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January 24th

…week the coming of a possible ‘second hand market for downloaded games’. That would be interesting, wouldn’t it?

Latoya Peterson writing for The Borderhouse this week noted that ‘The Patriarchy Hurts Gamer Guys Too: The Rockstar Labor Controversy, Game Developer Wives and Work/Life Balance’. The most important idea being that while poor managerial practices (such as crunch) hurt everyone, men included; it doesn’t affect everyone equally and can have a worse detrimental impact on women in the game development workforce. Quotes from Erin Hoffman and Brenda Brathwaite appear in the article and both make appearances in the comments.

July 31st

…few months back, discussing why he thinks “It all comes down to the meaning”.

Simon Ferrari has an excellent essay on BBC Channel 4’s game Sweatshop, examining how the procedural rhetoric evolves over the course of the game:

Essentially, the game begins as a cartoon sketch of factory labor. You don’t need to worry about worker fatigue, safety and morale. But Littleloud gradually “bakes in” more and more of this real-world content. By the end, you need to keep the floor stocked with water coolers, repairmen and fire marshals to keep your workforce alive.

And then,

May 20th

…century industrialist underpinnings of free-to-play models, saying:

As videogames have been added to the list of professional pastimes in the 21st century, we see the same essential values favored in them, with the added perversity of requiring their audience to spend money to buy into them. That the high cost of the disc and cartridge has been circumvented by the “free-to-play” model only amplifies the nature of videogames as non-productive labor.

On the other hand, several authors this week gave us a different take on the past. Charles Wheeler’s “Rules on the Field” blog, which we…

July 1st

…or saying that the labor-as-play model doesn’t work in a number of contexts (it does) – because really, the territory has yet to be adequately mapped. There has been precious little study of games in pre-20th century East Asia, slightly more regarding digital games in East Asia, and the Western press/blogging community takes a sneering and insulting attitude towards the Asian market (with the necessary exception of Japan, of course). It has always really rubbed me the wrong way – just because you might have no interest in playing XYZ game doesn’t mean it isn’t valuable to discuss it. Turning…

November 10th

…the complex relationships indies and AAA industries have with one another, especially the workers of each. Speaking of which, Ian Williams looks at the distressing reality of Video Games and Labor.

Emanuel Maiberg now shows the other side of the debate in ‘what big data can’t teach us about video games.’

At the Monochroma development blog, Burak Tezate?er looks at the expressionism art style and its relationship to video games.

Gender and Race Tied Up With Lace

In her Edge column, Leigh Alexander explains how those fans that get defensive of their favorite games over criticism…

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December 22nd

As the year draws to a close, keep your loved ones close, and your copies of Edge closer.

Welcome… to This Week in Videogame Blogging

New Horizons

On Paste, Stephen Swift offers an interesting analysis of how Ace Attorney 5: Dual Destinies evolves the franchise for the better.

Meanwhile, on PopMatters Moving Pixels, regular columnist Jorge Albor muses on recent pro player frictions at Riot, and this brave new world of eSports labor relations we find ourselves in.

You may have heard about Youtube’s recent Content ID crackdown affecting, among other things, quite a

January 26th

Hello, dear readers. Let’s have a chat, you and I. Rather, let’s have many, since this week’s posts could easily be summed up in one word: conversation.

Welcome to This Week in Videogame Blogging!

All Our Sins Laid Bare

First, Paolo Pedercini, the development mind behind (Unmanned, Every Day the Same Dream) took to Kotaku to interrogate Introversion Software’s alpha build of Prison Architect. Pedercini views the game from the perspective of the United States prison-industrial complex, challenging its representation of things like rioting, labor, recidivism, solitary confinement, and the list goes on. He offers insights

June 15th

…Eric Swain examines why, upon return to Myst, the world seems so much smaller than it did 20 years ago.

Speaking of nostalgia, by playing Bioshock Infinite in the “1999” difficulty mode, Steven Margolin realizes that perhaps Irrational Games is nostalgically holding onto what is now an outdated game design — as if it really were still 1999.


Jed Pressgrove’s argument in “Actual Marxism: Labor and Marx in Actual Sunlight” contains spoilers for Actual Sunlight, and so I will simply state that events in the game can be understood as “not necessarily intended” if understood from…

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July 20th

…costs both you and your users far more in the long term than $5 would cost them right now.

You Know the Drill

Thanks for reading, everyone. As always, we value your submissions, so please keep sending them in by Twitter mention or via email!

Next item: There’s still a bit of time left to get involved in the current Blogs of the Round Table, if the topic catches your fancy.

A timely call for papers: Zoya Street’s tremendously invaluable Memory Insufficient zine is currently seeking submissions for its upcoming issue on labor and games…

May 17th

…allowed relatively small pass-through companies like Valve to amass more profit than they would have as content producers, there is a real argument that a fully commercialized and professionally polished Gone Home isn’t an adequate upside to the downsides of THQ going bankrupt, Konami and SEGA slowly cutting their investments in console game development, a massive surge in outsourced labor and short-term contract employment leading to long-term precarity and emotional suffering for families.

Fire Dancers, Speed Runners and the Cruelty of the Industry

At VGChartz, Corey Milne bemoans the loss of P.T. and the need for…