Welcome back readers.

Before we get into today’s textual business, can I interest anyone in some new TMIVGV?

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

Parser Tricks

This week we open with a segment on interactive fiction, looking at a pair of landmark games with very different reputations.

“What could be more modern, more immediate, than Perry Simm’s inability to console his wife? Or than the deterioration of his relationship with his son? He does not need to speak of his horror when the armed thugs of the immigration police kick in his door. It is our horror, too. We are called to feel it, and it is A MInd Forever Voyaging‘s lasting triumph that we must answer its call.”

Waterfowl Dance

Next, we have a trio of feminist critical perspectives on games both popular and offbeat.

“For the Gygaxian adventurer, there is always another dungeon to loot. In the same way, the phallic drive always ensures that in the subject’s imagination there is always another thing to desire. For the traditional male subject, there is always another woman to fuck.”

City Spaces

Two very different pieces now, united by a focus on videogame cities and a desire to move beyond colonial-capitalist frameworks.

“Workers & Resources isn’t harking back to a golden age, it’s just working from a shared history most of us in the West are unfamiliar with, and tend to dismiss as somehow separable from everything else that makes up a culture.”

Spooky Month

Ok I know the tarot-themed anthology piece is a bit of a stretch fit here but bear with me.

“All told, Dead Space’s suit design is a nicely unnerving depiction of capitalism’s warped, self-contradictory attitude toward the spine. On the one hand, capitalism needs the figure of the upright human to justify humanity’s separateness from other creatures and thus, its right to carve up and profit from them, while raising its own social hierarchy within the category of the human. On the other, capitalism wants to collapse all such distinctions in the name of circulation, to level everything down into readily tradeable fluid units.”

Play Logs

Up next, two reflections on games, both general and specific, in play and in execution, as they weave into the fabric of our late-capitalist existence.

“The driving force is sharpened to the idea that the American dream is a disease, as characters explicitly say. Taking the piss out of America has always been a big part of Grand Theft Auto, but this is a much more crafted and grounded version of pisstaking.”

Feeling Cute

Here we’ve got two authors unpacking a pair of cute games with a bit more going on beneath the surface than their sunny dispositions might initially suggest.

“Perhaps the reason this artlang, for all its silly babble, stuck with me over the years is because it perfectly reflects how ephemeral and changeable our dreams and our relationships to others can be. Or how dreams and reality are intertwined, like Huepow and Klonoa once were.”

Critical Chaser

This week we close the issue with a pair of reflections both meditative and melancholic.

“We were, all of us, growing older, and growing apart; inevitably leaving the adventures behind and learning how to live in the world alone.”


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