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Kotaku UK archive

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October 7th

…the comments). It is a piece by Kaitlin Tremblay about, well, “Borderlands 2 and the Surprising Feminism of the Siren Class.” She writes that

The Siren class is a subversion of a stereotypical female trope that points fun at the token female in many video games. Maya is not stereotypical as the Siren comparison initially implies. It’s part of the Borderlands joke: the game is seemingly steeped in machismo in order to poke fun at the machismo of video games. It’s aware at every turn of its own ridiculousness, and this is what makes the Borderlands franchise so

December 2nd

…in the game. The implication is clear: the marketers behind these games want you to think that this is how real warfare works, and that these are the tools used by real warriors.

The idea that these are real weapons that mimic real life is contradicted by the unembodiedness of firearms in the game. Gun usage in the modern military shooter does not foster the necessary respect for firearms. By using the same grammar as more obviously preposterous games such as Borderlands, these games teach that firearms are neat toys, magic wands to be used to “solve problems” and…

September 30th

…as a little reminder that the much-discussed OUYA console is hardly the first of its kind.

Yannick LeJacq turned up on the Wall Street Journal again this week to offer a second opinion on Borderlands 2. It’s a not-so-subtle pointed rebuke of the review by Adam Najberg the Journal ran last week, but it’s also a valuable bit of FPS retrospective. Have a taste:

To reconcile the discrepancy between its androcentric cultural aesthetic as a manshooter and its “nerdy” internal mechanisms as an RPG, Borderlands 2 bridges the gap the same way it does everything: in the

November 11th

…compelling argument in favor of “easy achievements”: “It is often wrongfully assumed that accessibility means sacrificing challenge or complexity, but it is neither – it is a way to allow people that otherwise couldn’t to experience the challenge and complexity that a game can offer.”

On Gamasutra, Andrew High wonders whether game music is really all it can be. On the subject of hypotheticals, Jim Rossignol muses on whether we’ll ever see Warren Spector’s fabled One City Block RPG.

Nightmare Mode’s Tom Auxier declares that Borderlands 2 is funny, but it isn’t a comedy. What’s the difference, you…

This Year In Videogame Blogging: 2017

…Scenery Studies | 304 – Ben Chandler Game artist Ben Chandler examines various screens in Full Throttle, regarding the mise-en-scène and other art elements – this started on twitter, and was then collected into a PDF.

  • Tales from the Borderlands: The Oral History | Campo Santo Quarterly Review – Duncan Fyfe Duncan Fyfe interviewed most of the major creative talent from Tales from the Borderlands to uncover behind-the-scenes stories and decision making.
  • Theory/Design Criticism

    Whether focusing on the concepts of interactivity, the direction of new technologies or debates on the strengths and weakness of the medium,

    ReadySet Zam archive

    Abstract image evoking bird silhouette

    September 13th

    …name-dropping of yours truly in said article.

    Jim Rossignol writes in his regular Offworld column on games taking their Artists and concept artists work more literally.

    Ultimately, I think there needs to be much more mutiny in the art ranks. The concept artists need to fight back and conspire with the graphics programmers to bring about many more revolutions of the kind that started with Borderlands. We’ve heard years of rhetoric about videogame design tools putting power back into the hands of the artists, but clearly it needs to go further. If videogames want to be taken

    August 19th

    Welcome back. Kris is on break this weekend so I’m here to fill your TWIVGB needs in the meantime.

    The Extra Credits crew finishes up a two-parter talking about mechanics as metaphor using the flash game Loneliness to weld to discussion together.

    CNN has done a number of in-depth articles on several subjects with how games are intersecting with real life in interesting ways; from South Korea’s Pro Gaming/Game Addiction dichotomy to gamifying the prison system to great success.

    This week the community blew up in response to Borderlands 2 lead developer calling a skill tree

    October 14th

    …are as allergic to colour as others, as if injected with some anti-allergy serum that saves them from the allergic reaction any other colour than drab elicits. And more often than not it’s in the ones that take a chance with colour that we see new worlds and languages brought to the videogame vocabulary, that so often stifles itself on the origins of cover and 60 Frames Per Second.

    But wait, let’s talk about FPSes for a bit. For one thing, Brendan Keogh has fallen in love with a particular gun in Borderlands 2. For another, Game Church’s…