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lana polansky

January 17th

…some controversy over the previous game in the series, Kane and Lynch 2: Dog Days did not receive much critical examination, and Miguel Penabella at Thumbsticks wants to remedy that, featuring the game’s usage of ludonarrative dissonance to prove a point.

On Gamasutra’s Expert Blogs, E. McNeill ties history and videogames together, arguing that a contradiction in veracity cheapens the experience for both.

(Critical Distance alumna Lana Polansky already came up with a much better term and approach for all this, by the way. -ed)

For All Your Representation Needs

Another cluster of games writing aims…

September 4th

…Then we turn to the broader social reception of games; in particular, public complaining and scaremongering.

  • 1000 hours: why some Steam reviewers give negative reviews to games they’ve played forever | ZAM – The Largest Collection of Online Gaming Information Luke Pullen shares the results of an informal ethnography of complainers.
  • The World’s Most Dangerous Game: Pokémon’s Strange History with Moral Panics | VICE | United States Lana Polansky gives a thorough overview of the toxic imaginaries about how Pokemon relate to the public sphere.

“”Satanists” became a boogeyman that could be blamed for

Kill Screen archive

…2 real life

  • abolish final fantasy seven industry
  • microsoft wouldnt let me take picture next master chief because i am taller him
  • review hello childhood darksiders ii action figurines adult set
  • nasa let internet drive curiosity rover
  • in search gamings worst
  • emergent play sports games
  • more imagination not less
  • finance 101 starcraft 2
  • killing animals
  • notes redesign
  • ballots jeffrey matulef
  • ballots jason johnson
  • ballots jon irwin
  • ballots patrick klepek
  • ballots jp grant
  • ballots kevin nguyen
  • ballots thomas rousse
  • ballots lana polansky

  • June 4th

    …and Prayers: The Problem with An Empty Gesture | Sufficiently Human Lana Polansky points out the effective but imperfect satire of empty gestures using the game Thoughts and Prayers.

  • How the Meaning of Vanquish (and Spec Ops: The Line) Changed – Writing on Games – YouTube (Video with subtitles) Hammish Black examines the how a game’s context changes what the game means within even just a few years.
  • Remodeling the Labyrinth | First Person Scholar Jeremy Antley highlights the problems with historically gamifying an on-going period of history, and players’ efforts to update the war game to better…
  • August 6th

    …Aveline de Grandpre connects to it.

  • Notes on Gradient Addiction: Deciphering The Pastiche | Sufficiently Human Lana Polansky ruminates on the aesthetic world of Gradient Addiction, which is at once “terribly alive, shrieking and gibbering” while its inhabitants “[stand] in place with a fixed expression.”
  • Opened World: Metafictional Warfare | Haywire Magazine Over at Haywire, Miguel Penabella talks Call of Duty: Black Ops 3 and its “conflict of internal struggle [and] self-critique.”
  • Tracing the Panoramic Obsessions of Destiny | Eurogamer Meanwhile, Gareth Damian Martin examines the Destiny 2 beta, “a bloodless heart, waiting to begin beating.”

  • December 3rd

    …Carless There’s a storybundle on that may interest readers here, with books on D&D, Final Fantasy V, and retro game translation.

  • Politically meaningful games under neoliberalism | Memory Insufficient I published a piece by Lana Polansky on the role of cultural criticism in our current political moment.
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    June 3rd

    …can offer its players.

  • Notes on Eye Poppers: Delight in the Grotesque | Sufficiently Human Eye Poppers is a free-to-play browser game which, Lana Polansky argues, offers a playground to experiment with our relationship to the grotesque and visceral.
  • Performing identity and gender

    Queer-ness, woman-ness, and generally, human-ness in and around games.

    • Where are all the Mothers in Video Games? | YouTube, Cannot be Tamed A propos God of War, this video asks where, indeed, are all the mothers in video games?! Cannot be Tamed argues for three stereotypical states of mother-ness in video…
    Abstract image evoking bird silhouette

    August 5th

    …how games are displayed in arts spaces, along the way challenging common assumptions about what gameplay even is.

  • Sinistar or: How to Play Games Wrong – YouTube Big Joel uses childhood memories of being frightened by a game he did not understand to make a broader point; that games criticism is not harmed by the critic’s incomplete knowledge and imperfect skill – in fact, he argues that most games are all about unknowability and the inevitability of failure.
  • Notes on Gone Vroom: Running Over an Indie Darling | Sufficiently Human Lana Polansky argues that we could take the…
  • September 1st

    …make the impact of its environment upon it and the personality of those who put it to use immediately visible by reflecting what we do to it back at us.”

    Mental Illness, Ghosts, and Trauma

    Two authors, looking at very different games, make connections between depictions of mental illness, trauma, and the supernatural.

    • Notes on Perfectly Ordinary Ghosts: Shadow on a Pale Wall | Sufficiently Human Lana Polansky explores intersections of trauma, gothic horror, and Emily Dickinson in Perfectly Ordinary Ghosts, a work of interactive fiction produced in Twine by Victoria Smith and Madeleine Mackenzie

    November 4th

    …just for having fun – Polygon Petrana Radulovic examines nested layers of misogyny in Overwatch fan videos (Content Notification: abusive gamer bro comments).

  • Worse than Scabs: Gamer Rage as Anti-Union Violence | Rhizome Lana Polansky digs deep into the designed built-in precarity of games industry labour, and how publishers quietly leverage gamer rage to keep their workers afraid and exploited. This one feels especially timely given the absolute meltdown people are having this weekend over Diablo Immortal.
  • There Are Not “Too Many Games” – Deorbital Liz Ryerson demystifies the Indiepocalypse as a monolith by discussing the various economic,…