Hello readers,

December is traditionally a good month for “festivities” but a slow month for “discourse”, with many critics, essayists and content-makers opting to take a little break or put out some sort of top ten list. Meanwhile, others chose to upload well-argued and hard-hitting video essays, flummoxing my attempts at circumscribing “a pattern” yet granting me the column content I crave. It’s a short one but a good one this month, is all I’m trying to say.

Also, in case you missed it, allow me to recommend Kris’s This Year in Videogame Blogging roundup, a thorough but measured critical snapshot of the 2021 that was.

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

A Matter of Agency

A surprisingly common theme amongst December’s video selection is: what you can learn when you let the game pilot itself.

Companies and Communities

Here, two (quite different) pieces explore the intersection of community toxicity with corrosive and harmful corporate cultures.

In Search of Better Selves

Improvement of the self, or improvement of the robot friend? Both make for interesting (if only tangentially related, if I’m being honest) topics in this pair of essays.

Not Parable

Ways that fictional game worlds can portray and relate to the “real”, for better and worse, are examined in these next two thoughtful essays to round out December 2021.