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January 14th

…unpacks the digital patterns of antiblackness in games which continue to oppress and imperil Black lives in real life.

“So necropolitics continues to help us understand the targeted ways that Black bodies experience death in both physical and digital spaces. These systems of social control extend far beyond the physical spaces of jails and prisons, and these practices underscore how carcerality is embedded in and sustained by a range of processes and dynamics, including creating stereotypical characters (Blackness as criminal), the limiting of the Black expression in games (Blackness as the help or sidekick), and the devaluing…

March 10th

…connectivity to a Bluetooth buttplug changes this. In playing games, we distribute ourselves across the virtual world, bringing our bodies along, inescapable from the politics of being. These bodies might be abled, disabled, a victim of systems of oppression or a beneficiary of them, or even a gleeful enabler of them. In pornographic games the presence of the player’s own sexual body takes on even greater significance. Adult games function only when our bodies are present in every way a body can be present: physically, actively, and sensually. That this sensual interaction pushes players towards a more symbiotic relationship to…

January 20th

…UK and Australia exclusive Dead Island statuette titled “Zombie Bait,” which features a dismembered female torso presented to prospective buyers as a “conversation piece” for one’s desk. Many writers and outlets took issue with the design, especially in light of Dead Island‘s troubled history.

On Gameranx, Jenn “Tweets About Torsos” Frank reminds readers that the statuette follows on the heels of a long history of depersonalizing the sexualization of women’s bodies:

Stop right there. Stop in your tracks. No. Wrong. No, we would never do this to a male torso. Maybe some of us would like George

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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 19th

This Week in Videogame Blogging is brought to you by Zach Alexander.

The Arcade Review is highly recommended. Pay a few bucks for more great games criticism!

From The Definitely-Not-A-Cylon Dept

Over at Gamechurch as part of their “Discomfort” week, Mark Filipowich discusses how bodies – filthy human organics! – are portrayed in games.

On Kill Screen, Paul King examines body horror. And over at IndieStatik, Chris Priestman examines a war game where injuries aren’t healed by hiding behind a corner.

In other news about Bodies, Dave Cook examines the working conditions under which

March 29th

…did plenty of interesting writing. Let’s start with Austin Walker’s “Cop Out“, which takes Hardline to task in an incredibly thoughtful review:

And so Battlefield Hardline speaks to our context, too (whether or not that’s what the developers would like). It speaks a politics even as it flails in the single player campaign, desperate to avoid saying anything about the dead black boy on the pavement—about 75 unarmed black bodies on the ground. It flails in the multiplayer, eager to wave aside any critiques of police militarization. It flails and flails and flails. And the flailing is the

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September 6th

I keep writing and deleting these intros, which is telling me that perhaps I’m overdue for sleep. I just couldn’t tear my eyes away from all the fresh words of this week’s roundup! So let’s get right into it. It’s This Week in Videogame Blogging!

Bodies and Background

At The Mary Sue, the alliterative Maddy Myers invites us to talk about Hot Ryu, the fandom nickname given to an alternate costume for franchise mainstay Ryu in the upcoming Street Fighter V, and how his treatment differs from the sexual objectification we often associate with women characters:

November 15th

…hack the existing setup to make it work.

Oh, did you know that Carl Sagan, who would have been 81 on Nov. 9, dabbled in game design? Here’s Alex Wawro discussing “a rough design document” Sagan developed for a videogame version of his novel Contact (which was also adapted as a criminally underrated movie -ed).

And congrats to Brendan Keogh who released his finished PhD thesis online, which is “about videogames, what bodies do with them, and what they do with bodies.”


While short, I hope you found this week’s selection uncovered gems that…

March 6th

Critical writing can often be about reminding the reader of something that had been pushed to the back of one’s mind. You have a body. You are looking at this through a screen. You are not completely in control of events. You are reading This Week in Videogame Blogging.

Don’t forget to sit up straight

Writers are getting into their bodies, especially their bums, whether that’s by keeping them planted firmly in gaming chairs or having them sprayed with glitter at opulent parties.

  • Playing the Player: On Cibele and Superhot Brendan Keogh discusses recent games

Discover a Critical Culture

…and our broader culture. And most importantly, Critical Distance made me feel like I could be a part of the conversation, inviting me to participate in its Blogs of the Round Table and submit my work to This Week in Videogame Blogging.

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Through Critical Distance, I’ve learned about games and sex, games and history, games and labor, games and racism, games and bodies, games and narratives, games and aesthetics. Regardless of whether or not games remain a part of my life for years to come, I know the insights of writers featured…