Welcome back readers.

The fourth annual Queer Games Bundle is still going on! You could always buy it for a friend.

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

Art and Artefact

This week we open up with a section looking at digital art and tools from the not-so-distant past to the not-so-recent present.

“There’s a sense of the freak show here: of taking something the viewer clearly sees as degrading or embarrassing, and “elevating” it to the gallery as a way to mock it. Lichtenstein’s work most obviously works this way, as a kind of “pop art” that has no actual respect for the work he’s lifting, but Hiropon works within the same mode. That essential crudeness, the weak lines and shaky anatomy, tells a story: this isn’t work Murakami has respect for, and the mere act of bringing it to the gallery in the first place is his critique. Just like the freak show, too, Murakami is charging a premium for access. Hiropon is physically blown up to a larger size, with her flaws enlarged for the viewer’s eye, in the same way that she’s transplanted from Comiket to the gallery. Both are a kind of expansion—of scale, of audience—that serve to throw the perceived flaws and technical limitations to a new audience. His major gallery customers would likely never purchase the actual pornography he’s drawing from, but they’ll buy Hiropon for hundreds of thousands of dollars.”

Long Game

Here are a pair of industry-focused picks for the week.

“Layoffs and studio closures are the solution for executives looking to cut costs and therefore increase the numbers on a sheet of paper. What’s lost in it all is the devastating impact on the people who make games — some of whom may end up leaving the industry altogether. “There’s this existential crisis of, Has any of this hard work been worth it if I can’t stay in my career?” a community manager laid off in 2020 told Polygon. “I don’t want to leave games, but I feel like I have to.””

Patch Notes

This time around we’re keeping all the single-game articles together, with topics spanning design ideologies, lived spaces, queer perserverance, and more.

“Our illustrious Duck Detective’s illicit joy of soft white bread feels like nothing compared to the horrors of a society that can so easily look past the very creation of SALAMI while having the gall to jail the less fortunate for daring to share in the pleasures of the upper class!”

Reality Engines

Next we look at intersections between the virtual, the material, and the cultural.

“The potential to play gets me giddy at times, like the boy I was never supposed to be; we were never supposed to be. It encourages one to wonder what’s possible in this smaller social world, the structures of almost-togetherness heaped upon with strangers, how I’m besieged by the naive sincerity I had discarded for survival until now, and how this is also a dimension of being a black man in public.”

Critical Chaser

This week we wrap things up on a creative note.

“boneache county produces at least 4 world class enjoyable entertainment products a year, with interactable Worldlets or games/interactive fictions. most recently it developed ‘killing hours: the deathlight’. it does it by pushing itself out of the ground and into limbs of plants that then communicate the shape of the Thoughtroom to the world.”


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