December 1st

Welcome back, readers.

This week there’s an emphasis on communities, and especially indie development communities and their relationship to larger-scale studio structures. I didn’t expect to be curating critical discourse on Half-Life: Alyx months before its release, but Trevor Hultner and Emily Rose have pulled together all of these disparate items in a really insightful way this week.

Also, I opened my door this morning to two inches of freezing rain, so I might finally get my first badge in Pokemon Sword this afternoon.

This Week in Videogame Blogging is a roundup highlighting the most important critical writing on games from the past seven days.

Community Practice

Each of these first four selections this week intersects in some way with communities of play and production in games. What are the limiting structures that these communities face today? What opportunities and possibilities lie ahead?

“There is a strangely pervasive and toxic notion that some very large fish cannot possibly co-exist among schools of smaller minnows as they find their banquets shrinking to much more reasonable portions, shrieking that it isn’t fair they should have to share a slice of the larger marketing mince pie.”

Bridging the Gaps

Three more excellent articles this week continue the work of prying open Death Stranding.

“I made a lot of jokes as I played this game about calling Mads Mikkelsen “daddy”, but what I never expected was for Kojima to reach down into the hole in my heart where that loneliness lives and see it so clearly. That gaze looked deep into me and saw what I’m missing, which was enough to cut in, break the scab, and let all of it come rushing out anew.”

Flash Forward

A pair of authors examine a pair of recent releases: one indie, one about as AAA as it gets.

“What Call of Duty: Modern Warfare does is exploit the real-life horrors that countless people overseas, children especially, are suffering through just to make more privileged and comfortable gamers say “huh, really makes you think.” And even that descriptor may give the game too much credit, as its story refuses to engage with the reasons that truly led to these terrors and the actors that are responsible for this cruelty.”

Flash Back

Complementing the previous section, three authors situate games of the past in a contemporary context. Yeah, I know Shenmue III just came out.

“Just as Shenmue III has largely abandoned the path towards more cinematic or dramatic aesthetics that modern games pursue relentlessly, it also ignores interest in replicating realism in the way “simulation” typically conveys. It’s not interested in being fun or having phenomenal gameplay.”

Critical Chaser

Completely trustworthy article, definitely not written by a goose.

“Wild geese are more concerned with their personal goose business, and domesticated geese are for the most part just curious, and unable to manipulate large or heavy objects as they do in Untitled Goose Game.”


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