December 17th

Games history went off the beaten track this week, with pieces of writing and video on alternative and even unsanctioned aspects of the medium’s heritage. Meanwhile, genre-bending analyses and challenging calls for better artistic dialogue abound, as writers unpick the critical issues shaping what games could become in the future.


Writing and documentary on games history has had a fantastic week, with four particularly stellar examples.


Modes of play and designed interactions are highlighted in these four pieces, with a particular interest in designs that either add extra mechanics or pare them down.

SOMA is less about the monsters and more about what you can sacrifice and still consider yourself human.”

Identical products

In other discussions of genre, three critics reconsider common AAA game design conventions.

“What is exploitive, or more precisely, insidiously self-exploitive, [sic] is that as videogame fans, we’ve shackled our community’s identity to our skill at discerning between nearly identical products, not to our skill of engaging deeply with them.”

Everything Is Going To Be OK

Continuing on from a discussion in previous weeks, Nathalie Lawhead’s work is challenging people to address games with the analytical skill that a work of art ought to demand.

“These are all GUIs from a time before widespread internet use, when digital life was more solitary but also less stressful.”


The value of personal perspectives and the impossibility of achieving perfect objectivity are both explored and demonstrated by three pieces of writing.

“To play Pax Renaissance is to not only re-enact the emergence of Western power but to celebrate it.”


We’re preparing our year-end roundup this month, known as TYIVGB (The Year in Videogame Blogging). Don’t forget to submit the articles you read or wrote this year that you want to remember forever! Everything we link to is archived in multiple places, so by submitting you are ensuring that something becomes an accessible part of games history for years to come.