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September 25th

…about life under China’s somewhat esoteric economic structure.

“Indie Play feels like the Chinese IGF, where game makers meet each other and the people interested in their craft. This event also helps game makers ask for guidance and help, in a country where laws and procedures can change at any moment.”

The Iron Curtain

Turning to the past, we look at games that portray the post-WWII era, each on different sides of the iron curtain.

  • L.A. Noire – History Respawned A new episode of History Respawned looks at LA Noire and…

Emilie Reed | Keywords in Play Podcast, Episode 2


“Keywords in Play” is an interview series about game research supported by Critical Distance and the Digital Games Research Association.

In this episode we speak to Emilie Reed. Emilie is a recent PhD graduate researching the history of displaying videogames in museums and other arts contexts. Her academic background includes art history, museum studies and creative writing. She is interested in creating exhibitions which highlight overlooked elements of the history and artistic practice behind videogames, and developing more experimental approaches to game criticism.

As a joint venture, “Keywords in Play” expands Critical

May 16th

…of the uncertain boundaries between histories, games, formal structures, and player experiences.

  • Actual history doesn’t take place: Digital Gaming, Accuracy and Authenticity | Game Studies Eve Stirling and Jamie Wood explore the fuzzy and contested boundaries between historical accuracy in games, authenticity, and player experience.
  • Collections: Teaching Paradox, Europa Universalis IV, Part I: State of Play – A Collection of Unmitigated Pedantry Bret Devereaux, as part of a longer series towards understanding the historical theories behind Paradox games as a whole, unpacks Europa Universalis IV‘s state-centred approach to history.
  • History, Take Three : How Video Game

September 19th

Welcome back, readers.

We’re running a shorter issue this week, albeit one that ended up being fairly tightly themed around history and memory, be it via how games depict history, or how they constitute it! But before that. . . .

New Keywords in Play this week! This time around, our featured guest is Adrienne Shaw! Check it out.

This Week in Videogame Blogging is a roundup highlighting the most important critical writing on games from the past seven days.

“Where’s Maggie!?”

We’re starting this week’s issue off with mods–both histories of mods, and

This Year in Videogame Blogging: 2022

…and in doing so allow the characters to accept it as it is.

  • A History of Hup, the Jump Sound of Shooting Games | WIRED Bryan Menegus presents a thorough historical examination of That Grunt.
  • HUTSPIEL and Dr. Dorothy K. Clark | 50 Years of Text Games Aaron A. Reed uncovers the history and authorship of one of the oldest computer-based wargames, dating back to 1955.
  • Dragon Quest [1986] – Arcade Idea Art Maybury ponders genres and legacies in a game situated at a crossroads between them on several levels.
  • Agency, Empathy,
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December 14th

Hello everyone, it’s Lindsey here with another weekly roundup. Before we get started I want to remind you that, as the year comes to a close, we’re looking for submissions for our end-of-the-year roundup. But for now, let’s take a look at This Week in Videogame Blogging!

History and Culture Clashes

Quite a few of the submissions this week talk about how history and culture are both used and confused in games. For instance, Corey Milne uses the recent news about Greece’s pleas to have their artifacts returned to them rather than loaned out by the British

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Xenogears, Xenosaga, Xenoblade

…attracted writers from all corners of the writing landscape – fan, professional, academic – to dissect these games and discern the deeper meanings hidden within. What follows is a glimpse into their efforts.

Shattered fragments of a mirror

Because the Xeno games are such behemoths, I’d recommend starting on the series’ history. Tom Brown provides a light overview for Nintendo Inquirer, but Yuriev’s history of the series goes into much greater detail. Outside official sources, his work is by far the most comprehensive source of information we have on the franchise. He’s researched countless previews and interviews to…

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March 27th

I’m almost fully recovered after a pleasant GDC, and feeling energised and inspired. This has been a particularly good week in videogame blogging. In part that’s due to the thrilling discussions coming out of an annual event that brings so many smart people into conversation with one another, but by no means is the event dominating discussions, with some thoughtful pieces published on topics such as how games change as we grow up, how the history of folklore affects fictional worldbuilding, and the social structures of online piracy.

From adolescence to adulthood

Although ideas of games “growing

May 1st

…give an artificial sense of life to the characters in their worlds — guards going about their duty in Skyrim, or bandits bickering in The Witcher 3 – Dark Souls places its unreality centre stage.”

Art and History

Playing with the Past « First Person Scholar

Michael Hancock reviews a new book about games and history.

“Playing with the Past‘s preoccupation is, obviously, with history and videogames, but it is how it goes about pursuing that connection that differentiates it from other books of its type. From the introduction, editors Kapell and Elliott affirm…

February 25th

  • We need to talk about Florence and emotional labour | Tumblr Mahli-Ann Butt describes the gendered affective labor at play in relationship simulator Florence, and calls for a more utopian vision of romance.
  • “It’s not just about the labour of making someone feeling happy or contented in an interaction between individual players, but unravels the fabric of social pressures, the processes, and the implications around these dynamics.”


    Two great pieces on history and games were published this week – if this is your jam, don’t forget to submit a piece of writing…