Welcome back readers.

Third long issue in a row! I do occasionally have to find a stopping point somewhere on busy weeks, but it’s always better to have more to choose from on my reading list. In the meantime, keep the recommendations coming on our Discord!

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


Let’s start things off this time around with some reviews–two new games and a book!

“Druckmann has previously noted that his inspiration for the story came from the conflict between Israel and Palestine. A traumatic image moved him to write a story about two factions going to war with one another and destroying each other’s lives in the process. The 2020 release was removed enough from that geopolitical struggle to operate on its own terms, but it does not have the same luxury in 2024. It’s difficult to remove it from the current struggle overseas, which has reportedly left tens of thousands of Palestinian civilians — including thousands of children — dead.”

Disc Access

Now let’s look at some industry-level topics, with a running theme of access–access to games, access to audiences, access to distribution and discoverability.

“Because Patreon is built around the developer instead of the game, the developer has to maintain a positive relationship with their audience in order to keep the cash flow running. Content – sexy, enticing content – has to come out at a regular rate, lest the subscribers start questioning the worth of their investment. This pushes the industry towards long-term projects developed over several years rather than the multitude of short, one-and-done games that permeated the 2000s, as new content is easier to provide when you’re building on top of an existing project rather than developing a new one entirely. As such, many major Patreon-funded erotic games are functionally live-service games, with no expectation of the game being complete any time soon.”

The Cop Place

Partly a section on Robocop: Rogue City, and partly a section on copaganda more broadly, these next few pieces explore distortions and limitations in nostalgia and storytelling alike.

“With Rogue City, we got to play with the toy, live in our memory, disconnected from anything real. But maybe it’s better, at times, to put the toys away. To see what exists beyond our nostalgia, beyond playing at cops, knocking plastic together, in our little bedrooms, blind to the world.”


Next up we have a few developer interviews concerning recent and topical games.

“Regardless of the outcome, everyone I’ve spoken to believes that The Lost Crown is a massive step forward regarding the representation of Persian culture despite criticisms and certain issues. A popular title with a blond-haired main character, navigating an insultingly orientalist One-Thousand-And-One-Night-esque environment, and being Persian only in name, is now taking steps to represent the culture it’s borrowing so much from and making hundreds of thousands off of.”

Post Processing

Here we’ve got a pair of critical meditations on trauma and grief as they relate to recent games.

“The loss will always be there. The community you have will too. It’s the people who have been through it themselves, and it’s the people who love you.”

In Play

These following three play accounts have a common thread running through them about shifting and subverting expectations, whether in-game or out.

“The first time I played Lil Gator Game, I was mostly struck by how lovingly it frames the act of play and creation. As someone who also grew up playing with their older sibling and creating my own games, I felt connected to the little gator every time he invented a story or built something out of cardboard or begged his big sister to play with him. Lil Gator Game was, to me, a celebration of childhood and imagination. It still is but, coming back to it a year later, I find myself focusing on a different aspect: friends.”

Critical Chaser

Spine closes out the issue once again.

“The environment of Rain World is harsh. At first, that’s all 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!