Welcome back readers.

This week our featured plug is for the Trans Witches Are Witches bundle on Itch organized by friend-of-the-site Nathalie. 69 independent games, stories, and artworks for 60 US dollars–the price of a AAA game, nice. That’s a lot of bang for your Wizard-buck, so check it out! Running till Febuary 24th.

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

Critical Legacy

We’re opening this week’s issue with a survey of all the hottest critical coverage on the year’s most-anticipated Wizard Game!

“More than anything, I wish I could return to that world when Harry Potter was a safe place for people like me, where being different, being an outsider, was presented as okay. But I can’t, nor can so many trans people. And that’s what makes people’s enthusiasm for Hogwarts Legacy so awful to endure. It’s a reminder that, despite everything – the bigotry, the harassment, the violence, the curtailing of human rights in nearly every state – the response from the Potter fandom has been a resounding shrug. We don’t ultimately matter. And that hurts like hell.”

Give and Take

Next up, two investigative pieces examining industry practices past and present, inspiring and insidious.

“NVIDIA declined to comment.”

“Sony did not respond to a request for comment.”

“Ubisoft did not respond to a request for comment.”

Track Changes

Here we’ve got two short pieces examining underexplored angles in game design.

“game design is always expanding infinitely outwards, rather than being refined towards a point, and obsolescence is a matter of taste.”

Dog Eat Dog

We now turn our attention to the bleak realities past and speculative that games take us to, and the characters that navigate them in imaginative and less-imaginative ways.

“There’s something I don’t like about it that I can’t quite put my finger on… Oh, right! It’s that I don’t like to be told — especially by corporate-produced media — that deep down, everyone’s a monster, so there’s no point in getting rid of the monsters in charge.”

Meta Genre

While we regularly feature genre-focused sections in the issue, this week’s spin on the topic explores a pair of slightly broader categories–forever games and remakes.

  • NetHack [1987-2023] | Arcade Idea
    Art Maybury turns to one of the Ur-Roguelikes, its debts to earlier adventure games already well known, and instead positions it as a progenitor text to a metagenre with contemporary salience: the Forever Game.
  • Too Much Memory | Bullet Points Monthly
    Yussef Cole probes the paradoxes of memory that inform remakes–and also homages.

“Remakes are an act of remembering. In a literal sense they are the recalling of aged code, geometry data, texture maps dredged from the network backups of now-defunct developers. But they are also largely brought back from the realm of pure memory, and fantasy. They are relegated to what we remember about them, and what their publishers anticipate we might prefer to remember about them.”

Living World

Our next section brings together topics and tensions of simulation and storytelling as they play out in game worlds.

“This friction – of making plans that dwarves seem to ignore – is what pushes me out of that mindset of refining pipelines that building games encourage, and to dive into Dwarf Fortress as a story generator.”

Critical Chaser

Poetry Corner is back, baby.

“Have you ever had a friend who
makes the sky a different color? Plachta said
the sky was gold, and it was.”


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