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May 15th

…and being unable to do anything out of it?”

Speaking of play experiences with relatable resonance, this piece from Elvie Mae Parian hits. I’m always on the lookout for LARP coverage, and this one sounds–gently painful? If that makes sense?

  • Review: “What Happened Here” and When You Finally Step Out That Door | Sidequest Elvie Mae Parian spends time with an at-home, solo-friendly LARP about coming out of Covid isolation.

“What Happened Here is a cathartic experience that doesn’t require previous LARP or roleplaying abilities. Perhaps you may not be ready to go…

July 26th

…old DOS platformer, provoking tensions between its narrative framing and its constrained, secondhand game engine.

  • It Was Inevitable: An Interview with Tarn Adams on Dwarf Fortress | Sidequest Elvie Mae Parian chats with Tarn Adams of Dwarf Fortress fame about story systems, industry trends, and developing a game that can never be done.
  • Mystery House [1980] – Arcade Idea Arcade Idea embarks upon the task of excavating Mystery House from the obliterating influence of history to consider its charming and obtuse innovations on the adventure genre.
  • Necrobarista is Haunting, Innovative and Begging for Interpretation | Unwinnable Violet…
  • October 18th

    …latest bout of parasocial stunt marketing.

  • Deaf Accessibility in Video Games – I Need Diverse Games Mandy Jane Ashford goes beyond captions to look at other accessibility needs and considerations in games for deaf players.
  • An Inclusive Future: A Recap of Game Devs of Color Expo 2020 | Sidequest Elvie Mae Parian recaps the broad strokes of this year’s virtual GDoCExpo and highlights some rad upcoming games from marginalized developers.
  • “GDoCExpo is a firm effort against not only the failings of the games industry, but of the very systems that perpetuate those failings. It is…

    April 4th

    …in a review format, with a film adaptation and a promising game that doesn’t live up to the demo, respectively.

    • The Monster Hunter Movie Is Not Just Bad — It’s Boring | Video Game Choo Choo Elvie finds that the Monster Hunter adaptation has stripped out much of the games’ personality in favour of delivering a rote militarized action movie.
    • With A Bang or A Whimper: A Critical Review of ‘Genesis Noir’ | Epilogue Gaming Blake Andrea weighs Genesis Noir‘s bright moments against an overall package that feels both overwrought and underwhelming.

    “Though there

    May 30th

    …defined by more than that which makes them marginalized in our own world.

    • Ghost of Tsushima and the Importance of Lady Masako’s casual queerness | Gayming Magazine Eva Herinkova examines how Ghost of Tsushima approaches queer affection without sensationalism and without fanfare.
    • Making Phoenix Wright Canonically Asian American and Why That is Important (to Me) | Video Game Choo Choo Elvie delves into the localization history of the Ace Attorney series, and examines how the the North American version’s transplanted canon might serve as a foundation for establishing a proud and diverse array of Asian-American characters.

    June 6th

  • Interview: Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney translator Janet Hsu of Capcom | Polygon De’Angelo Epps interviews Janet Hsu about the challenges of localizing the Ace Attorney games across not only geographical space but time. (Curator’s recommendation: read this one in dialogue with Elvie’s piece on Asian-American visibility in Ace Attorney, featured last week).
  • “I think the two issues the location change does create, however, are the need to maintain an internally consistent world with each subsequent title, and a greater need for players to suspend their disbelief. The latter issue is more of a personal one, as

    September 12th

    …back for.

  • Animal Crossing’s Merchandising Efforts Tell Me That Suffering Yields Stuffing | Sidequest Elvie Mae Parian contrasts Animal Crossing‘s aggressive merch push with its recent dearth of content updates.
  • “Aggressive push for Animal Crossing merch despite stagnancy in the most recent mainline game will continue to raise a lot of questions, but I know I am partially part of the problem as I fiddle with my Tom Nook toy. Perhaps I am trying to fill a void in my own lack of regularity playing New Horizons. Or maybe I just think it’s all so damn…

    October 31st

    …horror-cinema roots and its desire to say anything of substance about the Iraq War.

  • The Forgotten City | The White Pube Gabrielle de la Puente muses on the way in which The Forgotten City rekindles an oft-forgotten linkage between mythology and horror.
  • Detention’s Film Adaptation Serves Its Medium While Distinct From the Game | Video Game Choo Choo Elvie dissects the different, complementary storytelling strengths of Red Candle Games’ 2019 horror title Detention and its film adaptation of the same year.
  • What’s Cookin’?: The Supper Subverts Cooking as Care to Create Horror – Uppercut Ty Galiz-Rowe examines…
  • March 20th

    Welcome back, readers.

    There’s another large Ukraine charity bundle running since last we published, this time running through Humble Bundle. Check it out!

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

    Industry Angles

    We begin this week with an interview and a commentary, respectively, centred on industry practices and trends.

    • The OPUS Games: An Interview with SIGONO | Video Game Choo Choo Elvie chats with SIGONO co-founder Scott Chen about melancholic, hopeful space games, standing out as Taiwanese sci-fi storytellers,

    April 10th

    …at the fault lines of form as long as it is comprehensible to us. We trust good writers to keep us engaged as they self-mythologize.”

    Modes of Play

    Gathered together here, we’ve got three pieces on (mostly contemproary) games, the ways in which we engage with them, and the questions they leave us to ponder.

    • Preview: Glitchhikers Meditates on the Journey, Not the Destination | Sidequest Elvie Mae Parian eschews more goal-directed play to appreciate her time with Glitchhikers.
    • Sumire asks us to confront grief, without being consumed by it – Uppercut Monti Velez…