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lana polansky

This Year In Videogame Blogging: 2015

…Penabella at Kill Screen, as he tried to define and understand the genre — or rather the movement — of the “first person walker.” It’s a term that he admits is imprecise, yet still better than the proposed alternatives.

In her essay “Against Flow” Lana Polansky jump-starts a conversation about the “flow” convention of “traditional design,” claiming it numbs subjectivity and side-steps politics in art. Cameron Kunzelman pushed Polansky’s “ideological container” concept further by exploring flow’s origin as a vague term slowly stripped of that vagueness, turning instead into a conservative moniker. Heather Alexandra continued the train of thought left…

May 10th

…kinds of games published in the last decade doesn’t pull any punches:

Created works always reflect the times they are made in and we all contribute to the tone of our time. The American zeitgeist is dominated by hopelessness. How could it not be? Debt cripples our students, the people meant to protect and serve citizens are little more than militarized thugs and our politicians vote to restrict the rights of the marginalized. This hopelessness isn’t unique to America; there are problems everywhere. It’s global.

A Personal Look

At Sufficiently Human, our own Lana Polansky profiles the work of indie…

August 7th

…a video about Sonic and a stellar essay on gamer identity.

  • It’s Not Easy Being Blue – YouTube (video: auto-captions) Innuendo Studios riffs about Sonic’s lack of identity, and how it relates to subjectivity in the social media age.
  • Distraction, Consumption, Identity: The Neoliberal Language of Videogames | Sufficiently Human Lana Polansky calls for mass resistance and coherent labor politics, as an alternative to the divergent identity organising that can so easily be absorbed into the leisure and consumption of games.

“The spectacular dimension of capitalism has a way of defanging and absorbing any form of resistance or

Discover a Critical Culture

…about videogames, opening me up to the possibilities of games and the wonders of a diverse critical community.

Critical Distance exposed me to such writers as Jenn Frank, who revealed to me the beauty of writing intimately and personally about our experiences with games. I first read Lana Polansky, Zolani Stewart, and other critics via Critical Distance, who use insightful interdisciplinary approaches to understanding games alongside poetry, photography, painting, and architecture.

Critical Distance brought me to the writings of countless bloggers and cultural critics who have challenged me to examine the (often uncomfortable and exploitative) relationships between videogames and our…

October 19th

…a look at the recent wave of dismissiveness toward reflexive games (what he calls intertextual games; that is, games which comment upon or are “about” games) and concludes that by doing so we not only diminish these titles but risk throwing the baby out with the bathwater.

Speaking of taking things one level above, here’s Stephen Beirne reviewing an interactive review of Dontnod’s ambitious but flawed title Remember Me.

And here’s a couple plucked from our own contributors. At Paste, Lana Polansky describes her recent venture into card gaming, in particular the simple 1965 game Nuclear War and its critique…

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Episode 16 – The Artist Formally Known as Critic

…topics flanked by special guests from across the critical landscape — and perhaps a few surprises as well!

This month, Mattie sits down with fellow critic-developers Lana Polansky and Cameron Kunzelman, to discuss how they got involved in game design, why game development interests them, and how becoming a developer has changed how they write about games. Direct Download


Mattie Brice: Alternate Ending

Lana Polansky: Sufficiently Human

Cameron Kunzelman: This Cage is Worms


Rise of the Videogame Zinesters

Opening Theme: ‘Close’ by The Alpha Conspiracy

Closing Theme: ‘Wishing Never’ by The Alpha Conspiracy

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June 24th

…it filter down into the developers, who implement in-game achievements for looking up the skirts of 19-year-old women dressed like schoolgirls. No wonder we’re watching it filter down into the gamers, who tell the ladies amongst us that they can’t possibly know anything about the online games that they play. After all, what proof is there of that when women are not allowed to speak on an authoritative level?

Stick around– you’ll wanna read her followup too.

Deep in the marshes of Medium Difficulty, the Kid found another kindred spirit: Lana Polansky. Who could put six shots into the word…

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May 2015

Hello my friends, another month has flown by, can you believe it? We’ve had an almost full month of rain here in Texas, which means there’s been every opportunity to hide away inside watching Let’s Plays. Thank you LPers for getting me through the month! In summation, here’s what May had to offer This Month in Let’s Plays:

Welcome to the Club

First, Critical Distance is pleased to report that two of its own have joined the rank of Critical Let’s Play creators this month:

In her new series Ways of Playing, Lana Polansky plays LSD Dream Emulator. After

January 11th

…YA fiction) to feel a little embarrassed at the prospect of a century with them at the center of the media ecosystem. And on the flip side, we don’t have to discard games (or comics, or YA fiction) to scratch our heads at the wisdom of feeling satisfied by them.

At Kill Screen, Ray Graham explores depictions of torture in light of exposed CIA documents and wonders how culpable games are in the widely held (but misinformed) belief that torture is an effective method of gathering information.

At Sufficiently Human, our own Lana Polansky writes that game design is too…

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This Year in Videogame Blogging: 2014

…Let The Enthusiast Press Die for its stagnation, while Javy Gwaltney pointed out that while we may laugh at some of the coverage on mainstream game news sites, we should take it seriously for how it comes to represent games journalism to the rest of society.

Tadhg Kelly explored the brave new world of Patreonomics, in which more and more creators are turning to Patreon and other crowdfunding sites to make their livelihood. (Critical Distance is itself funded by its readership via Patreon, so we’re part of this trend ourselves!)

Our own Lana Polansky worried about that if the legitimate…