This Year In Videogame Blogging: 2017

It’s time for our year-end mega-roundup of games criticism! The purpose of this feature is to create a representative snapshot of the year, curated from the links we shared. I have been doing this for several years, and every time I have approached the task, it wasn’t until I went through our archives that I was able to bring the year and its myriad discussions into focus.

Understanding 2017 needed no such effort. The violence against truth, knowledge and wisdom intruded into our lives on a daily basis. We are a site dedicated to spreading what pieces of truth, intelligence and wisdom on the medium of games as we can gather. The powers that be in 2017 seemed to be against those ideals.

Katherine Cross perfectly illuminated the constant and continuous attacks that truth suffered throughout the year. How can one resist and keep one’s head, in an environment where one doesn’t know what information is genuine, and what sources are spammed with hatred and bile? She answers with sincerity, honestly, and through the promotion of truth, avoiding knocking down falsehoods and thereby deigning them with a sense of legitimacy.

It may not mean much in the face of the vulnerable being hurt. As I write this, Puerto Rico is still without power and its people dying, millions of children have lost their health care, families are being torn apart by an extra judicial hit squad to be rounded up without trail or recourse in detention facilities, and black men and women continue to face the stigma of guilt — to the forfeiture of their lives — for the sin of existing in the eyes of the police and the status quo enamored society at large.

In the face of all that real, physical harm being done, worrying about truth can feel so ignoble. Further, talking about video games in this tiny sphere we deal in feels even more so. Yet, this is the platform I have. It may be flicking peas in a hurricane in the grand scheme of things, but on truth I shall not bend. I dedicate the 2017 edition of This Year In Video Game Blogging in the name of truth and the spread of whatever wisdom that may be gleaned.

Critical Video Game Criticism

From examinations of Nazi killing to the lies of our own mythmaking to the reexaminations of works past, the games themselves has always been the forefront of the medium’s criticism. Whether that that lens be focused inwards to the work’s interior meaning, or directed outwards to the context of the contemporary world.

Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus

Middle Earth: Shadow of War

Mass Effect: Andromeda

Nier: Automata

The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild

Horizon: Zero Dawn

Persona 5

Yakuza 0


Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice

Night in the Woods

Dream Daddy


What Remains of Edith Finch



Other 2017 Releases

Older Games

Theory/Design Criticism

Whether focusing on the concepts of interactivity, the direction of new technologies or debates on the strengths and weakness of the medium, some criticism is more interested in concepts over singular works.




Design Practices

Bogost, Games and Stories

Bad At Images?

Industry Criticism

Video games do not exist within a vacuum. They exist within the confines of the arena that produces them. From government policies to monetization to platforms and more, it is the industry from which video games are born as they are in all their attributes.

Government Policies

Loot Boxes



How the Sausage is Made

Culture Criticism

If the industry is where video games are born, the wider culture is where they live. From video streaming to exhibitions to pushing against the status quo, video games are part of the wider attitudes of where we are and where we hope to be.




Exhibiting Games

Gaming Scenes


Fuck Complacency

Close Out

I wish everyone better luck and better lives come the new year. 2017 was hard all around. Hold on to those close to you and keep each other safe. I’m out of eloquence, so I’ll just say: rest, stay healthy and come the new year, fuck em up and fuck em up good.

The weekly roundups will resume once we’ve recovered in the second week of January. Please continue to submit any suggestions for TWIVGB to our email or @ message our Twitter account.

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From us at Critical Distance to all of you, have a Happy New Year.