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borderlands

October 7th

…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 great.

While I’m not sure…

December 2nd

…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 neutralize targets. Behind their cosmetic differences, smart-talking laser guns in Borderlands 2 and AK-47s in Call of Duty: Black Ops behave exactly the same.

This lack of respect seems to foster dissonance in both discussions of…

September 30th

…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 loudest, most blatant way possible. Whenever you shoot an enemy, numbers

November 11th

…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 ask?

Games are defined by their verbs. Borderlands 2 is a shoot, loot, and level sort of game: you shoot enemies, loot guns, and level yourself up. None of these are funny verbs. They’re all deadly serious. Tokyo Jungle, meanwhile, has you eating, marking, mating, and dying. These are comedic verbs in part because of their rarity,

This Year In Videogame Blogging: 2017

…the final choice and your personal reading of the game.

  • Full Throttle 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

    Abstract image evoking bird silhouette

    May 24th

    …many other examples where such design and progression of abilities may not be accepted with a male character.

    Kaitlin Tremblay writing for Dorkshelf talks about her choices in characters and classes in Borderlands she feels more comfortable with the non apologies hulking brutes than with the crafty Sirens.

    Brendan Keogh typed up a version of a talk he gave at DiGRA, using Binary Domain as a launching platform to explore the concept of cyborgs and binaries established early on between hackers and the other in the video game communities.

    And writer of the upcoming adventure game Herald, Roy van der…

    Kill Screen archive

    …new york division

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  • September 25th

    …Co-op Gaming Steve Bailey shares a personal story about low-budget living and gaming without the internet

    “One building was a former university science lab – on Friday nights, I’d drag a giant beanbag, projector, Xbox 360 and surround-sound system down to the lecture theatre at the far end of the corridor where I lived. There I’d play Borderlands on a makeshift screen the size of a cinema display, at preposterous volume, in maximum comfort. Other people from the building would often join in, because even split-screen modes offered the kind visual acuity that makes a modern flatscreen shrivel with…

    February 7th

    …At Vice, Kaitlin Tremblay looks at Oxenfree alongside Tales from the Borderlands and Life is Strange, to discuss the value of platonic relationships in storytelling.

    • Oxenfree: The Beauty of Traveling Together
    • Why I’m Looking Forward to More ‘Just Good Friends’ Relationships in Video Games

    Yet more talk of friendship comes out in a video about Undertale by Rantasmo. Also on Undertale, a meta-post about Let’s Play videos on Looping World discusses the game’s “manipulative soul”.

    • Undertale Needs More Gay
    • » A study of UNDERTALE

    Prejudice

    Matthew Kumar’s post on Watch Dogs and Ed Smith’s article…

    Minisode 08 – Breaking the Mold and Cultural Musings

    …a challenge. These games can be anything from Ich.io art games to prestige level indie games to AAA games that fell through the cracks for whatever reason.

    On co-hosting duties with me this month on this chilly November day is GiantBomb writer and critic, Austin Walker.

    http://www.critical-distance.com/podcast/Critical-Distance-Confab-minisode-08.mp3

    Direct Download

    Austin’s Picks

    Invisible, Inc. by Klei Entertainment

    Cradle by Flying Cafe for Semianimals

    Cibele by Nina Freeman

    Eric’s Picks

    The Cat Lady by Harvester Games

    Tales from the Borderlands by Telltale Games

    NaissanceE by Limasse Five

    Opening Theme: ‘Close’ by The Alpha Conspiracy

    Closing Theme: ‘Wishing Never’ by The Alpha Conspiracy