Welcome back readers.

Per my lofty aspirations last week, I did technically manage to publish our Fansite Jam Roundup before the next TWIVGB–even if I had to fudge things a bit and put this issue out a day late. Oh, speaking of the jam roundup, you should check it out! I am enormously grateful to everyone who participated, and every submission we received is accounted for!

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

Industry Insights

This week we’re opening with a group of articles examining different areas and aspects of the industry, from funding, to adaptation, to sales trends, to what counts as “indie”.

“I would like to exist in an ecosystem ruled by a different kind of beast; a landscape of comfortable artists and uncomfortable audiences; a place where there are always brand new fears.”

Relational Reflections

Now let’s take a look at topics that bridge games with the wider world in which they are produced.

“While poets like Wordsworth, Keats, and Smith may not have known how to reconcile the natural and industrial world, recent trends in video games show that these two worlds are not as distinct as we once thought. It is no longer possible to keep these worlds separate, and games like Animal Crossing: New Horizons and Stardew Valley show the boundless potential afforded when we consider the needs and desires of others as we progress.”

Community Contexts

Next up, we’ve got three pieces each exploring different kinds and meanings of community.

“It’s this sense of stagnation that is the main thing Chants of Sennaar is railing against, that we’re all richer when we reach out from each of our comfortable bubbles to try and understand people not like you. That the language barrier isn’t impenetrable, and there are many ways of learning how to make sure we understand and are understood. And we all have shared roots as well.”

Design Details

A recent puzzler–Botany Manor–has made a spash, and we’ve got two picks here unpacking it from different angles.

“it’s a subtle condemnation of incremental feminism: a quiet well-behaved game about a quiet well-behaved woman trapped in a beautiful prison. It hints at the darkness buried deep in every cozy comfy wholesome game.”

Play Perspectives

Our next two featured writers explore older games in past and present contexts.

“This is Dynamite Deka: Zombie Edition. A game that correctly reached the conclusion that punching zombies in their stupid rotting mouths might be a heck of a lot of fun years before Leon S Kennedy made a habit of roundhouse kicking the infected.”

Writing Ruminations

Our next two picks bring together reflections on time, relationships, and the writing process itself.

“You want to write about playing Halo with your dad? Write an essay about the theme of community. Tell us what Halo has to say about that concept. Bring us deeper into the game, and deeper in turn into the things that are important in your life.”

Critical Chaser

This one’s just for you, Zach.

Is there any term as
disgusting as “flow state” and the
weight, the gall, the bile

it carries for low wattage


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