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March 6th

…indie game devs are using games to explore their queer identity | Gayming Magazine Eliana Zebro talks to developers making the characters and stories they want to see themselves in.

  • Are browser games a way for LGBTQ+ bodies and desires to resist being policed? | Gayming Magazine Kylie Noble talks to developers and artists working outside the corporate walled gardens in an increasingly reationary social climate.
  • “Browser games permit a degree of deviation from the policing of LGBT lives and desires, but in the end, corporations and States still yield massive power and influence.”

    April 3rd

    …us think about ourselves and our selves, as players, as bodies, as travellers, as people.

    • ELDEN | DEEP HELL Skeleton is writing a travelogue of Limgrave, which we featured previously, but since this is also a living, weekly-updating document, we’re checking in this week to see what Jack’s been up to.
    • Bloodborne PSX creator explains why the original is “so transgender” | Gayming Magazine Juniper-C chats with Bloodborne PSX dev Lilith Walther about her homage to a game she positions as fundamentally about unravelling the class and identity baggage of gothic horror.
    • Die, Retrieve, Repeat, Succeed

    May 22nd

    …Ruminations on Ruin

    Next up, we’ve got two pieces making sense of two new games that centre around abandoned urban spaces, be it the run-down ruins in Kirby and the Forgotten Land or the more recent rapturing in Ghostwire: Tokyo.

    • Cutest Apocalypse Ever: Kirby and the Forgotten Land — Gamers with Glasses Christian Haines meditates on the lessons we can take from the Kirbocalypse.
    • Built on Bodies | Bullet Points Monthly Andrew Kiya meditates on Tokyo’s relentless, neoliberal pursuit of gentrification, lightly allegorized–inadvertently or no–by Ghostwire‘s core conceit.

    “Buried beneath layers of concrete

    May 29th

    …occasional shopkeeps).

    “It is easy to strip agency from a being you do not consider even there. Tokyo was once the domain of those whose clothes now litter the streets. Few acknowledged the existence of something beyond the tangible. The few that did, like KK and his fellow investigator Rinko, fight to preserve a way of life, if not an entirely balanced one. Lack of acknowledgement is poor inoculation for that which seeks little else than to reclaim the city now that its keepers are reduced to floating blue bodies. But the truth is that it is…

    August 1st

    …survives a frostbitten Canadian wilderness while surviving a sweltering London heatwave, and reflects on the catharsis of games which externalize and literalize our ever-dwindling bodily resources and needs.

    “My takeaway was that it’s draining having an invisible illness and communicating that experience to others — thrusting the boringness onto them, like listening to a song through a wall, hearing about somebody else’s useless dream, or spending all this energy convincing other bodies that this body is real. And I found it suddenly, blatantly, exciting and meaningful to see a character’s health visualised in stats on the screen…

    August 28th

    …to drop the baggage, branch out, and come into their own.

  • ‘BattleTech Advanced 3062’ Is a Massive and Beautifully Cruel Mod | VICE Renata Price tabulates the cost of war in bleeding bodies, broken bones, and the ever-present siren song of optimization.
  • “I, a human woman with blood and bones, do not know what it feels like for an axle to break, but I do know how it feels when a shoulder is torn from its socket. The slow violence of vehicle combat becomes intelligible through a mostly human body.”

    Pale and Paradise

    October 2nd

    …gold leaf before being dropped in our waiting hands.”

    Even Bigger

    And then there’s Fortnite, where that’s almost the point.

    • WETWARE – DEEP HELL Skeleton has been playing Fortnite.

    “Fortnite embraces the disconnect from reality to cater to larger and more niche audiences simultaneously as it grows. The bodies of the children who lose in Fornite don’t pile up in Lazy Lagoon. But the origins remain intact. Fear is a weapon and Fortnite’s weaponization of our limited…

    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

    …game, holds food as memory, holds fast to the way that the circumstances around food can enhance the ingrained qualities of it. It is a game preoccupied with bodies and community, and for a summer, it forced me to consider the way that food is one chain in the link between the two, and the ways in which that can be magnified tenfold.”

    Legacy Content

    Now let’s shift gears from looking forward to backward as two authors evaluate the critical legacies of a game and a developer, respectively.

    • Dear Esther | The Almighty Backlog Ellie…

    April 2nd

    …chats with Rhianna Pratchett about narrative design, dadification, ludonarrative dissonance, and more.

  • When Controllers Speak: The Narrative Benefit to Controller Features like Built-In Speakers | Paste Phoenix Simms recounts the narrative and creative affordances of controller speakers, from the Wii Remote onward.
  • “Any time a controller’s features have successfully been used as a tool in games, it forces us to think about the relationship between bodies, technology, and the meanings made from interacting with the audiovisuals on screen.”

    In Theory

    Here we’ve got a selection of more formalistic approaches, investigating the queer gothic,