August 13th

Follow me as we dive back into gaming’s history to learn something, stand alone against inner demons, and collectively stand together in self sacrifice. Welcome to another installment of This Week in Videogame Blogging!

Hellblade

Ninja Theory’s stealth release, Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice released this week and has already made a critical splash.

“This is the thing about Hellblade that’s the most clear: Seuna’s distinction between religious reality and mental illness isn’t something she’s equipped to handle by herself. Maybe that’s why she needs the player? It also reflects the reality of religious expression at larger: you can’ make it alone.”

Pyre

Supergiant’s game Pyre continues to sink into the consciousness of its players.

  • Pyre and the Impermanence of Found Families | Paste Magazine
    Dante Douglass highlights the cycle of the Rites and how they reflect the bonds created in group struggles against the “hyperindividualist” nature of success in the games.
  • Embracing Defeat in Pyre | GameChurch
    Joey Thurmond sees the Rites differently by “deconstructing our preconceived notions about winning” and through them we can sacrifice for the good of others.
  • Pyre and Responsibility | PostMesmeric (Video: auto-captions)
    On YouTube, PostMesmeric says Pyre makes its choices matter by baking player responsibility into the game’s design and uses an example of an experience in a match to highlight how.

What the Game is About

“And in having this disappointed, I ended up appreciating it a whole lot more; once I gave up trying to exert my own influences on the game, to get what I thought I wanted out of it, I was finally able to listen to the subtle messages it was giving. In being let down I understood, perhaps, that the meaning I derived from the experience of playing imparted more to me than anything its creator could have imagined.”

Dissecting the Meta Implications

Design

“The Sunless Sea feeling is wonder. There is what I know, and then there is the stuff that is beyond it, and then there’s me trying to figure it out. The philosopher Immanuel Kant called it the sublime. Video games are always trying to tap into this feeling, but these quiet moments where I am pressing up against my own ability to continue playing the game are the only times that I really feel it.”

History

Too often the past is forgotten or even worse, never learned. Learning about the past is a necessity and sometimes even fun, but always illuminating about the present.

Movie Length Criticism

Warning, these videos are long and comprehensive.

“When we ask the question how are games art, we usually try to put our medium’s best foot forward with something that fits neatly in predefined artistic categories. Ask that question with Crysis, you get a much more complicated answer, but one that gets closer to the heart of what makes games such a remarkably complicated medium to be creatively expressive in.”

Plugs

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