June 16th

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Since Kommandantin Ligman is off attending the Enormous Explosions Expo or some such, it has again fallen to me, humble foreign correspondent, to bring you the latest in quality games writing. Hold on to your fedoras, it’s This Week In Videogame Blogging.

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Speaking of the Egregious Enthusiasm Expo, Jordan Mammo wrote about corporate claims that new technology fosters creativity and advances storytelling, and the actual bland and samey games offered.

Even this year’s uncontested E3 winner seems a little confused. Speaking to the giddy reception his company was bathed in following its press conference, Sony’s Scott Rohde said that, “In a way it’s a little bit sad in that what we’ve been doing all along gets such a big cheer.”

No kidding. Rohde was referring specifically to Sony’s decision to allow people to continue trading in used games, but he might as well have been talking about next-gen systems in general. As much as some developers have stated the need for new consoles to spur innovation, E3 2013 has been all about wildly different reactions to status quo products.

Meanwhile, Mitch Alexander explains why the rape joke at Microsoft’s press conference was offensive.

Oh, and presumably they also showed some games there, but for all I know this is pretty much what happened.

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Continuing the disillusionment over promises of more emotigons, John Walker considered why games might just not be a very good medium for storytelling.

John Walker responded to this ridiculous position and wrote in favor of the narrative capacity of play.

In other narrative news, Mike Joffe wrote about the many and potentially unreliable narrators of Final Fantasy Tactics.

Mark Filipowich on the stories emerging from random mechanics.

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The Last of Us came out this week (you might have heard) and Tom Bramwell wrote about it providing an experience that cannot be adequately represented in trailers or short demos.

Tom Bissell is quite smitten by its commitment to storytelling, while Tom Chick loathes the mechanics that get in the way of said plot and Chris Suellentrop wonders if it doesn’t focus on the wrong character, Joel.

Leaving the daily hotness again, Brendan Keogh listed his various thoughts on Max Payne 3.

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After HappyPlayTime announced its plans to rebrand female masturbation, Patricia Hernandez wondered about its problematic ‘More is better‘ approach: “What can be seen as “normal” amounts of masturbation? As compared to men?”

Anna Anthropy also had something to say about its notions of sex positivity, and the cissexism of equating women with vaginas.

look through the infographics on the game’s page. look at how masturbation is being framed. “46.6% of women masturbate less than once a month every year. gals, you can do better!” the way to overcome shame is definitely not to shame women for what they don’t do with their bodies. there’s this unfortunate idea of “sex positivity” i encounter all the time that essentially just shames people for not having enough sex and pressures them into doing it more. making masturbation into a universal competition is going to achieve only that: people are going to get pressured into using their bodies in the ways that are arbitrarily defined as normative.

Apps, you can do better.

Assorted Other Things

Rob Rath has some suggestions for how to do a better job of representing muslims.

Denis Farr on queer culture and videogames, specifically Mass Effect.

Jordan Young examining the role of religion in Skyward Sword.

Dale Dobson on videogame doors.

Nina Kiel shaming German games sites with E3 booth babe galleries.

Stephan Günther discovered the perfect game for anybody suffering from Candy Box withdrawal.

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That’s it for this week! If you have suggestions for next week and want to rub delicious articles in our faces, you can either hit us up on Twitter or use the email submission form. Make sure to check out the current Blogs of the Round Table prompt over yonder, and stay frosty.

We out.