Welcome back readers.

We’re back again this week with another longer issue–Since the start of the new year we haven’t published a weekly issue with fewer than seventeen picks. I say something about this semi-frequently, but it bears repeating: our roundups wouldn’t be as good or varied as they are without the community of readership we’re lucky to have over on our Discord server. Pop in and say hi!

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

Industry Insights

Let’s start with our industry-minded selections for the week, looking at trends in labour and demographics as well as a fundraiser of pressing importance.

“the companies led by all men received around 76 times the funding of those led by all women. The data that’s missing, however, is how many companies led by all-women founders tried for funding and didn’t get it.”

Embedded Systems

Critical and counter approaches to play bring together our next set of highlights.

“A woman in Red Dead Redemption 2 sweeps the same area over and over again, not making any impact on how dirty it is. The city walkers in Operation Jane Walk run into enemies, and the tour guide casually says, “We have to defend ourselves, sorry,” as the camera cuts from the violence but the gunfire is loud and clear. In one of the simplest but most effective Total Refusal pieces, three images from different war games show flowers, unmoving in the face of massive explosions. There’s meaning to be explored in these moments, but they’re also inherently funny.”

Adult Games

We’re happy to cover two more essays from the Adult Analysis Anthology.

  • A Broad Overview Of Steam’s “Adult Only” Category | cohost
    Juniper Angel Theory offers some data analysis insights on the kinds of adult games that are published on Steam, and the (lack of) ways in which the platform distinguishes them.
  • Corruption of Champions & Honesty | cohost
    Bud Bear juxtaposes a more candid authorship inherent to worldbuilding erotica to a more detached and sterile approach prevalent in mainstream fantasy (curator’s note: content notifications provided at the top of the article by the author).

“The worlds of CoC2 and TiTs especially feel incredibly gross a lot of the time, and honestly they’re probably pretty sticky, but they are fundamentally, utterly and completely their author’s work. A work of fetish is by definition going to be a peek into the author’s soul, yeah?”

Off the Golden Path

This segment sits at an imagined midpoint between design and experience.

“Perhaps for both me and Moira, a twisted ankle on a mountain peak is a reminder to be more attentive to our surroundings – but there’s a wonderful difference in A Highland Song where instead of it being a reminder of risk, it’s an invitation to take part. The scariest thing that can happen when you rush your way downhill is that you miss the reason you were traveling in the first place.”

Historical Friction

Our next picks dig into two works of historical fiction, examining fidelity and allegory, respectively.

“When the rot of the streets grows to envelop the Isles and the glittering palaces finally collapse in yet another outbreak of violence, The Order shows the literal monstrousness that’s extended its tendrils to India, and that will begin anew in the former colonies, an evil exported into the Americas as the 20th century approaches. The empire, we know as a modern audience, has reached a zenith it will not regain. The future lies across the ocean, a fertile new ground for the vampires and werewolves to conquer and through which to extend their power for centuries to come.”

Takes Me Back

Now let’s catch up with a pair of thoughtful play impressions tying recent popular titles to childhood experiences.

“When I started weeping over my Steam Deck during the final few chapters of Goodbye Volcano High, I realized that I had experienced something similar many times before. Yet, for all those personal reasons explored above, Goodbye Volcano High is a game that will stick with me for a long time, like the time each of my friends, one by one, walked away from that bonfire on the beach.”

Story Time

Here we’ve got two very good narrative pieces recounting histories of development and play, respectively.

“In summary, my freshman year was hell, but I had one sanctuary. Right across the hall from me, in a disheveled room littered with pizza boxes and heaps of dirty laundry, lived Bassem, from Cairo, who, when introducing himself, deadpanned, “I am the best Wario in Oklahoma.” “

Critical Chaser

Never let it be said Critical Distance doesn’t care about the game.

“The second half proceeds much like the first, except this time the 49ers manage to light up all the letters in KICK, but nothing in particular seems to happen. Mahomes and Purdy both make tries for a touchdown with little success, and the scoreboard continues to broadcast confusing sentiments like TACKLE THE RED PLAYERS 36 and PASS INTERFERENCE MULTIBALL 13.”


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