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lana polansky

May 5th

…preservation in the best of all possible worlds.

  • Lessons in PR with THQ Nordic – Sufficiently Human Lana Polansky reflects on business as usual at THQ Nordic and the games industry as a whole, as well as what we might be able to help dismantle the industry’s toxic status quo.
  • “THQ Nordic has just opted to lean into a more openly right-wing demographic than Microsoft, and games culture, which harbours quite a lot of angry young men with reactionary beliefs, affords them the comfort of occupying that niche, usually without a ton of pushback.”

    Assassin’s Creed III

    …Connor is a constantly-spotted rube, a guy standing on a rooftop being yelled at by a guard.

    Aside from poor implementation of stealth mechanics, AC3 also suffered from a unique kind of ludo-narrative incoherence (to borrow Lana Polansky’s terminology), because of the protagonist’s social status in the simulated game world. As Adrienne Shaw asked, what does stealth gameplay even mean in a world in which the main protagonist’s racialized identity makes him instantly visible to colonial onlookers?

    In these moments, where Ratohnhaké:ton/Connor’s position in the colonial world is made unexceptional despite the fact that the game…

    Far Cry 2

    …Number 9 spot counters. A lot of time passed between Armitage’s piece in 2008 and Keever’s in 2017, and many of Keever’s criticisms are interesting and fair – but Keever also makes those criticisms after having played Spec Ops: The Line, and Kane and Lynch 2; games that did not exist when Armitage was writing. Similarly, Keever’s understanding of Ludonarrative Dissonance is much more sophisticated than Armitage’s (or mine) was in 2008, and stands on the shoulders of excellent analysis such as that of Lana Polansky from 2015. If only we knew in 2005 what we know today, Far Cry…

    September 6th

    • We Need to Talk About Games Journalism – Grace In The Machine Grace decries an economy of suffering in popular games journalism, leveraging and ultimately disposing of the trauma of survivors rather than making any movement towards substantiative change.
    • How Games, Tech, and the Army Use Progressive Language as a Smoke Screen | VICE Lana Polansky offers a brief history on the appropriative tactics big companies–intersecting with games, tech, and beyond–use to deflect substantiative criticism of their actual practices.

    “It’s best to understand this trend not as an isolated phenomenon within games and tech

    June 30th

    …videogames beyond just playing with their videogames. On that note, Ontological Geek (we seem to be featuring them a lot lately) has Hannah DuVoix discussing a subject near and dear to my heart: user-generated game media, namely Let’s Plays.

    It’s also Fanfiction Week at Unwinnable, which sounds like several of my nondenominational midwinter holidays coming at once. Lana “the Gun” Polansky pens the generational legacy of the Super Mario Bros Goomba and Jacob Siegal shares with us the diary of an unwilling Animal Crossing mayor.

    The fanfiction times weren’t limited to Unwinnable’s shores, either, as Gamers with Jobs’…

    Abstract image evoking bird silhouette

    November 3rd

    Happy November, one and all! While we’re still nursing our post-Halloween party hangovers, let’s indulge in that old-fashioned remedy, that hair of the dog, a nice tall glass of This Week in Videogame Blogging.

    Starting us off, Jessica Famularo’s brief but sweet article on Pixels or Death contemplates why we grown-ass adults can’t seem to outgrow the juggernaut that is Pokemon.

    On Game Quiche, already a combination of two things I love, Alex Park posts his own short-but-sweet post on the abstraction, imagination and memorability of Ultima IV.

    Over at Pop Matters, Eric Swain dissects tension,

    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

    May 4th

    Welcome to another invaluable edition of This Week in Videogame Blogging. Today we’re bringing you thoughts on the four fundamentals of the universe: time, space, death and taxes.

    Follow the Money

    Starting us off is Dan Joseph at Drop Out Hang Out Space Out kicking us all in the material consciousness with a transcript of a talk he gave at this year’s Theorizing the Web Conference in NYC. The dense, but very readable transcript interrogates Eric Zimmerman’s notion of “The Ludic Century” by asking what that looks like by looking at things like “real money transfers”

    August 3rd

    Hello, lovers and other strangers. Welcome to a short but edifying edition of This Week in Videogame Blogging. This week brings us offerings on love, hate, media studies, and the greater horrors that lie between them.

    Play it Again, Sam

    Kicking us off, Jennifer Culp invites us to take another look at the badassery of one Dr. Karin Chakwas, Mass Effect’s Chief Medical Officer. Culp sings the doctor’s praises while also observing the dearth of visible–let alone active and interesting–older women in videogames,

    In a medium in which women are often fridged early on in

    September 14th

    Happy Sunday, dear readers. Welcome to another edition of This Week in Videogame Blogging. This week brings us new insight into the ever-permuting face of a certain ongoing campaign which invites us to ask whether we are “winning” a cultural war, what that might mean, and where we can go from here.

    General content warning: many of the pieces in this week’s post contain explicit discussion of misogyny and violence against women.

    Wars and Battles, Inches and Miles

    Laurie Penny perceives the ongoing kerfuffle, and by extension all the vitriol directed to women online, as