Welcome back, readers.

The past and future feature heavily in this week’s issue as writers re-evaluate prior legacies and weigh in on future trends. No major updates around the site to discuss this week, unless I’ve somehow missed something myself as I begin to flounder in lesson planning at the beginning of the semester and my other professional commitments threaten to engulf my sense of time. Anyway!

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

Prophets of the Dark Side

Usually when you’re trying at a temporally-themed issue it’s customary to start with the past and end off on the future. Anyway, here are four pieces looking forward at some of the dark places current trends in games have been leading along cultural, commercial and legal axes.

“We are seeing an unprecedented amount of commodification this year. Gibson is selling shares in guitars. You can buy a single shred of fabric from a collectible sneaker. NFTs have people paying millions of dollars for some really hideous JPEGs. Pokemon cards can now be considered intergenerational wealth. This has anyone with the perception of value grasping at straws; people are really out here trying to manipulate the aftermarket for less than $300.”

End of the Line

Our next section this week deals with endings along both narrative and mechanical dimensions, both clean-cut and ambiguous.

“It pushes against the core of the detective genre – it doesn’t give you that payoff at the end, that catharsis of clean, unambiguous knowledge. In that sense, despite being about gods and demons and the possessed, it’s surprisingly close to realism.”

True Colors

Next up on deck, two conversations on representation in games this week, whether it’s the latest pre-release outrage or the more personal experience of feeling seen.

“Alex Chen being defined as bisexual in True Colors as opposed to playersexual is a breath of fresh air, because my attraction to all genders is reflected in her romantic outlook. Throughout the game she makes vocal remarks about being attracted to both Ryan and Steph, providing them with compliments or lining her inner monologue with playful comments about being thirsty over them or deciding who she wants to pursue a relationship with. The ultimate choice is still up to you, and you can even end the game without smooching anyone, Alex is still a bisexual young woman finding her place in the world like I’m a transgender woman trying to come to terms with my own identity and not hate myself all the time.”

A Wider Net

Our next two featured pieces this week take single games as starting points to broader conversations around marketing, merch, and our attachments to characters.

“Aggressive push for Animal Crossing merch despite stagnancy in the most recent mainline game will continue to raise a lot of questions, but I know I am partially part of the problem as I fiddle with my Tom Nook toy. Perhaps I am trying to fill a void in my own lack of regularity playing New Horizons. Or maybe I just think it’s all so damn cute and there’s nothing more to think about.”

Old Game Plus

Casting our gaze backward now, here are three critical re-examinations of yesterday’s games and the developers and companies that made them.

“If we can see what it took to make what’s here almost work then we can learn to appreciate the hard work it took just to reach this briefly semi-broken state and how much of a struggle it is to make anything at all.”

Critical Chaser

Well is he?

Sonic The Hedgehog, I loftily state. The blue blitzball. The quilled quickold. Knuckles’ boyfriend.”


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