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M. joshua Cauller

May 7th

On your own in an unfamiliar place, where nothing is real, and powerful structures overshadow everything? Games critics this week venture out alone.

Technical limitations

Narrative-focused games are encouraging increasingly nuanced analyses of inaction, peace, and pacing.

  • Gamasutra: M. Joshua Cauller’s Blog – Thoughts on first-person-narrative game trailers M. Joshua Cauller’s notes on producing a game trailer are also potentially useful material for video makers wanting to document and comment on other people’s games.
  • ‘Antisocial VR’ and the power of isolation | Will Freeman interviews solo developer Martin Wheel about meditative experiences and game design.
  • Some thoughts

August 17th



At The Digital Antiquarian, Jimmy Maher has a historical look at Where in the World is Carmen Sandiego?; the cultural and material contexts that brought it to life, and its lasting impact in mainstream videogames. And in conjunction with his upcoming book on mobile games (currently seeking crowdfunding) Zoya Street writes about the Nokia 3210 phone and the low-res no-colour games that came with it.

Race! Race! Race!

A couple of pieces thinking about race, identity and culture emerged this week.

At Game Bias, Sidney Fussell and Jed Pessgrove have a conversation about the general “race in games”

September 20th

Welcome to another week of top shelf videogame criticism, analysis, and commentary! We have some strong offerings for you this week, so let’s get right into them. It’s This Week in Videogame Blogging!

Making Marios

It’s Super Mario Bros‘s 30th anniversary this month, and the folks at AV Club’s Gameological Society got together to share their most surreal experiences with the games.

This special occasion also saw the release of, and critical reception to, Nintendo’s descendent of its WarioWare quick-and-dirty game design software, Super Mario Maker. Last week we shared a design chat with Shigeru Miyamoto (video); this week, Michael

February 7th

work in videogames: Edward Smith at the International Business Times, and Joe Köller on Medium.

  • How video games reflect the right-wing politics of Donald Trump and Ted Cruz
  • Misunderstanding

“They consistently advocate right-wing ideology; ideology that has become particularly visible during the lead up to this year’s US Presidential election. Jingoism and capitalism rule in video games. To that extent, they act as a mouthpiece for the American right-wing – they are themselves Republican demagoguery.”

“Games criticism, in its current form, is the eager accomplice of canon. We happily turn the alleged importance of “smart” games into self-fulfilling

April 10th

Real World : The Design of the Game World of Jason Rohrer | Gamasutra blogs Yugon Kim describes the practice of exhibition design as a kind of impressionistic commentary on the games being shown.

  • Games criticism as architectural disintegration | Memory Insufficient Owen Vince wrote a piece for my publication Memory Insufficient on alternative methods for games criticism.
  • “If “weird” games celebrate their own lack of finality, their own brokenness, should we break our writing too?”

    The possibility space

    Games are often about traversal, metaphorically or literally. Many mechanics are, at their core, about closing the gap between

    October 2nd

    Fighter Has Become the World’s Smallest Premier eSport, and That’s OK | VICE Gary Dooton shares a photo essay (and also regular text essay) from EGX. The sense of spectacle combined with cosiness described in the text essay comes through strongly in the carefully-frames photographs.

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    • Dear Esther: Landmark Edition is a delicate, embalmed object | Kill Screen Gareth Damian Martin considers how an object calcifies as it becomes a part of our memory, in this part-photo essay.


    Moving on from sight to sound, these two articles

    April 16th

    The Past Josh Howard discusses memorials in MMO gaming and how game historians can record them.

    Normally, if someone experiences loss in the “real world,” then most often family and friends will band together in the mourning process. In contrast, once a digital world closes then most outlets for healing are closed off excepting message boards and chat rooms, most of which offer a poor substitute. When a company closes a digital world it rips away the digital places of memory, memorial, and commemoration.

    …and Ghosts of Nostalgia

    Now that we have so many years separating us from our

    August 13th

    hide behind assumed names because of their birth circumstances.

  • Tales from the Borderlands: The Oral History | Campo Santo Quarterly With interviews from over a dozen people who worked on the game, Duncan Fyfe compiles a bunch of behind the scene stories of how it got made.
  • How American Game Companies Avoid Paying Income Tax | Super Bunnyhop (Video: no captions at time of publication) George Weisman does some journalistic digging into the specifics of tax shelters game companies use and have lobbied to create.
  • Movie Length Criticism

    Warning, these videos are long and comprehensive.

    • Prey – A…

    January 19th

    has in common with the new protagonist of The Walking Dead.

    Back on GameChurch, M. Joshua Cauller talks about forgiveness in Metro: Last Light.

    The Unchanging Empire of Wargamers, Wars, Gamewars, and Console Wars Bureau

    Empire Down by Sam Kriss examines Age of Empires and the logic of its wars. “What’s really going on has very little to do with combat, and everything to do with resources.”

    Robert Beckhusen asks, do 1,600-year-old Viking war games cause violence? The game in question is one of asymmetrical warfare, possibly meant to teach a common language of tactics much like we use sports…