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This Year In Videogame Blogging: 2016

…YouTube – Vlexo – Philip Riris Archaeologist Philip Riris turns his talents to Far Cry Primal and what can be learned from the game, anthropologically speaking.

Battlefield 1

  • Battlefield 1 and the problems of making a game out of World War I | Alphr – Thomas McMullan Soon after Battlefield 1’s annoucement, Thomas McMullan muses on the difficulty of turning the first world war into a video game, especially the game shown to us in the trailer.
  • Battlefield 1 and Modern Memory | ZAM – John Brindle John Brindle, meanwhile, points out the vast difference in conception that…

March 29th

…women say “bless her heart,” and her words cut sharper than any spell. Any flirtation attempts result in her putting you down, emphasizing her own unattainability. Why can’t she just be a black woman with the romantic and relationship quirks we all have?

But what if we couldn’t choose race in games? What if race were parceled out at random?

Battlefield Hard Sell

Battlefield Hardline came out last week, and with it so did plenty of interesting writing. Let’s start with Austin Walker’s “Cop Out“, which takes Hardline to task in an incredibly thoughtful review:

And so Battlefield Hardline speaks…

May 15th

…after death, the metaphysical plane of peace and salvation remaining forever distant and unknown.”

Battlefield 1

The Battlefield 1 trailer has inspired a great deal of discussion about the wisdom of setting an amoral, high-octane game in a war that is defined in popular imagination by sadness and reverence. I imagine that after this title has been released, it will be a good subject for a critical compilation to comprehensively cover all of the pieces written on it. However, here I want to be more selective. I think that the two links below bring rare expertise to the fore…

September 4th

…Matulef identifies in Myst’s history the roots of more recently emerging game genres — and offers explanations for why the wanderer-ponderer did not take off sooner.

  • Gamasutra: Pascal Luban’s Blog – Battlefield 1 – When a game could change the perception of history Pascal Luban raises the problem of player agency and narrative in relation to Battlefield’s portrayal of World War I
  • My experience as a virtual war photographer in Battlefield 1 – Kill Screen (photo essay: no alt-text) Gareth Damian Martin explores how reproductions of classic wartime images change meaning in the Battlefield game universe.
  • “Death of a…

    September 11th


    Time and history are examined in these articles looking at how games mediate pacing and memory.

    • Gamasutra: Dominic Gelineau’s Blog – Our old friend the Action Phase Dominic Gelineau addresses the pacing and play structures derived from tabletop games.
    • 6 historical details you might have missed in the Battlefield 1 beta | ZAM – The Largest Collection of Online Gaming Information Robert Rath dives into the textures of historical portrayal in this WWI shootfest.

    “If I told you Battlefield 1 is a vertical game, you might think I’m talking about buildings — I’m not.

    November 20th

    …fantasies that we can’t seem to leave behind. What’s more, the defensiveness surrounding these games is just one of many, many symptoms that has indicated the larger problem, and the growing backlash.”

    Battlefield 1

    I suppose Battlefield 1 was scheduled for release after the US election in order to avoid excessive resonance with current affairs. However, this election was not a normal one, and under its long shadow, the challenge to make a AAA shooter that acknowledges tragedy seems more pressing.

    • Who Lives, Who Dies, Who Tells Your Story | Gamers With Jobs A veteran argues that Battlefield 1…
    Abstract image evoking bird silhouette

    This Year In Videogame Blogging: 2018

    …to the brand to the point of the author disregarding his own feelings while playing it.

  • How Fallout lost its soul | Polygon – Katherine Cross Fallout was about the existential threat of nuclear annihilation, a dark satire of the mid-20th century. Katherine Cross doesn’t ascribe the latest entry’s failure as something individual, but the inevitable end of a long downward spiral once the franchise changed hands.
  • Battlefield V

    • Battlefield V: A corruption of history | Medium – Ruben Ferdinand Ruben Ferdinand sees Battlefield V as another “link in the shackle of commodified World War 2 stories,” based…
    Abstract image evoking bird silhouette

    August 24th

    …people understand the event: especially given how mainstream news outlets failed to broadcast what went on.

    Battlefield: USA

    Speaking of Ferguson, EA’s upcoming first-person shooter, Battlefield: Hardline has been scrutinized by a number of writers for its indifference and outright enthusiasm for the “warrior cop” figure seen in so many images of Ferguson over the last week.

    Mike Williams of USgamer warns that “Life Imitates Art“:

    Battlefield: Hardline plays on the growing militarization of the police, showing scenes of all-out war between heavily-armed police and criminals. It’s a war game in a different skin, something that should probably disturb us

    Kill Screen archive

    …8 5 new digital zine

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  • June 17th

    …How Detroit: Become Human Uses Black Culture | io9 Evan Narcisse critiques the latest David Cage game’s use of civil rights motifs and other cultural signifiers.

    “Black people don’t have superhuman powers of endurance. We’ve been broken and killed under this country’s unjust laws and attitudes.”


    Two pieces look at evolving attitudes to conservatism in gamer audiences, specifically with reference to Battlefield. (Content warning for sexism and the far right)

    • Creatives are finally telling manbabies to stay home – Polygon Ben Kuchera highlights recent responses to reactionaries in the Battlefield fandom.
    • The Battlefield Subreddit…