Welcome back readers.

After a few weeks of shorter issues, we’re back with seven new-and-cool selections for you to tuck into. Let’s get it started!

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

Playing the Game

This week we are opening with a loose association of pieces on industry, business practices, corporatization, and communities of play.

The Super Mario Bros. Movie and its accompanying theme park are the very sort of enterprise Joffe, Jankel, and Morton’s Super Mario Bros. tried to warn us of. Easy, recognizable entertainment that services a larger entity. A barren concrete city where natural life is choked to death. Figureheads who we blindly trust to entertain us and do no harm, but represent the further encroach of cultural stagnation.”

Tackle Box

Ominous new fishing game Dredge has been making waves, so here are two highlights.

“The earlier apprehension-adrenaline cocktail loses lustre, slowly replaced with the enemy of fear. The unknowable becomes the known, patterns among the muck emerge. Frustration becomes the primary taste among an otherwise unconventional palette.”

Resume Game

Next up, a pair of personal play perspectives on games new and old.

“Sable never takes her mask off. She’s gendered but not in a way that matters, she’s never treated differently. I never doubt for a second that I’m her, not once. The only trace of her physical identity that I am privy to, the colour of her skin, only serves to further reinforce our kinship. Games, to many, are avenues for escapism, but for whom and from what? Often not for everyone, not for me. In Sable’s world I am free, My family, my people, they’re all free. Agency willed back into their lives. Emancipated from capitalism. Untethered from the long chain of history.”

Narrative Possibilities

Now we look squarely at stories, characters, and writing from a variety of perspectives.

“Any time a controller’s features have successfully been used as a tool in games, it forces us to think about the relationship between bodies, technology, and the meanings made from interacting with the audiovisuals on screen.”

In Theory

Here we’ve got a selection of more formalistic approaches, investigating the queer gothic, labour, and academic game studies itself.

“With its mix of flowery dialogue, elaborate metaphor, and obsessive passion, Kain is continually referencing and subverting gothic conventions throughout its runtime. Amidst the complex story spanning multiple time periods, interrogations on the nature of power, and musings on immortal morality, another theme emerges from the game’s proximity to gothic and vampire literature: Kain is queer as hell.”

CPU Cycles

As we close out the week we turn to meditations on angst, dread, and cyclicality, and how games approach those themes playfully.

“here’s the thing: wick movies perpetuate this overtone of gothic, cyclical hollowness yet remain both deliriously, delightfully surreal and fun as hell. and this tension is why the video game and souls comparison resonates so hard for me.”


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