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‘Imagination Lost’ – The Artful Gamer

Chris at The Artful Gamer writes about the recently released browser-based game ‘Legends of Zork’. He examines it from the perspective of someone who played the original as well as stepping into the shoes of a newcomer to the ‘Zork’ universe and ascertains that Legends of Zork “is the expression of the generational gap we find ourselves in today.” That is, the gap between the rudimentary, often obtusely complicated (not to mention visually sparse) 1980s gaming and post-2000s excesses.

When I stare at the map of the Great Underground Empire as the creators of LoZ imagine it,

December 15th

…But just as using the male pronoun in a paper about policepeople perpetuates the idea that every policeperson is a man, using the word gamer in a paper when you are not actually talking just about people who self-identify as gamers perpetuates the idea that ever person who plays videogames identifies as a gamer, which is far from the truth…

My issue with ‘gamer’ is not that people identify as gamers. My issue with ‘gamer’ is it is a word that when used in discourses around games is not actually representative of everyone who plays games and its uses…

September 7th

…fledgling branch of journalism, and one probably couldn’t have asked for a better one.

Gamers Lost Like Tears in the Rain

One common reaction to the ‘Gamercake forgery’ has been a move to abandon the label “gamer” altogether. Aleks Samoylov of The Cloud Monster writes, “[gamers] don’t belong in our space, and they don’t deserve our attention, our time, our energy. Let us define new spaces as we see fit.” Samoylov calls for a smaller community, asking that those fed up with “gamer” culture shift their money and attention to more intimate projects.

Skeleton Sam takes…

February 2021

…The Fluid Zone

These essayists each considered the way identities are variously performed and constructed, for better or worse, in videogame communities.

  • What is a “ReAL GaMeR”? | How this Social Construct Marginalizes Women & Minorities – Asmara (39:44)

    Asmara looks at how and why the “gamer” identity label has come to be associated with particular (antisocial, exclusionary, sexist, racist) attitudes, and particularly with young white cis-het men, rather than simply describing someone who enjoys playing videogames. (Manual captions)

  • Identity, Gender, and VRChat (Why is everyone in VR an anime girl?) – Straszfilms (59:07)

August 31st

…prohibited from participating.

“Gamer” isn’t just a dated demographic label that most people increasingly prefer not to use. Gamers are over. That’s why they’re so mad.

In a community post, Devin Wilson goes one further than Alexander and speaks directly to industry members about the things professionals can do, starting right now, to be better:

We need to consider the very real possibility that the offensive behavior displayed by gamers in recent weeks is not unrelated to the artifacts they rally around (which I doubt are especially obscure). These people didn’t come from nowhere…

Abstract image evoking bird silhouette


…what traditional game elements remain in Flower as well as its reception on both sides of the gamer/non-gamer divide. Steven O’Dell of Raptured Reality probes our expectations more broadly, even considering our expectations of the objects we encounter in our everyday life.

Dan Kline of Game of Design discusses the fact that, in Flower, “[t]here is no way to say ‘I die’.”; Shane Hinton of First Wall Rebate also explores this theme, discussing the lack of failure as a mechanic in both Flower and in thatgamecompany’s previous title, flOw, while also pointing out the difference in accessibility between those…

Pixel Vixen 707, Part 1

…stunt that didn’t really have any negative consequences on anyone.

And for all the hubbub, PixelVixen kept on writing. The nature of being a girl gamer would come up again in a post on Rock Band 2. She points out the strangeness of winning a female merch chick, essentially a groupie who wants to make out with you. Since they were both female, Rachael pondered whether this was adhering to rock culture or gamer culture. A Harmonix writer in the comments chimes in that they were indeed tapping into fan culture and how the merch chick is in love…

This Year In Video Game Blogging 2011

…Tracey Lien of Zero Lights Seeds reminded us that “It’s not just one joke, it’s all the jokes.”

If Kirk Hamilton is the one great blogger of the year, Kate Cox is the other. In her three part series The Gamer’s Gaze she turns the media theory of the male gaze as a concept to how it applies to video games. Additionally, she wrote her Beyond the Girl Gamer series in 8 parts (so far) on “the role of women and girls as players, characters and participants in games and gamer culture.”

Extra Credits expanded their representation videos…

September 9th

…to everyone who isn’t heterosexual, cisgender, white, able-bodied, and male.

Finally, here’s the kicker. If past incidents in gamer culture are any indicator […] there will be no lasting consequences. A few more people will be alienated from gamer culture, but the majority of gamers will brush it off, and continue to support the institutions that promote these attitudes. The gaming press — even the smart, progressive gaming press — will write about Penny Arcade and PAX and Gearbox and Mojang to talk about their press releases and upcoming games, and will not mention the kinds of things that…

Abstract image evoking bird silhouette

This Year in Videogame Blogging: 2014

…precedent to our current concerns around videogames. Ryerson wrote that we need to acknowledge and deal with the problems that come with this identity.

Similarly, BioWare’s Damion Schubert declared that he wanted to reclaim the term “gamer.” Most gamers are good people, he argued, and we should oust those destructive elements, because, to paraphrase Office Space: “Why should we change? They’re the ones who suck.”

We lead out of this section with probably the most misquoted piece of the year, Leigh Alexander’s Gamers Are Over, in which she speaks specifically to an audience of developers on the diversity…