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zolani stewart

January 12th

…difficulties in writing interactive fiction.

Mark Filipowich wrote some of his thoughts on games writing and community involvement with links to quite a few other writers’ pieces and their responses to the current situation from Patreon to creating new games writing outlets.

Zolani Stewert launched the first issue of the Arcade Review, a digital magazine focusing on criticism of experimental games. It includes pieces by Line Hollis, Lana Polansky, Alex Pieschel and Zolani Stewart himself. Also, Objective Game Reviews launched while we were away. Finally, a site that gives nothing but truly objective reviews of video games.

Abstract image evoking bird silhouette

December 6th

Hello Everyone, this is Zolani taking over for Kris on This Week in Videogame Blogging. Let’s get to it!

Big Box

Aevee Bee wrote two stellar pieces of writing on Destiny this week, one of them is a series of mini-reviews on the game’s flavour text, the other a longer piece on what makes Destiny curious and interesting as a massive budget title.

Over at Kotaku, Patricia Hernandez does well articulating Fallout 4’s struggle between its role-playing roots and its streamlining towards action-game systems. At the Mary Sue, Bryan Cebulski makes recommendations of literature for Fallout

September 16th



Damien McFerran’s Crippled by Nostalgia: The Fraud of Retro Gaming. He asks if it’s the gameplay that makes hardcore gamers go back to vintage games or something else? Hint: He posits it might be something else.

Carol Borden’s The Plague of the White Knight. After playing Max Payne 3, Bioshock 2 and Halo 3 she is tired of the trope of the “White Knight Savior” and the “Save The Cheerleader, Save The World” goal of storytelling so prevalent in games.

Zolani Stewart’s An Exploration of “Whore of The Orient.” “Context is everything,” he begins…

February 24th

…“yes, and” level:

[L]ongform improv comedy involves actors cooperating to “find the game” — to find the core of a joke. Each actor makes “offers” to expand upon a premise and move action forward, hopefully toward a funny destination, and usually, actors err on always accepting offers (“saying yes”) and building upon it since “blocking” offers frustrates your scene partners. However, it’s very possible to “say yes” to a premise while still “blocking” the “game.”

Finding himself lost in a non-Euclidean alternate universe not of his own design, Corporal Zolani Stewart transmits a few notes on nature…

April 21st

…purest nature and that we need to strive to make games that represent this limits what we can do with games.


Who was Nintendo’s most recent 3DS Direct for? It wasn’t for you, says Jon Irwin, who believes Nintendo is stuck in a generation gap.

Over on Bit Creature, Zolani Stewart explores Mirror’s Edge as an aesthetic wasteland. And at Shut Up and Sit Down, Mark Wallace broaches the topic of licensed board games, good or evil?

On Gamasutra, Mark Slabinski furnishes us with a heady list of games exemplifying Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi’s concept…

July 28th

…sides of the argument to Company of Heroes 2‘ depiction of Russia and the Russian Army during World War II.

Nick Dinicola, on his PopMatter column, decides to take a closer look at Aliens: Colonial Marines and finds it a fascinating lesson in how to make a bad game.

Austin C Howe on his blog Haptic Feedback reads into the original Metal Gear Solid as a Postmodernism masterpiece.

Zolani Stewart looks at the meaningful design of Aaron Steed’s Ending.

Kyle Derkson at Push Select Magazine calls courage the weakest link in the Triforce.

Rich Stanton…

September 22nd

…to privileged members of post-industrial nations, leaving the rest of the world out in the cold.

Liz Ryerson has reproduced her talk from the No Show conference, which serves as a response to both Darius Kazemi’s “Fuck Videogames” as well as the recent discussion over Zimmerman’s manifesto.

Bright spark Zolani Stewart pens an interesting exploration of an oncoming wave of “post-gun” game design. Elsewhere on Polygon, L. Rhodes characterizes the recent Penny Arcade Expo furor as existing on a much larger time scale.

Now for a bit of history. Everyone has heard the story of chess champion…

December 15th

…as such often excludes and obscures a much broader and diverse spectrum.


On Medium, Liza Daly provides a great analysis of games as fulfilling jobs the same as (or different from) many other diversions.

Elsewhere, on Higher Level Gamer, doctoral student Erik Bigras shares the interesting tale of the collective worlds built among his colleagues in Minecraft, all of which explore interesting takes on geometry, architecture, and efficiency. And on his personal blog, Canadian critic Zolani Stewart offers a fantastic textual analysis of how Mortal Kombat 4‘s level design reflects isolation.

Basic Human Decencies

January 19th

…is one of asymmetrical warfare, possibly meant to teach a common language of tactics much like we use sports metaphors today. Christian Nutt mulls on the toys we played with as kids and did the influence they had on us.

Owen Vince talks about Skyrim and “living by the sword”. And Zolani Stewart does a critical Let’s Play of an older FPS: Perfect Dark.

Tony Wilson dares to imagine Gone Home with guns. Amsel von Spreckelsen talks about portrayals of “psychopaths” in games. And at The Escapist, Rob Rath on Job, The Outsider and Dishonored.


February 2nd

Delicious friends, how glad I am to see you! Come closer, take a look around. I have brought you the finest in games writing, hand-picked for your enjoyment.

Try a bite! It’s This Week In Videogame Blogging.

The Formalisms of Discussing Formalism

“Across Worlds and Bodies: Criticism in the Age of Video Games,” Brendan Keogh’s call for more close readings in the Journal of Games Criticism continues to make waves. Lana Polanski and Zolani Stewart discuss the kyriarchal structures of academia at length in this untitled podcast, while Mattie Brice weighs in with her own