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jenn frank

March 4th

…does that just HAPPEN to someone? Damn you, Goodwin!

You may have heard a bit about what Jenn Frank has dubbed the IGF “scene drama.” (And in the event that you haven’t, there is your link.) Kill Screen’s Filipe Salgado went one further and interviewed a number of Pirate Kart participants to hear their perspectives, straight from the source.

But the article of the week unquestionably goes to W, the pseudonymous Iraq veteran whose grim account of their combat experience shook up the ludodecahedron when it appeared in Medium Difficulty’s premiere issue this week. In it, W describes…

May 6th

(End trigger warning section.)

Nightmare Mode’s Alois Wittwer remarks on tall poppy syndrome and our fondness for “elevating” games to films. And Unwinnable’s Jenn Frank provides us with the most delightful non-review-review of indie dev Anna Anthropy’s Rise of the Videogame Zinesters:

Anthropy’s real mission is only this: a more perfect world, one in which everyone can build a videogame. Maybe these games will be unedited and jejune and a little bit broken, as zines themselves often are, but that’s supposed to be the allure. The games will be authentic, these experiential snapshots, the works

May 27th

…The game is now about performance, in more ways than one.

And you may have heard that a certain long-awaited game starting with D and ending in -iablo 3 was finally released recently. Kill Screen’s Yannick LeJacq reflects how the Diablo series puts the agony in games of agon: “When I start to get exhausted, when bolts of pain shoot through my knuckles and up my arm, I have to remind myself that this is a game about hell.” Elsewhere, Unwinnable’s Jenn Frank thinks the game is just too gosh-darn cute:

In playing Diablo III, I…

July 15th

…what it means and applying it.

Speaking of auteur, the Eurogamer has a look at Chris Crawford and the hard times he’s had ever since his infamous Dragon Speech in ’92 that signified him leaving the industry.

Simon Ferrari has finally put up new content on his blog, this time in the form of a new podcast “The Review” (which apparently wasn’t a name being used by anyone) with himself and Charles Pratt talking about a single game. The inaugural episode is them talking about Spelunky.

And finally, for Unwinnable, Jenn Frank’s “I was a Teenage Sexist.”…

September 23rd

…at which the walls stop coming.

Exegesis creates the same difficulty. We should make every effort to determine a creator’s intentions. But we should not make the mistake of ever thinking that we can know them perfectly.

Luke Rhodes is continuing his series of interviews with some big figures of the ludodecahedron (and me, for some odd reason). The latest in the interview chair is industry vet, current Unwinnable regular contributor Jenn Frank, and it’s definitely a must-read.

Next, a couple pieces that defy easy categorization. First, Richard Cobbett has kicked off his series of articles…

December 2nd

…an unexpected paratextual gutpunch while going through the game’s campaign missions.


Brendan Keogh’s Killing is Harmless: A Critical Reading of Spec Ops: The Line released last week to generally enthusiastic response. Now Keogh brings us a roundup of some early and very worthy reviews of his book, acknowledging what his critique does and doesn’t accomplish.


At Unwinnable, Jenn Frank pens this emotional introspection on her work in games, the death of her mother, hanging on and letting go. Also worth reading is this very valuable B-side.

Daniel Starkey pays…

This Year In Video Game Blogging 2012

…Changer” for Bitch Magazine listing down the biggest of sexism clusterfucks of the year.

Our own Katie Williams details her experience with a PR rep at E3 and her desire to simply be allowed to play and do her job.

Maddy Myers waded into the Boston fighting game scene to learn and improve and found a bastion of sexism and unwelcoming atmosphere at every turn.

Cara Ellison repurposes Ginsberg’s poem Hadda Be Playing on the Jukebox into Romero’s Wives.

Sometimes sexism is so ingrained that you bring it to bear against yourself as Jenn Frank describes…

April 7th

…their AAA stigma. The one and only anna anthropy also posted a write-up of her dys4ia post-partum and other talks given at GDC. Elsewhere, Dennis Kogel conducted an interview with anthropy for

Bit Creature’s Jason Johnson looks back at some of the indie titles he encountered during the conference. In a similar vein, Jenn Frank played That Dragon, Cancer at the Unwinnable Salon the closing night of GDC, and reflects powerfully on the game’s subject matter.

Responding to recent controversies about hired models at GDC parties, Jason Killingsworth invites us to look at it from a different…

Abstract image evoking bird silhouette

April 28th

…problematic power relations in maintaining this kind of imagery solely for the spectacle of male, heterosexual audiences.

Christian Nutt and Christian Walters have expanded on the silliness of making homosexuality the punchline over on Gamasutra and Gay Gamer respectively.

On Unwinnable, Jenn Frank notes how frequently such discussions of sexualized design and male gaze vilify the female body.

When we talk about character design, we might even use words like distorted, exaggerated, fantastical, grotesque, fetishism, comical parody, somebody please cover her up. Abnormal. Unnatural. And “distracting” – that’s a major one. God, her breasts are so

Abstract image evoking bird silhouette

June 2nd

…the kids call it (note: don’t call it that).

Meanwhile, on Kotaku, Leigh Alexander presents us with a satirical take on the Xbone’s dead paradigm.


On the original and still very best Brainy Gamer, Michael Abbott offers some much-needed perspective on the so-called creatively limiting trappings of genre. Specifically, that genre can also be a format by which to creatively flourish.

The second Tropes vs Women in Games video is out, continuing Anita Sarkeesian’s analysis of the Damsel in Distress trope. On Medium, Jenn Frank expounds on Sarkeesian’s statement that we can still enjoy…