Welcome back, readers.

At the time of this issue’s publication, you have a few hours (about 8?) left to pick up the Queer Games Bundle over on Itch if you’ve been meaning to but haven’t yet!

Around the site, Connor’s back with the latest issue of our video roundup, so check that out if you haven’t already!

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

Pride Before Wrath

I quite liked the series Eurogamer ran this past week on queer games and gaming–bringing together tabletop, live play, as well as digital topics–so they’re all here this week headlining our latest roundup.

“The seductive fascination vampires such as Carmilla, the Deneuve-Bowie-Sarandon sex hydra, and our very own Lady Dimitrescu exert on audiences and protagonists alike is a key component of their disidentificatory potential. It tempts us, against the normative flow of the narrative, to envisage forms of desire and pleasure divorced from the logic of reproductive heterosexuality. It calls us to join a community defined by strong aesthetic choices, a propensity towards polyamory, and a vexed relationship with the dominant culture. It invites us, in short, to be more than a little queer. And isn’t that what Pride’s all about?”

In Situ

Our next two sections are all close reads of individual games, and I could have arranged these a few different ways. What I’ve settled on here is putting these first three together for their emphasis on intuitive and relational connections to the material world, with particular focus on sensation, pattern relation, and meats.

“Cruelty Squad doesn’t care about the human body, and neither does the person who decided I should be able to buy Monster™ Brand Energy Drink and partake in “a spicy Greek.” In its own way, the locus of punishment from Cruelty Squad has a specific and hideous analogue in the real world. It is no less neon-coated here then it is there.”


Next up, a trio of extended analytical reads unpacking each game’s critical themes. Yes, that includes King’s Quest. Good stuff here!

“There are two kinds of faith in Dark Souls. The literal stat and the abilities it grants you of course. There is also the faith in Fire. There is the belief that by linking the flame, you will free the undead, you will make things right. By the end of Dark Souls 3, this is impossible to believe. The embers of the flame resurrect the souls of the dead to die again and again. The hollow eyes of the Fire Keepers stare at their successors. However, the warmth of Firelink Shrine remains. The faith of the Fire Keeper pledges you to relink the flame. Ann’s faith pushes her on through fights with the Gods.”


Art-themed indie Chicory is picking up a lot of critical traction, so here are two more of my favourite recent pieces!

“You need to be able to make something to tell me I can make something, because otherwise, what do you know? You can’t make things, either. Come back when you’ve made something yourself. Except, don’t, because then you don’t know what it’s like to not be able to make things.”

Yesterday and Tomorrow

All three of our next featured pieces this week spin along industry axes of one form or another, looking at past failings and injustices and looking as well to the future.

“At some point, having to explain power dynamics over and over again is not a question of informing the readership. It is a tacit acknowledgement that our audience likely has a specific background. And consequently, that reality means that even as we cover more mainstream subjects or marginalized identities, the writing is not truly for that wider audience. This haunts me. The presumed reader looks or sounds nothing like me, and yet here I am, leading a video game site.”

Bonus Action

Moving along, we’ve got a genre-specific segment here, this time focused on RPGs along historical, conventional, and formal axes, as well as disruptions therein.

“There is no main character, but a group of characters that the player is managing over the course of the campaign. Some leave to go chase their dreams, some die and others disappear by the most unruly means. All that to say that there is nothing sacred in Wildermyth; the game doesn’t prioritize the characters but the story which their actions tell, a story passed down for generations.”

Critical Chaser

I need two this week, so here’s two!

“I mean, he did burn Nibelheim to the ground, killing its residents (including Tifa’s father), attempted to kill Tifa, tried to get Cloud to kill Aerith only to then kill her himself, killed Cloud’s mother, haunted and tormented Cloud – the list goes on. But, Sephiroth was not always evil and his descent into madness was caused by outside influences, namely finding out he’s not really a human. Even though this may sound strange, I believe that Sephiroth would be a better husband than Cloud.”


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