Welcome back readers.

Feeling a little bit on the back foot this week, having not yet played the new hotness Immortality, but that’s the senior curator life–I read all about most new popular games before I have the chance to try them myself. I will, though!

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

The Hot Goss

I’m trying something new with the format here by leading the issue, when applicable, with a dedicated section for a game or topic that’s attracting a lof of writing and/or mindshare that week. This time, it’s the game Immortality, and I’ve found that there’s a lot of agreement on what it does well and what invites scrutiny, with the differences in opinion coming down to which of these elements spoke louder to the writer. Here, in four installments, is a snapshot of that conversation, which I suspect will continue into future weeks.

“The only way to fully appreciate the scope of this project, flaws and all, is to throw all expectations of story and structure out the window, and realize that the simplistic divide between film and games is holding us back from doing so much more with either medium.”


There’s also been a fair bit of discussion around We Are OFK, so here’s two perpindicular highlights for that game, too.

“I think that OFK’s particular way of splitting the difference between game and show (and album release vehicle) is more interesting as a signal of where games might go in the next couple of years, as studios begin to experiment more with games that feel (thematically and structurally) like TV shows, and are therefore, in theory, more digestible to people who don’t usually play games. But this approach also loses the ways games can use player choice to build narrative in a way that’s unique to the medium, and can therefore accomplish things that TV can’t. For escapism, frictionless can be nice, but eventually I want something to hold on to.”

Genre Play

Ok, how about some discussion in and around genre conventions and tropes?

“Sia and Hansel’s sexual journey together is far too brief, shallowly written, and concerned with titillation to be successful as a story of a victim furthering the cycle of their own abuse. While such a character arc could be incredibly messy and prone to controversy, it would at least confront the change in Hansel’s behavior directly. It would also allow the opportunity to develop the character further beyond the limits of archetype he never manages to shed here.”

Had to Be There

Here’s a section on stories and worldbuilding, in popular games, past games, live games.

“Destiny is an unfinished sentence that feels as if it is always being added to. Why add a period to that sentence? Why close it off?”

Community Quest

Our next three selections this week unpack communities, both in-game, in-universe as well as out of and around games.

Death Stranding, created by Hideo Kojima, is an open world epic concerned with, amongst many things, the gig economy and the lack of value we ascribe to delivery workers. It is also a game about environmental crisis, what happens when we ravage a planet to the point that its dead fauna haunt our collective imaginations. It deals in the broadest of strokes with politics, the need to stay connected, and technology, which can facilitate this. At its very core, though, Death Stranding is a game about fatherhood, specifically the idea of bringing a child into the world that is seemingly beyond fucked, one in which there is a near-total absence of hope.”

Critical Chaser

New poetry this week. 🙂

“Alls I know
is tomorrow marks the day a part of all our memories dies,
does that make sense? Nobody is really certain
what the fuck Nintendo is doing with this.”


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Have you read, seen, heard or otherwise experienced something new that made you think about games differently? Send it in!

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