May 20th

True to fashion, first day on the job and I’m late. Hey everyone, I’m Austin, I’m a new contributor filling in this week for Zoyander, if you wanna know more about me, click on some of this stuff! But we have no time to waste.

This week we’ve got articles from across the spectrum of perspectives looking at games old and new, industry and community news.

God of War (2018)

God of War 4? God of War (2k18)? God of Four? God of Fwar? God of Fwour? God of War (2018)? Whatever you’ve been calling it, the fourth game in the God of War series certainly seems poised to win Game of The Year awards from many major publications. Like any major AAA title, for better and worse, it has produced a multitude of reactions from writers of varying opinions. (All of these pieces come with content warnings for discussions related to toxic masculinity.)

  • God of War Gets The Stress of Parenthood Right | Kotaku
    Keza McDonald, a mother herself, actually has the nicest things to say about the game this week, talking about the complicated relationships between children in desperate situations and genuinely Problematic parents.
  • In God of War, Moms Come Last | Waypoint
    Dia Lacina had two pieces sent in this week, both excellent, this one analyzing the roles the two major women in the game play and how they add up to a particularly problematic portrayal of women.

The recently reborn Deorbital media has published three articles this week on the game as part of a series, getting reactions to the game from folks who the game isn’t being marketed towards, that is to say: people who aren’t dads with money to spend. It’s also to raise help continue raising funds for the site.

“In 2005 . . . [i]t took the beloved games of the era and removed their soul, smashing them together into unholy [F]rankenstein that with an almost self-aware cynicism seemed to ask the audience: is this enough? The answer, of course, was yes.”

Looks At The Industry and Culture

A variety of articles from all across the field look at the here-and-now in multiplayer and money.

“I’d hesitate to say that Vita was just ahead of its time – here were too many missteps and too many other factors involved in its failure for a glib explanation like that to hold water. Even so, Sony’s handheld failure may yet have an outsized role to play in shaping the future of the firm’s console efforts.”- Rob Fahey

Indie Games

Two takes from veterans consider new works in the indie scene.

Classic Games and Videogames History

Breath of The Wild

What would a week in videogames be without some Zelda takes? Criticism of Zelda games is like Ocarina of Time speedrunning, no matter how much any of it frustrates your perception of the game, it’s always fascinating.

  • Stirring the Pot | First-Person Scholar
    This is my kinda thing. The implementation of cooking in Breath of The Wild is a shallow depiction of what it means to gather ingredients and prepare a meal, argues David R. Howard
  • Hyrule’s Hegemony | Heteropias
    Justin Reeves makes the case that if we’re not ignoring our surroundings, BoTW is sending one message very clear whether it means to or not.

Kass tells you that everything was better before his campaign against the Kingdom of Hyrule, but the game world shows you the exact opposite. In placing its pre-Calamity ruins in direct opposition to its post-Calamity settlements, Breath of the Wild implicitly argues that sometimes good things come from bad places. The Great Calamity in other words represents a new beginning—not a cataclysmic end.”

Views on AAA

“If you don’t like the role the game casts you in, you probably won’t like the game. If you don’t feel like the game gives you enough room to perform your role in your own way, you probably won’t like the game – in much the same reason people don’t like jobs that don’t give them any freedom to tackle tasks with their own methods.”

Two More Pieces of Hardcore Critical Theory Stuff

Two perspectives, one on interactions, one on narrative.


That’s All, Folks!

As always, there’s lots of fascinating writing about videogames if you know where to look, and this is one of the best places to start.

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