January-February Roundup: ‘Progress’

Hello again readers of game criticism. I’m happy to have you here for another edition of Blogs of the Round Table! It’s another brief one as we look at what some writers had to say about ‘Progress’:

What is the typical story of progress in a game? What exceptions are there to the rules of progress? And how have games changed in relation to social or technical progress? We want to know about the analogue game that captures the mechanisms of technology and the digital game that captures the complexity of social movements. Tell us about the tools you use to build games and how they’ve changed the way you think about play. Where do you see games going? Have they really changed much at all? What does progress mean to you as someone invested, one way or another, in games?

We start this roundup with one of Fem Hype’s finest, Jay, welcomes us to their blog, Feminist Gaming Matters, for a summary of the games with female protagonists nominated for awards in the last decade or so. As with most statistical analyses, there are some anomalies to account for, but overall it seems that there has been a rather progressive trend over the years:

To put this into perspective, from all the games chosen as the best in the industry for six years, you could only play as a woman in a quarter of them. In 2014, by comparison, you could play as a woman in over half.

In a less statistical and more pescatarian analysis, Taylor Hidalgo views the fishing mini-game of Breath of Fire IV as an analogy for the smaller, less dramatic kinds of progress that get lost in the quest for earth-shaking paradigm shifts.

…even if there is a great deal of need to leap forward, crash into problems headlong, and come out of the other side victorious, the drive to overcome obstacles doesn’t appear in a vacuum. For as much as making significant progress is laudable, finding the time and will to progress by micrometers rather than feet or yards is still a form of progress that is infinitely important, yet often ignored in favor of the bigger, flashier goals.

And with that we put this BoRT to bed. It may not be much but every small step counts in the long run. A big thank you to both of our contributors and to all our readers.

Some of you have mentioned that you’re having problems with the Link-o-Matic 5000. I’ve taken a look but, sadly, no progress was to be made. I will keep everyone abreast of the situation and in the meantime BoRT shall continue with a new theme in the next few days.

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