Hello readers,

Yes, that time of the month has arbitrarily arrived: videodiscourserounduptime. For the final time in 2021, no less. I feel like I should say something grand here to mark the turning of pages, but I have nothing. It’s been a year. Thank you essayists for all the videos. Thank you readers for reading and recommending. Thank you Patreon-backers for funding us. Thank you Chris for steering the ship. May there be more to come.

December is also the time when we look back on a whole year’s worth of videogames criticism, so if you have any favourite pieces from this year you think should be considered (including videos (if there’s a transcript attached)) for the much-heralded annual This Year In VideoGame Blogging roundup, get them in while the submission window is open.

This Month In Videogame Vlogging highlights the most compelling critical videos about videogames from the previous calendar month.

Changers of Course, of course

In this trio of videos, we cast our gaze back to the 1980s to explore the non-linear and messy processes of design evolution.

Containing Multitudes

A few essayists chose November to release lengthy video explorations (of, respectively: a studio; a console era; a concept) wherein the essayist plays and analyses numerous games within the relevant frame to draw together some broader ideas.

Violent Agendas

This next trio make insightful and thought-provoking readings about the role of death and violence in games.

  • Time Loop Nihilism – Jacob Geller (26:45)

    Jacob Geller finds that murder-filled time loop games Death Loop and Twelve Minutes fail to offer the protagonist characters a way back from a life of endless, ‘inconsequential’ violence. (Manual captions) [Embedded advertising]

  • Yakuza 6 Might Be Propaganda – GC Vazquez (1:35:25)

    Instead of a fulfilling conclusion for recurring series protagonist Kazuma Kiryu in Yakuza 6, GC Vasquez finds a disappointing trend of xenophobic and misogynistic characterisations, many of which the game seems to be positioning the player to sympathise with. (Manual captions)

  • The Failings of Failstates – Soft & Hollow (12:30)

    Soft & Hollow weighs up the purpose and execution of death mechanics/fail states in several popular horror and horror-adjacent titles. (Manual captions)

Good Times Appreciation Society Club Group

Finally for November 2021, we check in with the month’s best critically-edged open fan letters.

Wow alright, that does me for 2021. Happy new year everyone! Take care.