Welcome back, readers.

First things first, if you haven’t already checked it out, this resource is here if you would like to find out more about how to support Asian-American communities near you in a time when anti-Asian violence is on the rise and the US isn’t helping things by manufacturing consent for a cold war with China.

No major updates from around the site over the last week, but we did just turn twelve years old (as of yesterday, to be precise). Here’s to another twelve and beyond, as we continue our project to find, collect, and promote engaging and innovative critical writing on games each and every week (except sometimes Christmas when Kris or Zoyander reminds me I’m supposed to take that week off).

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

State of the Art

Our first section today brings together four critical responses to trending and topical stories in games news, reflecting alternately on trends, cycles, representational challenges, and more.

“I’d argue that Apple is now actively deciding what the “mobile games canon” is, rather than passively letting the App Store ebb and flow. If you’re not part of the canon, the App Store is now even more likely to just swallow you up – if not now, then some day.”

Medium Difficulty

A loose running theme threaded through our next section is the tension, challenge, and fruits of narrative play through the lenses of player motivation, structure, and negative space.

“As a hybrid, I dream of a cognitively friendly unity between minds in time and space, enabling creators to jointly explore possibilities by utilizing the medium, embedding the dynamic and motivating forces to etch the experience on memory.”

Fresh from Japan

Our next pair of pieces this week take a look at recent releases from genres and series that tend not to travel very far beyond Japan, though in one case here “recent” shall be taken to mean “recently localized!”

“Every moment it can the game is making an effort to reach out, to show you something you might like or offering quick refreshers just to make sure you’re still feeling comfortable and confident in this environment.”

Spaces Between and Beyond

Next up, two articles focused to some degree on spatial analysis as examined through various narrative, technological, and design-minded lenses.

“Skyward Sword is all about breaking through boundaries, dwelling in the spaces in-between, and the tension of transition.”

Critical Chaser

Saturshot closes us out this week with a concise commentary on a commonplace conceit.

“Death is omnipresent in many kinds of games, but Nowhere Prophet demonstrates that it only takes the smallest details to thoughtfully consider death as a part of culture, and not a monolith.”


Critical Distance is community-supported. Our readers support us from as little as one dollar a month. Would you consider joining them?


Have you read, seen, heard or otherwise experienced something new that made you think about games differently? Send it in!