Search Results for:


February 14th

…a businessman, cameraman, waiter, or guard, a white cis man is no remarkable sight. They are free of skepticism and the visibility that would be offered to nearly anyone else. In turn, while violence against the powerful might be a claim to a better world for the marginalized, for Agent 47 it is simply a job. He cannot be a person; he is a professional. Though it is alienation of labor that lets him do his work, it also alienates him. While his identity allows him anonymity, it also obscures any real, chosen sense of self. He is everyone and…

May 23rd


  • Early Assess: Hardspace: Shipbreaker Is the Labor-Conscious Game I’ve Been Waiting For | Fanbyte Ren muses on labour, death, and taxes under space capitalism in Hardspace: Shipbreaker.
  • Elite [1984] – Arcade Idea Art Maybury takes inventory of all the little ways in which Elite‘s first-person, neoliberal-ish simulation and outlook are just a little… off.

“The worldbuilding flinches at every turn and just doesn’t add up. If I want it to work at all, I have to indulge in a little bit of speculative fiction myself. The license: we view Elite’s world not through

October 24th

…practices that position practices within (dis)orderly social hierarchies and arrangements. The explicit formulations of the normative order are sometimes in disagreement with the concrete human condition, as well as inconsistent with the consumption and production practices that constitute Black digital labor, pleasure, and desire.”

Deeeep Dives

Two roundup regulars this week continue to deliver astonishing and engrossing reads on the histories behind old, obscure, and obtuse games.

  • Battle: Los Angeles | Bad Game Hall of Fame Cassidy is back looking at a curious adaptation of a forgettable action flick.
  • I Have No Mouth, and…

March 20th

…that the ludo-ecosystem obfuscates the code, the labor which created it, and even ourselves as it begins to normalize not playing for the sense of value, but playing for the sake of something empty. Something that does not bring us anything, aside from endless completion, endless tick boxes to check, and a clouded sense of play and work.”

The Painted World

Our next two Elden highlights examine art, religion, and culture in the game world and our own.

  • The Boschian Horror of ‘Elden Ring’ | ArtReview Gareth Martin examines the artistic and religious traditions which…

April 3rd

…and didn’t find it annoying enough to remove. Then every game that followed in those footsteps re-created that sound, perhaps without even consciously considering why it was being included. That might be one way to read it.”

Narrative Tensions

Our next two featured authors this week explore narrative possibility in games–whether those possibilities are under-explored or take us to satisfying new heights.

  • Horizon Forbidden West Struggles to Meaningfully Talk About Labor | Fanbyte Ty Galiz-Rowe contrasts the approaches to labour politics in Forbidden West and Disco Elysium and finds that the former’s efforts are ultimately…

June 5th

…Renata Price mediates on how Hardspace: Shipbreaker pushes through and against the dueling, contradictory narratives of labour in the American popular consciousness.

“Hardspace: Shipbreaker is unique in the completeness of its portrayal, and the grace with which it depicts that work. Objects float through space in gorgeous arcs, accelerating and decelerating in pace with the wide arcs of your grapple beam. Its reverence towards labor isn’t just aesthetically beautiful, but actively humanizing towards its characters. The joy of shipbreaking isn’t just satisfying gameplay, but an essential part of the game’s core belief in the possibility of a…

January 8th

…This week we open with a selection of industry-level topics, from labour organization, to the workification of games, to the tracing of far too many rays.

  • Sounding Board: No New Graphics! – No Escape Alvin Meatman asks who the increasingly unsustainable “Big Graphics” industry is actually for.
  • Not the backlog! | Thinkings B reckons that backlogs are an ahistorical effort to turn leisure into labour.
  • Labores Ludos Gignit! – No Escape Kaile Hultner chats with Game Workers of Southern California about unionization, attendee outreach, and direct action at the Keighleys.

“For the second