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bodies

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,

    June 18th

    …that experience forward to Tears of the Kingdom.

  • The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom Succeeds in Portraying a Post-Apocalyptic World Worth Saving | Uppercut Ty Galiz-Rowe compares worldbuilding approaches between the optimistic Hyrule and the pessimistic Lands Between.
  • “Elden Ring succeeds in depicting a world that has been devastated by the beings in power, but leaves its setting so hostile and barren that choosing to destroy it all feels like putting bodies on a funeral pyre.”

    Low Tech, Highlight

    There’s admittedly almost nothing in common between these next two selections other

    July 2nd

    …This segment highlights the materiality of hardware platforms and media formats, which have in many ways grown up and proliferated alongside videogames. Information needs a body, even in the era of digital distribution, but we forget the information bodies this fast-moving industry leaves behind at our own peril.

    • A Chronology of First CD-ROM Games | CD-ROM Journal Misty De Méo points out that Myst was not only not the first CD-ROM game, it wasn’t even the first CD-ROM game from Cyan!
    • Ghost Trick: Phantom Detective review: new life for a DS cult classic | Polygon Jay Castello

    July 23rd

    …that without change, accessibility in Nintendo games will remain accidental | Eurogamer.net Geoffrey Bunting excavates the layers of Nintendo’s all-ages, yet bullish and insular design culture.

  • Tears of the Kingdom’s ending is its own kind of tragedy | Polygon Jay Castello links TOTK‘s status quo-resetting resolution back to an overall series maintaining a thematic holding pattern.
  • “What Tears of the Kingdom ultimately says about bodies is that in a neat, happy ending, they can only exist one way. Prosthetics, scars, or deliberate modifications are blemishes that must be erased in the same sweep as the Demon…

    This Year in Videogame Blogging: 2023

    …a lot of remade videogames in the past handful of years.

    These remakes range from simple graphical remasters to fully-rebuilt worlds. Are they labors of love, cynical cash-grabs or something else entirely? These pieces get to the bottom of that question.

    • Your Brain is Made of Meat | Bullet Points Monthly Julie Muncy conceives of the original Dead Space as more fixated on dead bodies than living people, and sees productive dissonances in the remake now that Isaac Clarke has found his voice.
    • It Eats Entire Planets | Patreon Samantha Greer gets to the heart of

    February 18th

    …Bio-awareness in Cyberpunk | Uppercut Phoenix Simms unpacks the ways in which Solace State embodies a more affective turn in cyberpunk stories.

    “Like Citizen Sleeper and Paradise Killer before it, Solace State is part of a new tradition of games reorienting cyberpunk themes’ focus back to the sanguine and emotional human body and its inherent, threatened autonomy. These titles force us to consider how our bodies are not just passively acted upon in a techno-dystopia, but dynamically reacting to that world state right down to the level of our cells.”

    Flashback

    Now let’s look

    February 25th

    …of long-neglected gem Earth Defense Fo– oh, sorry, not that one.

    “Seeing your or your buddies’ bodies flying through the air is de rigueur. It’s like co-starring as one of the many troopers to be overwhelmed or dismembered in Starship Troopers, or, maybe, like being invited up on stage to be devoured by GWAR. Come to think of it, I wouldn’t mind more scumdogs, hell worms, and thrash metal in Helldivers 2.“

    Time Compression

    Here we have a series of pieces which alternately harmonize and juxtapose games as we re-encounter them at different stages

    May 26th

    …Ashley Bardhan finds that a great deal of videogame adaptations (and game-like films) falter when they elevate action above all else.

  • THEATRE OF THE MILLIONSTAR. ENTERTAINMENT FICTION. | GlitchOut Oma Keeling on bodies, performance, spectacle.
  • “They consider the differences smoking outside the theatre one night, each distinction they draw there’s a frame they can think of to make it so that really they’re the same. No distinction. No need to separate. Entertainment fictions. They finish their smoke and head back inside.”

    All by Design

    Next we’ve got a selection of pieces approaching different