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June 10th

…what I present to you a supreme work by our very own Kris Ligman. My lady, do take a bow. It is a piece about game maps and game territory as formed by the environment and how it is shaped and enriched by other players.

And over here, I have the esoteric, the cerebral, the theory analysis. Charles Wheeler knows The Rules on the Field as he does an East/West comparative analysis of the game show Ninja Warrior. In addition, Alex Curelea explains, scientifically, why Diablo 3 is less addictive than Diablo 2. But, wait there’s more. Get both of…

This Year In Video Game Blogging 2012

…game and is more akin to learning a language.

Tevis Thompson says that Zelda has been going downhill since the original and he wants to save the franchise.

Alex Curelea explains “Why Diablo 3 is less addictive than Diablo 2.” He explains that the missing reward loop is to account for the real money auction house, but it kills the quality of the game.

Robert Rath, in his column Critical Intel at The Escapist, looks at how drone warfare is represented in three very different 2012 releases: Spec Op: The Line, Call of Duty: Black Ops II and Unmanned.


Abstract image evoking bird silhouette

June 2nd

…in prison and trying to get out.


It made me pause. Why is being an anarchist a crime? Is that their only crime? What else could they have done, besides adhering to a political philosophy, that caused them to be imprisoned. […] [D]oes the Republic jail political dissidents?

On GameInformer, Liz Lanier takes a look back at Grandia‘s End of the World.

Responding to the Mises Institute article we linked last week, Craig Bamford maintains that often enough, game economies like Diablo 3 aren’t meant to function like real-world economies:

Even if real-world economies behaved that way, games arent…

Kill Screen archive

…or without your consent

  • childs play
  • internationals crowd funded purse let fans invest esports
  • work essential rifle near metroidvania and call pervasive work
  • its time reconsider alpha protocol
  • secret behind angry birds and clash clans success
  • forget videogames all one devices may be future boardgames
  • bootleg and sometimes bloody retro console culture brazil
  • twitch gears conquer final frontier mobile
  • playing diablo long time
  • charting edges avant garde videogames
  • public play yanks videogames real world
  • exploring seedy underbelly velvet sundown
  • real life security systems inspired watch dogs chicago futur
  • dota 2 religious experience
  • you are challenge crawl
  • videogames think carnivals are…
  • May 27th

    …and ending in -iablo 3 was finally released recently. Kill Screen’s Yannick LeJacq reflects how the Diablo series puts the agony in games of agon: “When I start to get exhausted, when bolts of pain shoot through my knuckles and up my arm, I have to remind myself that this is a game about hell.” Elsewhere, Unwinnable’s Jenn Frank thinks the game is just too gosh-darn cute:

    In playing Diablo III, I feel such an expansive detachment from its happenings and goings-on. Take, for instance, my unprejudiced penchant for destruction: “We aren’t bad people,” I assured my friend Julian, right

    July Roundup: ‘Pure Fun’

    …meaning of and conditions for “flow” before questioning whether flow is actually essential to fun. Lipson then proceeds to use Diablo as a test case for the question.

    This month, the last word goes to Nick Hanford, who inspired our theme for the month. Hanford suggests that, “we have to treat pure fun as a kind of double-edged sword.” While fun helps us turn off our minds and find enjoyment, that that uncritical turning off is also the precise danger of fun. Give this, Hanford moves to pose the question, “How do we ensure that we can construct a kind…

    November 11th

    …like most female game characters. Even the armour she wears is devoid of the usual “boob armour”. Instead Kassandra wears what the men do and wears it damn well.”

    Gated Communities

    I continue to be preoccupied by the state of gatekeeping in gaming spaces, as well as the tearing down of said gates. I suppose you could say I am opposed to gates in all of their varied forms. Two authors this week reflect on the states of gates past and present.

    • Tobold’s Blog: Grumpy old gamers Tobold Stoutfoot muses about gatekeeping and entitlement in Diablo and Dungeons…

    November 4th

    …Scabs: Gamer Rage as Anti-Union Violence | Rhizome Lana Polansky digs deep into the designed built-in precarity of games industry labour, and how publishers quietly leverage gamer rage to keep their workers afraid and exploited. This one feels especially timely given the absolute meltdown people are having this weekend over Diablo Immortal.

  • There Are Not “Too Many Games” – Deorbital Liz Ryerson demystifies the Indiepocalypse as a monolith by discussing the various economic, cultural, and political shifts operating under its label, and proposes that there is some good in leaving behind an earlier indie culture of kingmaking and gatekeeping.
  • September 12th

    …mega corporations like Monsanto seeking to control global food supply, the issues that MGS brings to light can hardly be glossed over.”

    Sean Beanland goes back in time to play the first two Diablo games and examines the strangeness of some of their design choices, even among other rougelikes.

    Chronoludic’s Mike Dunbar writes about Pathologic [mirror] and the concept of death and disease therein.

    And a post I never would have thought possible in the last decade, Charge Shot looks at Duke Nukem Forever, its history and the world that left it behind.

    Help us prevent link rot by alerting…

    September 17th

    …prefer to talk about the datapoints Adkins has assembled: not as a direct causal chain linking edgelords to Gamergate, but rather as adjacent subroutines operating within one big, malevolent machine. What we see within this historical cross-section is, in the end, quite a familiar sight: many men climbing higher in society by pushing other people down.”


    • Perspectives Differ on How ‘Hellblade’ Handles Mental Illness – Waypoint Our latest Waypoint digest focuses on the discourse surrounding Hellblade.
    • Reverse Design: Diablo 2 – Intro There’s a new “Reverse Design” book out. I haven’t had the chance to read it yet,…