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January 31st

January 31st, 2010 | Posted by Ben Abraham in This Week in Videogame Blogging:

Welcome to the Church of This Week In Videogame Blogging. I’ve prepared a special sermon once again, oh ye faithful.

SnakeLinkSonic wrote last week about the connection between Star Wars and Metal Gear. You didn’t see that one coming did you?

You probably also didn’t see Duncan Fyfe returning to videogame writing, and with a vengeance, with a new series of short stories about games and game culture. High Society is part one and it’s a must read for anyone interested in the development of serious alternative videogame criticism.

The twitter account ‘voracious_shit’ tweets about Sydney based studio “Team Bondi” and the Duke Nukem Forever sound-a-like story of developing the as-yet unreleased LA Noire. True Story: I once applied for a job at Team Bondi. I guess they missed out and by the sound of it I dodged a bullet.

From Matthew Gallant who sent this last week, ‘Love does not exist’, a long treatise on… all sorts of things over ten years of gaming.

Evan Stubbs writes about ‘Mining your habits for fun and profit’, another piece on digital distribution.

Steve Gaynor writes an apologia for the entertainment industries (including gaming) and in the comments has a long discussion with Jonathan Blow.

Daniel Bullard-Bates considers “Dante’s Inferno: A Failure on Two Fronts” and fellow blogger C.T. Hutt takes a rundown of our favourite videogame enemies, saying:

As gamers we want to square off against the most dangerous prey, humanity, but also want to believe that our characters are the good guys. As such, violence in action games is usually directed at enemies which walk and talk and fight like people, but for whom we feel little pity when blowing away en masse…

At The Border House, Cuppycake asks ‘Do Game Designers Have A Social Obligation?

We have designed our games to be so inherently fit, muscular, white American, that it’s now an exception and a social point to include people outside our comfort zone.

Game Set Watch had an interview with Krystian Majewski this week about his amazing independent photo-based adventure game Trauma.

Chris Lepine at The Artful Gamer releases an interview he did with Jenova Chen at GDC09. I haven’t listened yet so I have no idea if it’s any good, but with people as smart as Lepine and Chen I feel safe recommending it.

In ‘Zompocalypse Now’, Mike Hanus examines the connection between the western film genre and modern apocalypse films (and by extension, games) suggesting that those like Fallout 3 are a continuation of the western genre:

I think that the current surge in apocalyptic movies and games is the second coming of the Western genre, and this accounts for this recent popularity. These games and movies share similar characteristics, they establish a frontier, they create a lawless world and they present the player/viewer with main characters who must create their own law and rules in a world gone half crazy.

Corvus Elrod discusses a particular fascination with the ease of pouncing on and killing guards in Assassins Creed 2. While on the subject, Richard Clark has some thoughts about the end of that game (with HUGE spoilers) and some of the things its provocative ending says about the audacity of the developers.

Lastly, Create Digital Motion talks about the upcoming GAMMAIV competition in ‘Indie Game as Visualist Event: As the Deadline Nears, One Button Inspires‘. Since I’m going to be in San Fran for GDC I’m definitely going to go to see all these excellent games.

A reminder that for all TWIVGB posts on Critical Distance comments are turned off by default to encourage discussion on the original entries, and we can always be reached via the contact page.

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