Happy November, one and all! While we’re still nursing our post-Halloween party hangovers, let’s indulge in that old-fashioned remedy, that hair of the dog, a nice tall glass of This Week in Videogame Blogging.
Starting us off, Jessica Famularo’s brief but sweet article on Pixels or Death contemplates why we grown-ass adults can’t seem to outgrow the juggernaut that is Pokemon.
On Game Quiche, already a combination of two things I love, Alex Park posts his own short-but-sweet post on the abstraction, imagination and memorability of Ultima IV.
Over at Pop Matters, Eric Swain dissects tension, horror and twisted expectation in Fatal Frame II: Crimson Butterfly.
Call of Juarez: Gunslinger, a decidedly boozier spaghetti western, gets the historicist treatment for its clever handling of historical representation and narrative credibility.
This lovely post on Player’s Delight throws a head-splitting wrench into the headache that is choice in videogames, revealing how Beyond: Two Souls’ precocious “organic” choice system sabotages itself by being a little too advanced for its own good.
And Robert Yang does double-time sobering us this week, first on his own blog where he has posted his slides for his Queerness and Games Conference talk, “Queerness and Games Development,” and next on Rock Paper Shotgun, where his Level With Me interview with composer and game designer Liz Ryerson covers the problems inherent with “success” in the indie scene, compromising on one’s work (or refusing to), finding an audience, and the surreal and wonderful design lessons that we can glean from Doom and Wolfenstein 3D.
Speaking of sobering, on The Psychology of Video Games, Jamie Madigan contemplates a recent study conducted by Jesse Fox, Jeremy Bailenson and Liz Tricase that suggests women are more likely to self-objectify and believe rape myths if their in-game avatars are both sexualized and made to resemble them.
Sobering on a whole different level is Robert Rath’s piece on The Escapist, “Why We Need Soldiers to Write about Games,” in which he discusses his father, a Vietnam veteran, the value that film had in both their lives, and being able to tell difficult stories using intermediary media.
And for our German-language readers, check out a fine selection of pieces below hand-selected by our foreign correspondent, Joe Koeller:
On Zeit Online, Marin Majica interviewed Rina Onur, founder of Peak Games, one of the biggest mobile and online game devs in Turkey, about the different attitudes towards their products in islamic culture.
Over on Paidia, Tobias Unterhuber talked to Matthias Kempke of the adventure devs Daedalic about literature, intertextuality, art and all that jazz.
Martina Schwerdtfeger shared her experience playing shooters as a woman with Femgeeks.
On Kleiner Drei, Fionna discusses the appeal and community of cosplay.
Continuing familiar teasing, Marcus Dittmar has written a text from the perspective of the Call of Duty Dog for Superlevel, wondering why all those hoomans seem to be easily conditioned towards manshooting.
Meanwhile, Ciprian David and Rainer Sigl wonder if it could not be said that Universal Soldier – Day of Reckoning borrows heavily from videogame aesthetics.
Happy reading, fellow bon-vivants!
(Also, if you haven’t yet, please check out Ghosts in the Machine, a fantastic anthology of creative work edited by this week’s wonderful curator! –K.L.)
See you next week!