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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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Jenn FrankLana PolanskyZolani StewartSexHistoryLaborRacismBodiesNarrativesAesthetics

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…

August 21st

…the signposts that prompt you always onto the next star system.

  • Errant Signal – Firewatch (Spoilers!) – YouTube (video, auto-captions) A similar focus on presence and ambiguity over clear narrative resolution comes out in the latest Errant Signal video, on Firewatch.
  • “Between pushing environmental stories through found objects and walks through corridors that emphasize hone in distance in geography, the player is constantly getting one clear message: time and space matter”

    No Man’s Kyriarchy

    Back on earth, we have been critiquing gender and bodies as they are portrayed and catered to across games

    April 16th

    …Nick Taylor argues that “getting good” at video games transforms both the mind and body.

    That said, proficiency with games does not just modify how and what we know about them. Proficiency is also an embodied process that works to shape our sensory abilities, our capacities for attention, and our propensities for proprioception – our awareness of our bodies’ internal workings. In other words, the process of getting good is one which alters not just our knowledge of the game — it transforms our bodies.

    …To the Outside In

    Economic and social structures and

    June 25th

    …as shown only through hands, with reference to a GDC talk by Blizzard’s Matt Boehm.


    Female subjectivity and memory have been important themes in some pieces this week; additionally, an important call-out was issued about remembering the designers of game patterns.

    • Maternal Bodies: Interrogating Pregnancy-as-Risk in Orphan Black and Bound – Not Your Mama’s Gamer Bianca Batti brings feminist readings of film, games, and medical practice to bear in yet another great piece blending games studies and science and technology studies.
    • Remember Me – Guide to Games – VICE Video Mike Diver picks…