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  • December 3rd

    “If the universe has sprung a gear over the continued existence of one young queer woman, then the universe is broken and it can stay broken. I will run and I will fight until it sorts it shit out or it takes me out itself. No acceptance. Our existence is not a mistake. We are not mistakes.“

    Call of Duty: WWII

    The latest Call of Duty game has, unsurprisingly, sparked the interest of historians.

    • Watching History Fade Away in ‘Call of Duty: WWII’ – Waypoint Rob Zacny argues that the positioning of soldiers as ambitious heroes does a disservice

    Surfer Girl Reviews Star Wars

    …ahead of her time she was, despite the fact that she bowed out of the scene before the 2008 explosion of videogame bloggers, writers and critics. She blazed a strange (and occasionally mixed-message) trail with her posts, which often interleaved tidbits of information about the latest game in X series with comments arguing for journalistic integrity and for increased political and social awareness.

    When a once-prominent videogame blogger disappears, I feel it is the duty of us who remember to remind others of those that have gone before.

    Surfer Girl primarily used her blog to pass along information from numerous…

    Duncan Fyfe & Hit Self-Destruct, Part 1

    …the modern RPG for always featuring characters that blindly follow the player no matter what. They don’t get angry when they receive shoddy equipment and they don’t mind waiting in a pub for you to call. This desire for a more plausible game design is best highlighted in his blog post War Crimes. Highlighting the surrealistic nature of Call of Duty 4‘s civilian free warzones, he argues that the game is problematic because it presents an impossible fantasy: a perfect war. There are no civilians, no complications about wondering whether or not to shoot. The game presents reality in black…

    January 16th

    …Band 3, and how it’s a strange song choice and an apposite one:

    The song has a (quite!) distinctive vision, and the goal of playing through one of the instruments in the song isn’t to go through a checklist of what makes a game-playing experience pleasant (or, for that matter, what makes a musical experience pleasant), it’s to experience a portion of that vision.

    Simon Ferrari writes for KillScreen’s newly launched blog, talking about ‘Popping Smoke’ [mirror] in the Call of Duty series. Persuasive stuff:

    The rule that defines Call of Duty, and separates it from the single-player campaigns of

    November 9th

    …talks about why Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare fails to earn that interaction.

    Jake Muncy also condemns the use, but instead goes on to talk about grief and our odd aversion to dealing with death at funerals. Muncy then talks about two games that managed the ritual of dealing with grief far better than CoD:AW.

    At Polygon, Charlie Hall puts the spotlight at a different type of war game, with This War of Mine‘s focus shifted a few yards off screen from Call of Duty‘s soldiers and instead focuses on the cowering, surviving civilians trapped in the conflict.

    Meanwhile, at…

    November 15th

    …game leave many elements feeling either too formulaic or unsatisfactorily explored.

    “War Has Changed”

    Jack Muncy’s write-up of Call of Duty: Black Ops 3 for Wired discusses the annual shooter’s “brutal body horror” in a convoluted plot that awkwardly toes the line between cookie-cutter science fiction and cutting-edge real-world technology: “Meanwhile, Darpa is experimenting with everything from exoskeletons to the sort of fantastical, bio-integrated tech featured in Black Ops III.”

    Over at Unwinnable, James Murff finds Black Ops 3’s departure from binary plot constraints of old a welcome change:

    This plot setup allows Call of Duty to explore themes of…

    April 30th

    …death?”

    Death drive

    The announcement of the latest Call of Duty game has people talking about history, while others have been thinking about time and memory in relation to the body.

    • You Can Thank ‘Call of Duty’ for Everything You Love (and Hate) about Modern Shooters | GQ Reid McCarter’s essay on the legacy of Call of Duty highlights some often-neglected aesthetic themes that the series established early on, including its concern for theatricality and the sense that the player is “taking part” in history.
    • US video games focus on historical accuracy | USA News | Al Jazeera…

    November 12th

    …two pieces that compared the latest iteration in a series to its first title, finding in the original some design strategies that ought not to have been abandoned.

    • Reaching out towards the past in Assassins Creed Origins | Eurogamer.net Gareth Damian Martin compares the vistas of both the first and the most recent Assassin’s Creed games to the work of 19th century “orientalist” painter David Roberts.
    • The New Call Of Duty Could Learn A Thing From The First Call Of Duty | Kotaku Heather Alexandra argues that the “squad mechanics” of the original Call of Duty were far more

    June 2nd

    …supportive and more powerful. There’s also a way to do it spitefully, with an overtone of superiority and abuse.”

    Critical Chaser

    Oh no.

    • I Covered My Entire Body in Gamer Goo | Fanbyte merritt k gets a grip on hardcore gamer skincare.

    “Grip-enhancing products are used by weightlifters, climbers, and pole dancers — but those are all activities where a sweaty hand could mean a serious injury. Is it necessary for playing Call of Duty? Well, maybe not. But ask yourself this: is it necessary to play Call of Duty at all?”

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