Welcome back readers.

It’s somehow already September and I am wishing a very cathartic Labour Day weekend to everyone involved in any kind of strike action right now. As of this publication, this group may imminently expand to include videogame voice actors. Here’s hoping for some much-needed Ws for labour organization across industries as we head into Fall.

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

Not Forgotten

We’re opening this week with two essays informed by recent endings–the abrupt news of Charles Martinet stepping away from voicing Mario and the blindside shuttering of Saints Row developer Volition.

“I can talk about how much I love something until the cows come home. Nothing changes. But I won’t stop talking. I can’t. On the off chance somebody who had some hand in Saints Row IV reads this. Because they gave their lives to the craft, and I want them to know how important that work was to me—and to countless others. To read this and—through the pain—and know that it wasn’t a waste.”

Power Structures

Our next two selections focus on the overarching systems and power structures depicted and critiqued in games.

“Living a fulfilling life is one of the greatest challenges under capitalism. It’s easy to fall into the “rise and grind” mentality where we work until we’re in the grave. I Hate You gives a glimpse into how we can counteract this, how we can actually search for meaning.”

New Play

Now let’s turn our attention to design analysis and novel ideas in new-and-recent games

“I’m happy that we’re at a point in time now where food doesn’t have to just be a fun marketing tool to encourage constant consumption a la Candy Crush or a simulator that’s tied to a competition or storefront of some sort. Venba shows us that food in games can be more than a delicious-looking power up and help us tell nuanced stories about different cultures and nurturing identities.”

Fielding Opinions

Let’s narrow the focus now, with a focus on space and place in games.

“There is a certain melancholy of coming back to a place you thought you left behind. In connections frayed and left behind in disrepair. In things left unfinished and unsaid and undone. In time spent in repeat, comforting in its familiarity, a reminder or refrain of things lost and then rediscovered.”

Critical Chaser

Don’t blow things up in space.

“At a different point in our conversation, Fletcher told me not to think of an astronaut just as a person in space, but rather as a person “in a very, very small spaceship”. Said Fletcher: “That’s what an astronaut’s spacesuit is, it’s a little, tiny, self-contained spaceship.””


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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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