Welcome back readers.

It’s technically a holiday weekend here, but I’ve never had a ton of deference to *checks notes* British monarchy. At any rate, I’m back and recharged from a week visiting family, and here with another fifteen picks for your reading pleasure!

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


In a recent slate of very good indie releases, this one looks more and more like the one most strongly positioned to linger in critical discussions. Here are two of this week’s highlights.

“I think for Chinese diasporas, we want to be loved, understood, and accepted by the people who gave us birth. The desire to return to our homelands is understandable, but it should not be not at the expense of the children who will replace us.”

“Where is all the good writing about. . .?”

Now let’s talk about some of the problems that impact games criticism and media criticism more widely.

“It is frustrating to feel unrecognized. However, Critical Hits’ fundamental problem is not that it doesn’t show deference, but that it doesn’t learn lessons from game criticism’s checkered past. It recreates its numerous failures and foibles.”

Thought Cabinet

Here’s two more picks from the compilation of Disco Elysium essays I started reading last week. Challenging, worthwhile work!

Disco Elysium never promises a transcendental connection across class, profession, or species, but it does present the possibility for connection through a shared space. Martinaise is defined by post-revolutionary pessimism in which every possible future has receded into a mediocre present, where everything is always already falling apart and failing to materialize. Rather than being a place of wonder you are excluded from by your emotions or your personality, it’s a place where wonder has to be built, piece by piece, from the wreckage of previous possibilities, by you and the game simultaneously.”

Critical Path

Next up, old favourites, new hits, and lesser-known highlights come together in a series of new critical explorations.

“We’ve all forgotten something. We’ve all returned to an event in our minds over and over again. Yet we never know whether these glimmers of the past have been twisted into new forms. In No Case Should Remain Unsolved, you see how Gyeong’s reignited memories have constructed a new truth, and it grants us the chance to do the impossible – attempt faithful restoration.”


Our next two selections focus on service games, or, well, former service games! One’s been taken offline, while the other has enjoyed an afterlife of sorts–a good one, by the sounds of it.

“The team working on KKH was small at the start, because the “blueprint” of the game — the Stardom series — was already there, Dan said. The team wasn’t necessarily invested in Kardashian’s show or life; many of them said that after starting on the project, they began watching a lot of Keeping Up with the Kardashians to learn about her world. Though not everyone expressed fondness for the development period in interviews with Polygon, lots of people did. Sure, the game was based on a person who could be polarizing, but it was a legitimately good game.”

Studying the Blade

Ubisoft unveiled a new Assassin’s Creed set in Japan with a Black protagonist, and heads exploded! Here are two articles reflecting on the bad-faith nature of that particular discourse.

“When I push for greater diversity in games it’s not so that the next AAA samurai game will star an Asian protagonist, it’s so that the next Naughty Dog game, or the next Hideo Kojima game, or hell, even a Final Fantasy game, could imagine an Asian hero.”

Critical Chaser

This week we close out with a healthy measure of bittersweet memory.

“When I did eventually return to playing my beloved SP, it was painful. But it brought waves of nostalgia and joy along with the pain as I remembered all those nights I lay awake next to my Nan, the sound on low and the screen dimmed to ensure I didn’t wake her up. I remembered times when she couldn’t sleep herself and would ask me questions about my game, and I remembered how many times she told me, “I’m so glad you have something to keep you company while you’re here.” A phrase I heard often.”


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