Are you so bloody bored of E3? Well, this roundup of the week’s insightful critical writing is pretty much an E-zero. No consumer hype here, just earnest, authentic examinations of games that already exist.
First, a lovely little piece about music!
- Final Fantasy’s Prelude is Simply Genius | Game Score Fanfare – YouTube
Mathew Dyason unpicks the history of these famous arpeggios.
This piece on unconscious prejudice in games criticism could well be contentious.
- Brick By Brick / Sekiro and Prioritized Aesthetics
Doshmanziari argues that some coverage of the next From Software title seems to reflect culturally-biased lenses on architecture.
“many of our aesthetic convictions are culturally informed – both by what our surroundings are, like where we’ve grown up, and how certain aesthetic heritages are valued more than others”
Two pieces on narrative tropes and themes in RPGs provide a very helpful perspective on the status of game storytelling.
- Gamasutra: Gregory Pellechi’s Blog – Finding The Themes
Gregory Pellechi takes The Witcher as an example, demonstrating how a typical literature and media analysis method applies to videogames.
- The Dragon At The End Of The Universe – Timber Owls
Edcrab complicates the role of dragons in the larger problem of RPG predictability.
“The problem is not the dragon. The problem is expectation: the expectation of dragons in fantasy, sure, but more specifically the expectation of escalation.”
Two writers consider cultural issues in the representation of marginalized people’s struggles. (Content warning for racism and transphobia)
- Exploring Japanese Trans Themes in One Night, Hot Springs | Unwinnable
Khee Hoon Chan highlights the value of positive stories in the context of Japan’s difficult situation for transgender people.
- The Casual Inhumanity of How Detroit: Become Human Uses Black Culture | io9
Evan Narcisse critiques the latest David Cage game’s use of civil rights motifs and other cultural signifiers.
“Black people don’t have superhuman powers of endurance. We’ve been broken and killed under this country’s unjust laws and attitudes.”
Two pieces look at evolving attitudes to conservatism in gamer audiences, specifically with reference to Battlefield. (Content warning for sexism and the far right)
- Creatives are finally telling manbabies to stay home – Polygon
Ben Kuchera highlights recent responses to reactionaries in the Battlefield fandom.
- The Battlefield Subreddit has officially had it with “historical accuracy” complaints | Kotaku
Nathan Grayson covers this topic with a focus on community management.
Finally, this week brought another interesting piece on Vampyr – I’m excited about the ideas this game in provoking!
- The Ethics of a Human Whopper | Unwinnable
Levi Rubeck considers Vampyr from the perspective of other writing on food and eating in games.
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Have you read, seen, heard or otherwise experienced something new that made you think about games differently? Send it in!