October 15th

The big discussion of the week is loot boxes – also known as gacha mechanics – or, in-game microtransactions with randomised contents. A long-controversial aspect of free-to-play games, these items have featured prominently in recent AAA game releases, provoking a wave of…

October 8th

What kind of futures can we imagine for game design and storytelling? This week, critics take on the contemporary context of games from a number of perspectives, thinking about how games make us feel, and how it feels to make games. Coordinating…

October 1st

Sometimes I get nostalgic for the era of “personal writing on games”, “confessional critical essays”, or “gonzo games journalism”. A few years ago, it seemed like the best way to start writing critically about games was to tell personal stories about how…

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September 24th

Games critics are looking closely at messes at the moment – messes that are oddly beautiful, messes in which we get entangled through human relationships, as well as messes that threaten to engulf the world whole and destroy its vital ecosystems. A…

September 17th

This was a week of controversies. Since one of the most significant issues this week was a famous Youtuber’s racist outburst, the final section of this roundup comes with a general content warning for discussions of harassment, abuse, racism etc. In the…

September 10th

A critical game, a video essay with limited narration, and in-depth interview pieces – this was a week of experimentation in games criticism, and this week’s roundup is all the richer for it. Burning We start with two pieces of criticism that…

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September 3rd

A guilty pleasure of mine is critical writing that takes things to that meta level. Critical writing about criticism. This week, writers came up with taxonomies, heuristics, and semiotic analyses. I’ve had the pleasure of reading many pieces that reveal something about…

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July 30th

Developers and critics alike have been discussing important games from the past this week, covering the gamut from Flash games to Far Cry 2. Meanwhile, newer cultural hits such as Dream Daddy and 17776 are having a big impact. Tend and befriend…

July 23rd

The notion of the “possibility space” is important for many of the pieces of writing featured this week: whether that’s the space for creation that’s opened up or shut down by state institutions, the space for imagination that is afforded by visual…

July 16th

From the question of what’s wrong with games criticism, to critical writing on games that ask what’s wrong with us, this week brings us a bumper crop of original, inventive work. It’s not easy to keep up with it all, but we…