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April 14th

…This pretends like racism is some sort of thing mentally deranged people do, something sociopaths and psychopaths are drawn to or something you become when you are indoctrinated into some sort of cult.

While this of course serves to condemn racism as a concept, it mainly serves as a way out of dealing with your own internalized racism and serves as a way to absolve yourself by comparison. It also serves – and that is actually the truly ugly effect of that treatment – to push what we are allowed to label as racism into an extremist corner and it…

Bioshock: Infinite

…the game’s treatment of Booker & Comstock as competing versions of the American ideal. On the same day, Tom Bramwell at Eurogamer compared Infinite ’s Hall Of Heroes to the original Bioshock ’s Fort Frolic .

2. The False Shepherd: Discussions of Bioshock: Infinite throughout 2013

The dawn of April, five days after the launch of the Infinite , would mark the beginning of a critical backswing that came to define the game’s place in critical gaming history. An anonymous tumblr post by starburp scathingly criticized the game’s lack of historical context in its usage of racism and black…

September 18th

…Wilcox ponders the depth of the Deux Ex series’ failures in discussing racism.

  • The Indie View: Resistance Isn’t Futile | GamesIndustry.Biz Alexis Kennedy appears again to talk about the public’s role in Valve’s systems.
  • Great Job! You’re fired! | GamesIndustry.Biz Brendan Sinclair regrets that the seeming inevitable place for game developers is unemployment.
  • Displaced by the World

    Although we may alter our surroundings, they affect us as well. Sometimes for the better, sometimes for the worse.

    • The Imaginary Racism of Bioshock Infinite | ZAM Robert Rath takes an in-depth journey through Infinite’s successes and failures in speaking on…

    September 17th

    This was a week of controversies. Since one of the most significant issues this week was a famous Youtuber’s racist outburst, the final section of this roundup comes with a general content warning for discussions of harassment, abuse, racism etc. In the mean time, there are plenty of pieces on other topics to look at this week as well, including narrative technique, sound design, and genre.

    Hitting home

    This roundup begins with two videos that consider the role of sound design in a game’s impact on its players’ emotions and its narrative message.

    • How the song “Undertale” Hits

    Abstract image evoking bird silhouette

    This Year In Videogame Blogging: 2018

    …black-and-white morality of the original comics and drops the villains’ more complex motivations.

    Life is Strange 2

    • Life is Strange 2 works to deconstruct the series’ power fantasy | Unwinnable – Malindy Hetfeld Malindy Hetfeld likes that the latest Life is Strange game embraces the characters’ positions where they lack power despite having super powers. It fits the game’s themes that Daniel’s problems (racism) do not have a quick fix.
    • What Other Games Can Learn From the Racism in Life is Strange 2 | Paste – Natalie Flores Racism is not all loudmouth bigots or white hoods. It…

    April 21st

    …is a required read:

    seriously? you make racism against blacks germaine to the plot of your storyline, but you don’t even do any research to find out what else blacks were up to in 1912, and then you bury our ACTUAL struggle against racism in a hippie dippy “we’re all human” resistance movement turned sour. seriously?

    do you know why you did this? because the black people in this storyline aren’t fucking people. they’re props. literally. they are props. and that’s what i find so fucking offensive about bioshock infinite, is that it makes black people props in a storyline

    June 21st

    …(such as blackface and black minstrelsy). As she points out, some of this may be entirely invisible to those who don’t have to navigate racism in their daily lives:

    My life, my experiences, and the body that I live in makes Cuphead and its artistic style problematic to me because of all that it has come to mean in the last 85 years or so and that’s something that I just can’t let go of. […] The game threatens to draw upon racist caricatures to inform the narrative and give players a series of racism infused bosses and obstructions to

    November 4th

    …start to feel rather bleak or heavy, depending on the week. This week’s offering is presented for the same purpose, but the stakes with this one are a little higher, so I decided to run it under a new heading. I suppose you could also take the angle that both this and last week’s offerings revolve around cocks. I hope you enjoy it.

    • One Twitch Streamer Is Fighting Racism With A Chicken Emote | Kotaku Nathan Grayson documents an ingeniously meme-tastic weapon in the fight against racism on Twitch (Content Notification: racism).

    “The system, which she explained during

    January 12th

    …it’s necessary and instructive for me to remain vigilant that the particular biases baked into the media culture I participate in are racist, sexist, queerphobic, ableist, and otherwise exclusionary. What are the consequences of participating in that culture, even with good intentions? And what are some of the sites of resistance from within that culture? Three authors explore these tensions in very different and necessary ways.

    • My Games, My Music, and My Internalized Racism – Uppercut Monti Velez recounts surviving the pervasive racism of our media culture (content notification for internalized racism, experiences of racist abuse).
    • Video games and

    Discover a Critical Culture

    …culture. And most importantly, Critical Distance made me feel like I could be a part of the conversation, inviting me to participate in its Blogs of the Round Table and submit my work to This Week in Videogame Blogging.

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    Jenn Frank Lana Polansky Zolani Stewart Sex History Labor Racism Bodies Narratives Aesthetics

    Through Critical Distance, I’ve learned about games and sex, games and history, games and labor, games and racism, games and bodies, games and narratives, games and aesthetics. Regardless of whether or not games remain a part of my life for years to come, I know the…