Welcome back readers.

Started a new job this week, putting a hard reset on my work/sleep schedule and bringing you this week’s issue a conspicuous number of hours early. Can I keep it up? Only time will tell!

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

Opening Hookshot

Let’s start things off with a pair of perspectives on Tears of the Kingdom, each peeling the game back a little to challenge it in different ways.

“What Tears of the Kingdom ultimately says about bodies is that in a neat, happy ending, they can only exist one way. Prosthetics, scars, or deliberate modifications are blemishes that must be erased in the same sweep as the Demon King himself. Like the rest of the narrative — like the rest of the franchise — it doesn’t celebrate anything changing.”

Contextual Input

Now for an RPG-focused section, situating games in–as well as untangling them from–the wider contexts of metafranchises, fandoms, and meme culture.

“Lots of people like Fallout New Vegas. It’s not a secret mysterious cult hit. It doesn’t need special trans significance to be a beloved game in the trans community. Coming out in the right chunk of time for a community with common interests means that of course a bunch of them would relate to it. You might as well point out the common thread of trans women using Windows 7, because in the same general band of time they probably did.”

Press Start to Continue

Fresh perspectives on name-brand classics.

“Contra is certainly jingoistic and hawkish, but it just takes that attitude for granted rather than advocating for it or thinking it out, getting by on vibes, then it further obscures its politics by ostensibly not taking place in the reality of 1987. It’s a very cynical triangulation: with one hand, it uses a hot-button issue to get some attention, and with the other, busily declaims and buries its position towards that issue. It is just another game where you extend your will through the barrel of a gun, into the computer space that attempts to violently repel you, and it passively discourages further thought about its form or real-world implications.”

Media Rez

Now let’s explore analog and mixed-media approaches in cool-and-recent games.

Dordogne is only one game that displays the medium’s ability to showcase how complex interconnections between different generations and their attendant forms of self-expression and art-making can be. Our media is intertwined with our nostalgia and often nostalgia points towards what different generations believe or hold dear.”

Critical Chaser

Let the past die.

“The will to archive in the ways that most are taught to archive is not an innocent one, it is one of accumulation and the continuation of imperialist and capitalist thought. It is a history of racism and deprivation and destruction and the perfection of history into an art dominated by a handful of countries.”


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