Welcome back readers.

Thank you to everyone who submitted work to our fansite jam! The jam submission window has officially drawn to a close, but since it’s going to take me some time (a week, perhaps?) to prepare our showcase roundup issue highlighting all this great work, who am I to object if a few late entries sneak in?

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

Pawn Stars

We’re starting this week off with a bunch of Dragon’s Dogma 2-related writings, covering both the game itself and its associated discourses. It’s probably not surprising that I think this game is going to have a very long critical tail (pun not expressly intended), but I’m looking forward to it!

“The core of Dragon’s Dogma, the very defining characteristics that earned it cult status, are the same things that have caused these modern tensions. It is both a franchise utterly consistent in its design priorities and entirely out of touch with the modern audience. Dragon’s Dogma 2 has come into prominence during a time where imaginative interpretation of mechanics is at an all time low and calls for “consumer” gratification are taken as truisms. It is a game entirely at odds with the YouTube ecosystem and the very things that give it allure are the tools that have turned it into a debated object.”

Art and Artistry

Our next section brings together discussions of art, labour, and the impact of AI on both.

“This game, ‘It is as if you were doing work,’ was described by Pippin Barr as a piece of speculative play. Back when it was designed in 2017, it was proposed as something not made for us but for near future ‘humans who have been put out of work by robots and AI.’ A game they could play ‘to recapture the sense they once had of doing work and being productive.’”

No-Miss Clear

Lest one game (even a sickos’ fave) get all the attention, here’s some critical writing on other interesting games both old and new.

“Gloom is a Doom clone that doesn’t understand what made Doom so great, lacking not only its rival’s raw programming muscle but also its immaculate level design and the uncomplicated thrill of taking a giant chainsaw to a roaring monster’s face.”


This section’s somewhere between industry and design in its focus, looking at at both development and craft.

“It’s been fun to see gamedev concepts influence her thinking in small ways. Watching me play a PC game, she asked: is this game also made with nodons? She was very impressed when I told her that, basically, it was!”

Load State

Design friction is hardly unique to Dragon’s Dogma. Our next section explores tensions of craft and play in other games!

“I think if I took away anything from Alter Ego, is that I have no interest in the illusion of the perfect life that games in its genre are so eager to sell, the chance to fanatically tinker with the events that comprise a human being until they arrive at the ideal outcome. I know this world is not interested in offering such things anyway, especially to people like myself who do not fit into the accepted categories of human existence. All I want is to live, whatever that means, however I can, and wherever that takes me. I don’t want a golden ending. I want a True one.”

Critical Chaser

This week we’re closing out the issue with two reflections on relationships on both sides of the screen.

“I loved my three boyfriends, and the game didn’t ever make me choose which one I preferred. My interactions with them may have been limited to specific quests or wandering the map with them to see their favorite spots (which often got me dive-bombed by griffins, or worse, dragons), but these strange and sometimes sweet companions colored my experience with Dragon’s Dogma 2 for the better.”


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

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