Welcome back readers.

Want to read some cool words about Final Fantasy Tactics? Roguelikes? Not one, but two web sites dedicated to a “Mega Man”? Sure, you could wait till the end of the month like a square, or–and here’s an idea–you could check out our fansite jam and get a sneak peak of the submissions by joining our Discord server.

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

Netscape Navigators

Our opening segment this week brings together work on various intersections between games, community, and internet culture.

“I wonder if we’ve ever asked if videogames create an identity that exists in a consequence free world. A polished mirror of fantasy and escapism, a body-cloaking illusion that some part of these Gamer Bros and Pick Me Girls and Brazilian White Supremacists Living in White Italian Neighborhoods haven’t also found some mirror-salve for a life of hate. A place to go to live consequence free. I saw it once. I know how it makes someone live, how they might crave living.”

“The harassment campaign against Sweet Baby echoes the Gamergate movement of 10 years ago, once again targeting women, people of color, and journalists in the games industry. But this time, the events are playing out differently. Developers and gamers are pushing back, affirming that the kind of diversity these people rail against is here to stay. And after speaking with Sweet Baby employees and spending time with their detractors, it’s clear the goals of this harassment campaign are largely a reactionary backlash against trends in video games that cannot be meaningfully stopped.”

“in a world made entirely of our own image – where everything is content – is there any inherent distinction between art and everything else? if we are now using our technology to primarily exist as creatures of social media, could we just as easily use our newfound abilities to become creatures of something else?”

“These events spark creativity, offer a break from longer term projects, provide a chance for newer developers to meet fellow creatives and put together their first title, and potentially set people down the game development path for themselves. They harbor the hobbyist spirit that has existed since the beginning of the industry, and remain crucial in nurturing and encouraging a new generation of developers to enter the industry.”

Save States

There’s a lot of time-bending stuff in this week’s issue, but let’s start here looking at games, products, and ideas with one foot in the past and one in the present, be it by way of homage, archive, or grey-market retro gaming.

“If Minter’s light synthesizers are examples of interactive art and technology, then so is everything else in Llamasoft. And for all that Llamasoft is an enjoyably curated trip to the archive, I still have unanswered questions about how Minter thinks about his work as art.”


No, not that game, not yet. Here are two transformative reflections on formative media.

“I started Kero Kero Keroppi to Origami no Tabibito in the morning, sat at my desk in my underwear in a body radically different from the one I had when last I folded paper. A body that was new. I moved to the floor, and folded without the precision I once obsessed over. My imperfections compounded.”


Alright. Rebirth. Technically one of these pieces came out before the game was available and one of them came after, but I think they both still apply, and indeed form two parts of a larger conversation about what storytelling opportunties this Revisit has before it as well as which ones it leave on the table.

“To Aerith praying on that altar, in a moment that has been so complicated by the game’s new ideas that it strains credulity she would even be there at all. Yet for all its bluster the only divergence the game can stretch to is whether she does or does not get stabbed, and even that is stripped of its closure and impact. But the answer was never the problem, it was the question.”


Before I haul myself off for a forced pun timeout, here are two critical reflections on other recent and popular releases.

“The world of Helldivers 2 is a meatgrinder into which the brainwashed people of Super Earth are only too happy to throw themselves. Thanks to propaganda and totalitarianism, the Helldivers just don’t know any better. When a Helldiver frantically yells “Freedom never sleeps” while healing themselves with a stimpack, they believe every word. The irrational fervor of Super Earth’s citizens is as chilling as it is amusingly absurd.”

Tempest 2024

Next let’s look at new and different approaches to storytelling.

“If anything, the medium of Grand Theft Auto ends up the perfect spoonful of sugar for Shakespeare’s enduring, contemplative medicine. This constant unfurling of the play’s subtext turns the movie into an inadvertent act of arts criticism in the process, one where ostentatiously customized player avatars, with brightly colored hair and superhero outfits, function both as de facto philosophers and as deeply personal externalizations of the actors’ personas and neuroses.”

Critical Chaser

Turns out all Pit Fighter ever needed was some context.

“Where parents drown their dreams in pitchers of lukewarm Michelob, and a hundred screaming children play chicken with the threat of crush injuries and food poisoning, mankind will find a place to put arcade games.”


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