October 20th

Your games criticism is not impossible… but it is also not very likely.

Welcome… to This Week in Videogame Blogging.

Holders of the Keys (or: Things Critics Say)

First Person Scholar interviews developer/critic/man-about-town Cameron Kunzelman on the many areas of his expertise, and also his recent comments on Grand Theft Auto. Speaking of those comments, here are more.

On Paste, photographer Brian Taylor takes readers on a tour through Pittsburgh — the real one, and the one from Naughty Dog’s The Last of Us.

It’s Horror Month at Ontological Geek. Tune in, and then hide.

A Whisper into Various Voids (or: Things Critics Say About Other Critics and/or The State of Things)

On Errant Signal, Chris Franklin takes aim at the cake-having problem of wanting games to be considered art and yet insisting they have no political underpinnings.

Tevis Thompson argues for far greater diversity in how we evaluate games.

Matthew Burns lends the final word (for now) on all this arguing over games criticism.

The Seven and a Half Cardinal Natures (or: Things Developers Say)

Raph Koster reflects on responding to criticism.

Chris Bateman poses the idea that interference is, itself, a sort of game. And on Edge one finds the story of Gone Home‘s The Fullbright Company.

On Gamasutra’s expert blogs, Eric Zimmerman posts the first in a series of articles breaking down how he, as a game design instructor, teaches game design.

Trip to Europe (or: German correspondence)

We have a bit of a backlog here so bear with us.

Papers, Please has reached a bit of a critical mass in the German-language games scene. Balkantoni of Shodan News wonders why such praise is lavished on the game if not for a certain baseline ignorance of how abuses in immigration have gone down. Jan Hoppe of 99leben shares how he, too, had to be brought around on the subject of immigration, while Dejan Lukovic shares how he had to stop playing the game after it cut too close to personal experience, as an Austrian with a Croatian passport. Jagoda Gadowski emphasizes the value of differing interpretations with a game like Papers, Please.

Onto other subjects. On Videogame Tourism, Christof Zurschmitten laments the hyperfocus on a few triple-A titles in general interest or arts journalism, to the exclusion of a more nuanced conversation. And on Superlevel, Sebastian Standke has republished an article on Portal‘s GLaDOS and testing rooms as having an embodied presence.

On Kleinerdrei Miriam Seyffarth takes a feminist lens to Video Game High School. On Superlevel, Marcus Dittmar criticizes games’ treatment of love and romance (and in doing so invokes Alexander Ocias’s Loved, among others). And elsewhere on Superlevel, Markus Grundmann muses on why World War I is such an uncommon subject for games.

Deep Subversions (or: Games Could Be More)

On Culture Digitally, Adrienne Shaw criticizes the lost queer potential of Fable.

And now, the weather

On Paste, Cara Ellison suggests that pop music and games were made for each other.

Goodnight, Ludodecahedron, Goodnight

We greatly value all the recommendations sent in via email and Twitter mention. Please, don’t stop. Don’t ever stop.

This month’s Blogs of the Round Table is still ongoing.

That’s all we have, so until next time, readers, stay safe out there. Or, relatively safe, for most of the time.

This week’s proverb: What is a man? A miserable little pile of secrets. Also organs. And teeth.