Welcome back readers.

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

Character Select

Our opening section this week unpacks both thematic and structural queerness across a variety of games, alongside the lasting influence of these titles on players and developers alike.

Dark Souls presents us a dead and decaying world built on power structures that have long since ceased to function, if they ever did. Like a shambling corpse, they trudge on and demand you play along, too. They demand that you care about them and sacrifice yourself for their sake while—and I cannot stress this enough—the game never gives you a reason to care about the Prophecy you are meant to fulfill. There’s an overwhelming stink of compensatory masculinity and bravado to the whole thing that jars against the desolate, quiet, and depressed nature of the world. The hero’s journey of Dark Souls is, at first glance, a relatively stock-standard one. First glances, like an illusory wall, are never to be trusted.”

Water Cooler

There hasn’t been much to read here on the site about the recent unravelling of Twitter, but there are some direct impacts for the games industry to talk about here, as highlighted by our next two featured authors.

“What I’m more interested in is how the context for how we all gather, talk and create for the games industry will change. In some ways, the online games community is going back to a previous internet model of being distributed over a number of different forums. Games releases and the discourse surrounding them will still be a common denominator for these different forums. But talk of games will be more segmented, idiosyncratic, and in some instances depending on the platform more private.”

Communal Effort

These next two pieces unspool some larger ideas about community and commons.

“There’s no WikiHow in distinguishing Good and Bad Leftism. This ambivalent tension never goes away in this game because you don’t know if you are doing something good or not. All you know is that you’re doing something.”

Linking Book

This section is all about personal playstyle, on both micro and macro scales.

“I feel as though my issue with gaming in 2022 has been the unconscious decision to play video games “buffet style,” where I put a little of everything on my plate and am surprised when I don’t have an appetite for second helpings right away. The buffet style gaming approach is far different than how I’ve typically played games in the past. Rather, especially when I was actively Twitch streaming, my previous approach to playing games involved playing one game through to completion before moving onto the next temptation on my list. This year, I have given into the temptations all at once, spreading myself thin over a number of massive games, many of which are quite similar in their third-person action adventure design.”

Library Card

A somewhat loosely-organized section, these next three pieces are all in different ways about curation.

“One day I hope to see fan translations of these Super Famicom Sound Novels, their imitators, and maybe even the titles that followed on the Playstation. For now, I stay grateful to the remake’s translators, and the video creators who make it possible to experience, at least in some part, these moments in history.”

Critical Chaser

We close out the week with some solemn advice for Snappers everywhere.

“So remember: Think about how you’re spending your time, and wash your hands. And if you’re playing “Marvel Snap,” do no more than two matches if you’re doing number two.”


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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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