April 13th

Abstract image evoking bird silhouette

Short and sweet this week, and if you must blame someone, blame my old feed reader. The good news is, we have some great fresh faces in this week! So let’s get going with This Week in Videogame Blogging!

Racefail

Stephanie Jennings of Ludogabble has a spoiler-filled critique of BioShock Infinite: Burial at Sea Episode 2, which she derides as attempting to ‘redeem’ the core game in the worst way imaginable:

In this apparent effort to remedy a significant problem in Infinite, BaS2 has just found another way to further reduce the agency, power, and significance of Daisy and the entire black population of Columbia. In short, it’s found another way to be racist.

Meanwhile, on Media Diversified, Brittney White applauds BioWare dev Manveer Heir’s recent talk on inclusivity delivered at GDC, but points to some problems apparent within his own studio’s titles.

Digging Up the Past

Giant Bomb’s Patrick Klepek has a solid breakdown of recent discussions concerning the glamorization of Nazis in Luftrausers. Also worth reading: developer Rami Ismail’s classy take on the situation.

Elsewhere, on Kill Screen, Ben Meredith shares with us how games are like archaeology.

Always Going Forward (Cos We Can’t Find Reverse)

Storycade’s Chris Klimas has an interesting bit on the rise of Twine and other parserless engines in the Interactive Fiction community.

Over on Paste, our own Cameron Kunzelman bracingly addresses the sexualized violence of MGS V: Ground Zeroes in the context of the series to date (content warning: discussion of rape and brutalization):

For all of its baroqueness, the Metal Gear universe has a deceptively simple message: There is a machine bigger than any single human, and trying to conquer it or shape it to your own individual will is almost impossible. […] The Metal Gear games present us with an augmented, nihilistic version of the phrase: War is always changing, and you can never catch up.

[…]

If war is the stand in for the designer in the Metal Gear Solid series, and war necessitates the perpetration of sexual violence against women in that universe, then there’s nothing casual about it. Instead, it signifies that Hideo Kojima has nowhere left to go.

Finally for the week, Martin Robinson is up on Eurogamer with a dose of cold, hard truth: why it may be for the best if games the likes of The Last Guardian, Half-Life 3 or Shenmue 3 never happen.

That’s All There Is, That’s All, That’s All My Dear

And we’re done! As always we greatly appreciate your submissions sent to us by email or as mentions on Twitter, so don’t let up, even for one minute. Don’t go easy on us!

Also, there are still a few days to send something in for the second issue of the Journal of Games Criticism. The current call for papers closes on April 19th with the issue itself due out this June. This is a great opportunity if you’d like to see your work in a curated collection!

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