Welcome back readers.

Just as a reminder, I am taking the next week off from TWIVGB–I usually grant myself one week out of the year to take a rest from Critical Distancing, and this time around that’s this Sunday December 31st. The timing works out perfectly, however, because that’s the day we’re planning to run This Year In Videogame Blogging, so stick around!

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

Talk and Play

I didn’t put quite all the interviews in this section, but that’s what we’re starting with: conversations with a particular focus on design.

“I was in the development phase—the hard part, when you have to fine-tune your rules. But that’s the game of game design—and, maybe, of life. You play by changing the rules, in search of freedom, joy, surprise, insight, argument, and fellowship. You win when you find rules that work.”

Trendy Game

Now let’s move to some industry-level perspectives spanning genre, monetization, and community.

“These are the fans for whom a game is way more than the sum of its parts—the ones who made me truly love videogames when I found my first sparkling, over-customized Zelda and Pokémon fansites back in the ’90s. That’s why I’m so glad to have them all back in one place again. The corner of fandom that used to be synonymous with Tumblr, despite the in-group strife that sometimes comes with it, is integral to gaming as a whole.”


Let’s pivot away from the bigger picture now for closer critical looks at recent popular releases.

“I’m still stuck in the trite confines of the videogamey simulation, still pinging along its periphery, missing the meat at the core of the thing. On this metanarrative level, Cyberpunk does inadvertently wind up being the perfect cyberpunk videogame. It places me in the position of an intrepid hacker, trying to access the secret core where it hides its pathos, its tenderness, its legitimately touching moments as a story. But I keep running into defenses, distractions.”

Critical Chaser

To close out this week I’ve picked a couple of year-in-review pieces that stood out!

“The continued bleeding in manpower throughout the industry will only spread until we support the people creating games coming together to protect themselves over the massive interests looking to squeeze them dry. We, as the people who play and enjoy the medium, owe it to the people who create these works of art to speak out. With our wallets, with our voices and with our assistance when we can.”


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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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