March 11th

Games critics are always exploring new ways to talk about digital media, be it genre, narrative structure, architecture or the material thinginess of computers themselves. The latest This Week in Videogame Blogging features artists, journalists, and historians trying out new perspectives on interactive art.

Familiar

A major theme this week was familiarity – places that you know well, cultures that feel like your own, and people who you recognise and remember.

“Disruption of the routine the game settles you into is as important as establishing it. It helps to crystallise what values you assign to a space.”

Wayward

Three critics look at the effort and affect of bringing things back from the past.

“ghost stories are not so much scary as they are sorrowful and tragic. These wayward spirits have been wronged in their past life, and their inauspicious presence is simply a call to remember that something must be fixed.”

Clone

In three pieces of writing and video, games are considered in the context of genres, mediums, and subcultures, highlighting how difficult it is to move from one space to another, as well as how hard it is to contain something within a single, defined category.

Behavior

The feeling of interacting with something is highlighted in three pieces, demonstrating that games and digital art are not just about spectacle, but also about learning how something works.

“the Insane trait doesn’t fit with The Sims’ whimsical sense of humor, like the freeze ray or the talking skeletons. It doesn’t fit with the game mechanics meant to replicate human behavior, either. It feels like a lazy joke”


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