happens. And then there will be a day that is overcast and cloudy, and on that day, people die in circus accidents and carbon monoxide leaks and start harassment campaigns on twitter. And sometimes on that day people die through lethal injection. So it’s clear that sometimes the kid is alive and suffering, and sometimes the kid has been killed and doesn’t exist.”


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