Just a quick one this week, as my country heads to an election and I spent all day at a polling booth spruiking for a grassroots organisation unaffiliated with any party. But that’s neither here nor there; it’s time for This Week In Videogame Blogging.

First up, and right from the very tail end of last week, Ashelia at Hellmode looks at her ‘darker competitive side’ [dead link, no mirror available]. A thing I’d like to see more of: writing, analysis, criticism of multiplayer gaming.

At The Last Metaphor Benjamin Garratt writes about ‘choices, entertainment, Pynchon’ [mirror] in a conversation with a friend. Garratt has an interesting back catalogue of posts you might also like to dip into, like say ‘The Metaphysics of the Instance’ [mirror] or ‘Springtime for Helghan: the story of a Killzone clan’ [mirror].

At Game Set Watch, Jamie Madigan writes about ‘The Psychology of Immersion’, a topic which has been getting a bit of a run again over the past few weeks. What sparks this reinterest in immersion?

Jorge Albor at the Experience Points blog looks at player autonomy, what constitutes autonomy, and what prerequisites exist for making autonomous informed decisions as a player.

G. Christopher Williams writes for PopMatters about ‘Mountains of Men: The Mythology of the Male Body in Video Games’ which comes highly recommended.

The pseudonymous author Spitfire at the Game-ism blog writes about ‘A Narrative Trumping Mechanic’ which returns to the highly regarded Batman: Arkham Asylum and looks at who really is the big bad, and how solving the Riddler’s riddles made him feel more like the Caped Crusader:

Joker’s men (and even Joker himself) were truly nothing more than a nuisance, something for me to backfist while I wasn’t even looking in their direction while I had my Bat-Visor turned on looking for Nigma’s riddles to solve.  That sensation felt like Batman.  There’s always something else going on in Batman’s head; he’s a cerebral detective, not just a pugilist who breaks bones but doesn’t kill.

From Checkers, to Chess, to Super Mario Bros. and Assassin’s CreedCorvus Elrod looks at jumping [dead link, no mirror available] on his blog the Semionaut’s Notebook, looking at “what a few games communicate with the verb jump.”

Chris Dahlen’s got a pair of posts this week, looking at World Building [mirror for Edge Online and elaborating on the issue by looking at Crackdown [mirror] in particular on his personal blog.

At Bitmob, Pat O’Malley writes about ‘How Square made Kingdom Hearts Work‘ [mirror] and Isaiah Taylor laments the death of local coop [mirror.

Pippin Barr writes for his personal blog ‘On the inability to “Stay Frosty”’ [mirror] in Modern Warfare 2.

Sebastian Wuepper writing for the Chronoludic blog explains the German Game ratings system [mirror], Germany being notoriously strict about videogame violence.

And lastly Michael Abbott of The Brainy Gamer blog looks at how Portal got onto the course reading list for all freshmen students at a small liberal arts college.

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