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January 30th

…who are already making existing material and virtual realities demonstrably more terrible.

  • Making Queer Asiatic Worlds: Performance and Racial Interaction in North American Visual Novels | American Literature | Duke University Press Christopher B. Patterson studies independent queer visual novels as sites of transpacific Asiatic-American cultural blends, utopic attempts to work against anti-Asian racism and American imperialist traumas, and more.
  • “Using theories of performance from Dorinne Kondo and others, the author shows how queer indie visual novels are primarily aspirational, in that they build queer, utopic, and seemingly anti-racist worlds through the Asiatic space of the…

    February 27th

    …next, an interview and a commentary, about making and playing games in wider communities.

    • AN OUTCRY (Developer Interview) – DEEP HELL Skeleton chats with writer and developer Quinn K about fangames, translation, the desire to be heard through one’s work, and their new horror game, An Outcry.
    • It’s a Man’s World of Warcraft – Uppercut Elle Biesemeyer describes how toxic masculinity and abusive behavior permeate the social experience of online worlds (content notifications for racism, slurs, sexual harrassment).

    “Our identities don’t disappear when we enter a video game. Gaming doesn’t provide an escape for

    March 6th


    Ok, that last heading postively creaks under my commitment to the bit, but these next two featured pieces are character studies.

    • Shades Reborn | Bullet Points Monthly Julie Muncy remarks that the the arc of Halo Infinite‘s deuteragonist is poignant, but obfuscated by the series’ heavy dependence on transmedia storytelling.
    • Disco Elysium’s Approach To Racism Is Incredibly Cynical | TheGamer Khee Hoon Chan looks closer at Harry’s character, his privilege, and the implications behind his less-predictable racist outbursts.

    “But perhaps it’s one evidence of Harry’s personality as a shitty, drunk, and definitely

    March 28th

    …world is itself so structurally fraught with her shitty worldview.

  • Do Subalterns Dream of Digital Worlds? | RLS Geneva Pam Punzalan documents the structural barriers and challenges faced by Filipino game workers both domestically and abroad, centering their voices and experiences to do so.
  • “I wanted to juxtapose my experiences with Foster’s to drive three points home. First: the Philippine game worker space exists. Second: Filipino game workers can work at the same caliber as everyone else in the industry. Third: our existence and capabilities are constantly undercut by systematic racism and oppression. The problem instead…

    July 10th

    …producing culturally diverse games without defaulting to racism and appropriation.”

    • Writing for Games: Theory & Practice (Hannah Nicklin) – Emily Short’s Interactive Storytelling Lastly, a review! As friends in the know have told me repeatedly, Emily Short is one of the most vital people to read for anybody interested in learning about the particulars of games writing and narrative design. Here, she reviews an accessible and approachable entry-level guidebook for aspiring games writers, and it was enough to convince me to pick up the book myself.

    “If you’re a newcomer to this field, or…

    This Year in Videogame Blogging: 2022

    …That Systemic Racism Coming Along

    It would be nice to say that 2022 was the year we finally turned a corner on race representation in the games industry, but it’s almost like these problems are structural. Still, there are positives to focus on as well.

    • A Boy Is A Gun | First Person Scholar Oluwatayo Adewole unpacks how white western constructions of binary gender are weaponized against Black bodies–both cis and trans–in videogames as well as wider popular media.
    • Towards intersectional and transcultural analysis in the examination of players and game fandoms | Critical Studies in

    February 19th

    …| Kotaku Carolyn Petit gives Hogwarts Legacy an opportunity to speak for itself, and finds that it faithfully adapts J.K. Rowling’s myopic worldview regardless of her involvement.

    “It’s shortsighted, it’s centrist, it’s crushingly ordinary, the same way that forces like racism and transphobia are the most ordinary, tiresome things in the world. If there’s any real magic in the world, it lies in the ability to see that we don’t need these things, that they hold us all back, and that if we all want it badly enough and fight for it and leave behind the ones…

    April 2nd

    …labour, and academic game studies itself.

    • The Magic Circle (The Magic Is Racism) | press.exe Talen Lee asks whether it’s games that are uncreative or just the fundamental whiteness of early game studies theorists.
    • Idle Threat: What Incremental Games Say about Our Relationship to Work | Paste Emily Price pokes at the contradictions of the ironically named idle genre and its recent mutuations.
    • Legacy of Gay-n | KRITIQAL Jessica Hill locates the queer gothic in the winding tale of Raziel and Kain.

    “With its mix of flowery dialogue, elaborate metaphor, and obsessive passion,

    June 4th

    …To Prove Video Games Are Good | Kotaku Alyssa Mercante talks to Dr. Rachel Kowert about the things games have to teach us beyond the popular headlines of violence and addiction.

  • There’s a Natural Progression: An Interview with Wales Interactive | Unwinnable Elijah Beahm sits down with a pair of architects behind an FMV games renaissnace.
  • Meet The Brilliant Scholar Challenging Racism In Game Design | Kotaku Carolyn Petit chats with Dr. Kishonna Gray about the white supremacist ideologies encoded into our media, and the work of imagining better worlds through games.
  • “Too often, Gray…

    June 18th

    …tale of a seminal sports game inextricable from its origin as a tailor-made artifact and outcome of racialized American celebrity.

    “When I started to write this article, I thought my hypothesis might be that the very process of training the audience’s focus on the microscopic and momentary gestures within the “magic circle” was as a magician’s misdirect, leading us to fixate on trees with an intensity that blinds us to the forest. But I fear that this game is not wrong in its own stereotype of (white) Americans as generally huge fans of racism, that that might…