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October 31st

…of ‘bigotry’. So when they’re talking about ‘expectations of the self’ and ‘things that are just a little bit off’, there’s no darker than pale-beige image associated with what’s right and normal.”

At PopMatters, G Christopher Williams examines ‘Fallout: the scrounging simulator’, for what its teaching kids and adults alike about the benefits of frugality in these tough economic times. Staying with the PopMatters crew for the moment, and Fallout: New Vegas, Rick Dakan looks at ‘Sex Workers and Sex Slavery in Fallout: New Vegas’:

For all its bugginess and slightly outdated graphics and stiff animations, this

Abstract image evoking bird silhouette

June 16th

…its problematic ‘More is better‘ approach: “What can be seen as “normal” amounts of masturbation? As compared to men?”

Anna Anthropy also had something to say about its notions of sex positivity, and the cissexism of equating women with vaginas.

look through the infographics on the game’s page. look at how masturbation is being framed. “46.6% of women masturbate less than once a month every year. gals, you can do better!” the way to overcome shame is definitely not to shame women for what they don’t do with their bodies. there’s this unfortunate idea of “sex positivity”

January 11th

Cara Ellison continues her S.EXE column at Rock, Paper, Shotgun with an in-depth look at 1988’s Romantic Encounters at the Dome. Ellison applauds it as a sex game that actually targets adults, rather than a series of dick jokes, and admires its rough edges that capture a slice of late eighties life:

This is really a man’s fantasy of what a woman wants from a man -– and my mind does these strange backflips. It is probably one of the most interesting sex scenes I’ve played through, apart from Coming Out On Top of course. It’s

Dark Souls

…and societal gatekeeping, and the ‘the ‘canon’ of human experiences’

So when I say that ‘sex is like Dark Souls,’ I also mean ‘Dark Souls is like sex,’ in that there is a culture of acceptance… in how we talk about certain experiences as being either universal or ‘should be universal.’

.In “I Can’t Take This: Dark Souls, Vulnerability, and the Ethics of Networks”, Matthew Kelly asks “how the gameplay mechanics of Dark Souls actively inhabits and manipulates the unique ethical dimensions of an always-on, always-interconnected cultural paradigm.”

“Each message persists like an orange-hued

August 12th

…game cultures, including a landmark piece of reporting breaking open the problems at one major workplace.

  • Inside The Culture Of Sexism At Riot Games | Kotaku Content warning: sexual harassment, workplace abuse Cecilia D’Anastasio investigates company culture at Riot, not only reporting on horrifying stories of sexism and harassment, but also unpicking what constitutes the idea of culture in a workplace such as this.
  • Want to yell like a real chef in Overcooked 2? These restaurant workers share how | The OP Ana Valens researches workplace culture in restaurants, and how it is represented in a

Assassin’s Creed II

…at no point is he himself sexualized in a visual manner. Surrounded by women with ample cleavage and varying courtesans, his sexuality becomes a matter of performance.” To “win” his sexual conquests, Ezio must time and again “prove his virility” by successfully completing challenges posed by the (female) object of his desire. But as players discover, Ezio is no courtesan: he rarely displays learned or gallant mannerisms. In Farr’s estimation, Ezio’s strong revenge motive encourages players to gloss over his uncouth ways with women, and buy into the “performance model of sex” prevalent in AC2.

Ezio may have stolen…

This Year in Videogame Blogging: 2020

…as Hades.

  • Is Madeline Canonically Trans?. Well, yeah, of course she is. | Medium Maddy Thorson talks about how Madeline’s, and her own, transness became more clear to her during and after working on Celeste.
  • We Need More Stories of Trans Happiness | Gayming Magazine (Content warning: transphobia) Astrid Johnson gives an overview of some recent examples of trans representation in games, including The Last of Us 2, Night in the Woods, and, infamously Cyberpunk 2077.
  • Pride Week: Towards more speculative sex | (Content warning: brief descriptions of sex acts) Noting that games have been a…
  • February 21st

    • Little Nightmares II and the Case of Weak Imagery | Unwinnable Amanda Hudgins finds tedium in Little Nightmares II‘s commitment to the grotesque.
    • For Women in Games, You Can Be a Mother or a Daughter | Video Game Choo Choo Rose finds that all too often even the most celebrated women characters in games have their stories defined by their relationships to the men in their lives.
    • The Consensual Hallucination | Bullet Points Monthly Astrid Anne Rose examines Cyberpunk 2077‘s juvenile, yet sanitized and ultimately hollow approach to sex, sexuality, and sex work.

    Pixel Vixen 707, Part 1

    …at a plastic instrument, her punk rock days, and praises the game for finally giving her a chance to play a decent female character. She writes, “Rock Band isn’t a rock instrument simulator: it’s a rock experience simulator. It creates a democratic fantasy: unheard of in RL: where every race, creed and sex can share the stage.” Such musings were both a reflection of the role Rachael was intended to be, the ultimate gamer girl, and the difficulties of how to present such a concept. In a medium dominated by male empowerment fantasies that constantly objectifies and hypersexualizes women, how…

    July 24th

    …and knows how to get it, she is a woman who is cable of manipulation and skilful manoeuvring, and thus as a result is a woman who does not prostrate herself before the wills of others, least of all men. She is neither pliable nor biddable, and she is also not in the game as a sex object. Unable to fulfil the masculinist fantasy of a bobbleheaded fawning yes-woman and sex toy, she immediately becomes the target of their rage, and the rage of women eager to impress men and prove to them that they aren’t “like that.”