Welcome back, readers.

New TMIVGV this week! Check out some of the goodest and coolest video crit to come out in the last while, courtesy of, as always, Connor.

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

Holistic Approaches

We’re opening this week with two pieces that ask us to consider broader contexts in order to appreciate issues of access and representation in games.

“Gaming, as a medium often outside conversations on Blackness and digital praxis, is becoming a more visible, viable, and legible tool for making sense of Black technoculture. It implores us to make visible the force of discursive practices that position practices within (dis)orderly social hierarchies and arrangements. The explicit formulations of the normative order are sometimes in disagreement with the concrete human condition, as well as inconsistent with the consumption and production practices that constitute Black digital labor, pleasure, and desire.”

Deeeep Dives

Two roundup regulars this week continue to deliver astonishing and engrossing reads on the histories behind old, obscure, and obtuse games.

“Having entered the meeting hoping only to secure the rights to Ellison’s short story, Pat Ketchum thus walked away having agreed to a full-fledged collaboration with the most choleric science-fiction writer in the world, a man destined to persist forevermore in referring to him simply as “the toad.” Whether this was a good or a bad outcome was very much up for debate.”

Identity Axes

Our next section brings together different angles on identity–cultural, representational, and symbolic–while unpacking different structures in games–language, settings, and avatars.

“It’s better than no fat representation at all. But that bar’s so low we had to dig out a basement for it to live in.”

Aesthetics and Ideologies

Continuing on, we’re featuring a pair of pieces that unpack the attitudes, aesthetics, and ideologies at play in games that bring together recreation and labour.

“Dreaming of different and ideal digital worlds helps us imagine how we might make our own world a better place. Encouraging diversity and thoughtful evaluations of politics in fashion and gaming aren’t just an escape from the drudgery of capitalism but a way of cultivating a more gentle and egalitarian[?] world.”

Artful Practices

Two pieces from creatives and makers meditating on the artistic process, practical making, and more.

“It is very important for creators to understand the role they play in society. Games, films, and stories are not just fun. Fun is merely the capsule through which insight, inspiration, and aspiration are delivered. I often meet creators and audiences who tell me that media is just fun, and that we should “keep politics out of it.” The stories that claim to not be political, are often simply reinforcing the status quo, because every story is political.”

Critical Chaser

Blooper Game.

“Sure, there are no guns, but the premise is similar. Four characters compete in a series of dangerous mini games to get their chance at getting more coins and power stars, the highest form of currency in the Mario universe. These characters are in a constant state of dying and being revived, only to be tested time after time by a series of Squid Game-like mini games.”


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!