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January 10th

…horrors unthinkable.

“Some people can see the worst shit imaginable, and just want things to be like how they used to be. Paradise Killer understands that, and drives it home by leaving you frustrated on the shores of a dying island, while LD goes on to get whatever she has coming on the next island. The sheriff is back in town, and a new Council will rise. Soon no one will remember the bodies left behind. Everything will go back to normal.”

Monsters, Think

We’ve got two insightful selections this week examining monsters and

January 31st

…and Nopes

Archetypes and stereotypes feature in our next section, as two authors look at representational tropes–one kinda cool, one very not cool–and situate them in a wider framework of how we perceive and associate bodies and practices.

  • (Since nobody else is talking about it,) The Fat Mockery in Resident Evil 8 Extremely Sucks – No Escape Kaile Hultner breaks down why there’s value and importance in critiquing the highly fatphobic depiction of The Duke even in a series already so fraught with harmful stereotypes.
  • The Domestic Masculinity of Helltaker | Sidequest Jay Szpilka contemplates the

February 14th

…women’s bodies, are framed and mediated in games.

  • Objectification vs Attraction in Video Games | CGMagazine Mary Gushie evaluates the stakes at play in altering some of the more objectifying camera work in the Mass Effect remasters.
  • Other Flesh | Bullet Points Monthly Molly Zara-Esther Bloch describes how 2077‘s ‘braindances’ are an uncritical and transmisogynistic echo of an already fraught cyberpunk trope caught up in colonial flesh tourism.
  • Hunie Poppin’ Ladies: This Dating Sim Should Be Offensive, and Why I Love It So Much | Sidequest Cathryn Sinjin-Starr finds a lot to love about the headline-grabbing

February 21st

…the articles! They’re good.

  • What’s Cookin’?: Cooked With Love Brings Being a Messy College Queer to Life Through Food – Uppercut Ty Galiz-Rowe considers a relatable culinary chaos in Cooked With Love.
  • Nier Automata and The Queer Experience of Its Bushes | Gayming Magazine Trevor Richardson unpacks the queer allegorical ramifications of those gods-damned bushes.

“There is no canonical explanation for why the YoRHa androids’ powerful bodies don’t plow through the foliage unfettered. However, their antagonistic relationship to the fauna speaks to an incompatibility with the world they are thrust into; only deepening the

February 28th

…Debunking The Myth That Lara Croft’s Design Was The Result Of A Bug | TheGamer Ruth Cassidy puts to rest a longstanding urban legend and shines a light on a participatory culture that can’t ever seem to stop talking about women’s bodies.

  • The history of Snake: How the Nokia game defined a new era for the mobile industry | It’s Nice That Ayla Angelos chronicles the design history and design legacy of mobile gaming’s first real killer app.
  • “Snake was a milestone moment for the mobile gaming industry, and much of what we see today can…

    August 22nd

    …we look at our bodies and ourselves. Maybe we want a little mutilation: maybe we want more videogames where the only violence we commit is finally against ourselves. We’ll joke that we wished videogames tackled more serious issues and then everyone’s writing scathing manifesto’s about a game that looks like a pixar cartoon for having a serious element as a plot point.”

    Axes of Access

    Our next two featured authors this week tackle accessibility questions in games past and present, both specifically and multiply, looking at the strides we’ve made so far and the progress we should…

    May 16th

    …of collapse in Dear Future and elsewhere.

    “This is the part of Dear Future that lingers with me. Not the particulars of its mechanics, its design, the allegories it invokes and implies. I just remember what it feels like to hold the camera. To momentarily feel safe, a tourist. Chronicling everything.”

    Spirit Willing

    Here we’ve got two approaches to bodies and embodiment, as they relate to play, power, work, and rule.

    • The Body Impolitic Nick Capozzoli contemplates the embodiment–player, political, literal, allegorical–of rule in Crusader Kings III.
    • Neither Snow, Rain, nor…

    May 30th

    …the Past Jack Orchard studies the historical affective piety and religious self-harm–as well as their misogynistic elements–which inform and contextualize the art, architecture, and story world of Blasphemous (content notifications here for dead bodies, and references to self-harm and sexual violence).

  • ABSOLUTELY NOT | DEEP HELL Max Astrophel uses notable very bad TTRPG F.A.T.A.L. as a spirngboard to discuss our cultural fascination with bad media, and bad games in particular (content notification for several mentions of rape and sexual-assault-derived jokes in the game).
  • “Games have always had a bit of a different relationship to Shitty Art…

    Aaron Trammell | Keywords in Play, Episode 12

    …to play a game like that to the very end, where the brutal pain of flagellation, you know, right, like, is being experienced. And so, I think that’s a good example that speaks against it in one of its most sort of, like horrific and troubling forms, but also, speaks to the way discipline, right, and apparatuses, that discipline also, discipline our bodies, discipline our subjectivities, discipline, our worldviews and a variety of ways to normalize and experience things that, that otherwise, we wouldn’t. So, I think that’s part of the story, right? Like it’s historical games like ‘hide the…

    September 26th

    …endings and death.

    “So you play in the graveyard, in the twilight of a once vibrant civilization, one that once lived and died. And you struggle vainly against the natural decomposition of the Final End. “The light and darkness saga will end … Destiny 2 will not,” remember. Your unnatural, inhuman bodies will continue to twirl and frolic through the dark, cycling through nonsensical emotes, casting yourselves off ledges and into canyons while your anxious ghosts hurriedly suck you back into corporeal existence.”


    Deltarune‘s latest chapter dropped a short while ago, and the