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This Month In Videogame Vlogging highlights the most compelling critical videos about videogames from the previous calendar month.
It’s a Trap
‘Things contained within other things’ is the running theme to lead us off.
How Inscryption Toys With You | Psych of Play – Daryl Talks Games (24:14)
Daryl describes how the shapeshifting design of Inscryption situates the player in multiple ‘magic circles’ to create satisfying intrigue and mystery. (Manual captions) [Embedded advertising]
Returnal is a Hell of Our Own Creation – Jacob Geller (30:16)
Jacob Geller explains how roguelike shooter Returnal uses game mechanics and layers of motifs to depict an existentially horrifying self-made hell. (Manual captions) [Embedded advertising]
The Universe is a Beautiful Place & I Am No Longer Afraid to Die – HeavyEyed (19:35)
Mitch Cramer finds the capacity of the score of Outer Wilds to alternatively evoke a sense of home and horror pivotal in pushing through feelings of anxiety brought up by playing the game. (Manual captions)
This video gets a section all to itself.
The Abridged Videogaming History of Big-Money Buyouts & Mergers – Super Bunnyhop (25:20)
As the title suggests, George Weidman runs through a history of industry buyouts and mergers to explain why this pattern is bad for… well, all of us. (Autocaptions) [Embedded advertising]
You Were Wrong When You Said
This video, too, gets a section to itself.
What Is Up With Donkey Kong Country 3?! | Dixie Kong’s Gender Trouble – Transparency (1:01:00)
In a compelling bit of analysis, Transparency argue that the coding of gender roles in the Donkey Kong Country series both pre-empted and fuelled critical (mis)perceptions of Donkey Kong Country 3 as a lesser entry. (Manual captions)
Dating the Tough Times
Our last picks for February discuss engaging with tough subjects, visual novels, or both.
Picking Up The Pieces What Why And Who Are Games For – Talen Lee (14:55)
Talen Lee looks at “not fun” game Picking Up The Pieces to discuss how games can create fictional and safe spaces to navigate trauma. (Autocaptions)
Memories & Grief in Kanon (1999) – Amelie Doree (51:50)
Amelie Doree discusses visual novel Kanon’s treatment of death and illness, and how it positions the player to think about difficult topics. (Manual captions)
Downhill Snow – Flexibility and Rigidness – Umbrella Terms (12:45)
UT delves into PS1 ski racing sim/dating visual-novel hybrid, Downhill Snow. (Manual captions)