February 16th

Abstract image evoking bird silhouette

Welcome back, readers.

First off, new TMIVGV! Keep sending Connor your video recommendations as we continue our work rounding up cool, interesting, and noteworthy crit across media.

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

Affective Apotheosis

We’re starting things off this week with three pieces on games that put our feelings through the wringer in exploring their respective thematic tensions.

“In this game about the things we miss in life, even if it’s due to being consumed by valid worries, we sometimes neglect the good and others who may be fighting their own battles, too.”

Narrative Playbooks

Though games have inherited the body of narrative tools developed in prior media forms, the implementation of those tools necessarily differs, evolves, and diversifies until it becomes something new. What’s an ending look like for a game? What makes a villain work when pitted against a playable protagonist? Two authors this week explore these questions and more.

“I’ve had the opportunity to write (and delete) a lot of hyperbole about Eric Sparrow while working on this article. I am not exaggerating when I say that I sometimes lie awake at night and consider the fact that Eric Sparrow will never go to hell, because he is not real and therefore cannot die.”

Context Sensitive

Two pieces this week situate games in wider contexts of community and history, respectively.

“From Go to backgammon, Nine Men’s Morris and mancala, these were the cutthroat, quirky and surprisingly spiritual board games of the ancient world.”

Stakes of Play

Three of the week’s best pieces on what’s at stake for players from underrepresented and marginalized communities.

“When there’s nothing left about their bodies or minds to burn away, they get tossed, their usefulness spent. There’s no ending where their anger catches up to them, or they are granted redemptions, because they are never given enough time or sympathy for this to happen. At best they will be recycled for Heroes of the Storm, doomed to live in the purgatory that is a MOBA.”

Critical Chaser

Finally–an article with a little something to antagonize everybody.

“Upon reflection, a story about the tragic burden of a coddled Fashion Prince with Nightcrawler powers and retainers who literally die for him doesn’t feel so noble during late-2010s peak capitalism.”


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