October Roundup: ‘Hospitality’

Come in, please, don’t worry about your shoes. Pardon the mess. I’m so glad you could make it. Me? I’ve been well, same old same old really. Well, I have been looking over some of articles for Blogs of the Round Table on the theme of ‘Hospitality’ and I have to say it has been an absolute joy. Come here, I’ll show you what I mean.:

Stephanie Skiles

Hiding in Plain Sight in Hello, Neighbor

At Game Church, Stephanie Skiles likens her experience as a 9-year-old hiding a report card from her mother to the antagonist’s sealed home in Hello, Neighbor. For Skiles, the game is both an intrusion into what is supposed to be a comfortable space into a place to work through uncomfortable secrets:

It’s not easy, making your way through the house, but discovering truth rarely is. Hello Neighbor gives us a peek into what happens when you’ve built your life around hiding while also allowing you the opportunity to find what has been so long hidden.

Read it now


Matt Margini

Why are Video Games Obsessed With Bathrooms?

Waypoint published an excerpt of Margini’s essay from issue 3 of the games studies zine, Heterotopias. The piece looks at the curious fixation that first-person games developed toward representing bathrooms in greater graphical fidelity. For Margini, bathrooms in videogames are a place to explore who a society welcomes and how, but also as a digital representation they can never really communicate the everyday violences embedded in a society.

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Kate Gray

This Game Helped Me Understand My Own Trauma (CW: mental health and domestic violence)

Also at Waypoint, Kate Gray parallels the experiences Laura’s Story to her own former relationships. For Gray, the ambivalent reactions of Laura to her possessive partner are not only similar to some of her own past interactions but speak to a larger narrative of romance that treats controlling and aggressive behavior as romantic, not dangerous.

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Rachel W

Planting the Seed: Patience & Nurture in Virtual Gardening

FemHype’s Rachel W lists several games that fulfill her love of virtual gardening. In addition to exploring the serene qualities of gardening, games like A Good Gardener and Orchids to Dusk use gardening as a method for conveying meaningful stories. It’s a quick summary of the ways that plants contribute to a sense of belonging in a place and the patient effort it takes to maintain a hospitable space.

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Khee Hoon Chan

The Comforts of Playing With Food in Nour

Much like gardening, food preparation is its own patient reward for keeping up a home. At Unwinnable Khee Hoon Chan discusses his love of playing with food in games and in life:

Coupled with the capacity to own homes, these dishes make your abode feel cosier and lived-in. I’ve spent countless hours arranging boxes of Sugar Bombs and Nuka Cola in my Fallout mancave, even though this doesn’t help me secure any tangible in-game achievements.

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Taylor Hidalgo

Please Come In

Our own Taylor Hidalgo ends this month’s roundup with a piece on his blog recounting recent personal and public events in the gaming community. Although Hidalgo wants videogames to be a means of bringing people together, he realizes that “At best, we’re people who usually behave well. Realistically, we’re people who behave only when we have to.”

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Again we say Auf Wiedersehen to another roundup we have been delighted to host for you. I hope that you enjoyed visiting and that you’ll come back again soon for another fantastic month of Blogs of the Round Table.

And, as always, we’re constantly eager to share with you more games criticism where we can, so don’t forget to follow us on Twitter or send us an email if you find something you’d like to bring to our attention. Likewise, consider helping us fund expansion into other projects by supporting us with a monthly Patreon contribution or a one-time Paypal donation. Thank you so much, and see you next month!