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April Roundup: The Long Journey

…to his adopted family. Reid McCarter explores the history and self-perception of Japan’s Yakuza, and how that enduring myth has served as the engine that fueled the Yakuza series, and the long journey that has propelled Kiryu into and out of the underworld time and again in service of his stalwart moral character coming to shirtless, brass-knuckled blows with the criminals who don’t fit the romantic ideal of a noble criminal.

And that’s it for this month. Our journey, at least this particular version of it, finishes here. There’s more journey to be found over the next horizon though,…

April 2018: The Long Journey

…the Round Table by expanding our field of view to look at the grander picture: the whole journey from beginning to end.

Big, sweeping games often break things apart the same way we do for time. In vast RPGs, we often separate the quests or movement of our journeys by whatever central town we’re in, or the continent, or the chapters. These jaunts aren’t just collections of hubs or individual movements in a heroic symphony, but pieces of a bigger journey. Let’s delve into that.

Rarely does the videogame vocabulary successfully encompass the whole journey from beginning…

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April 1st

…I sit, Journey is the most vivid and succinct expression of dharma and its underlying philosophy of liberation that I’ve encountered in popular culture. More specifically, Journey elegantly conveys sapta bodhyanga, or the Seven Factors of Enlightenment in Buddhist philosophy.

If you’re still craving more, Kyle Carpenter has curated a collection of Journey travelogues at Medium Difficulty. And then there is Journey Stories, a tumblr dedicated to written and visual fan tributes to the game.

Speaking of fan tributes, Mike Kayatta has gone ahead and penned a complete Mass Effect fanfiction for The Escapist– in Choose Your…

April 8th

…plows onward, we’re still seeing some noteworthy and original response articles popping up. Top marks this week go to Patricia Hernandez, who writes in Gameranx about the racial problematic of the krogan.

[G]ames like Mass Effect indulge in a power fantasy related to control and influence. […] To indulge on the power fantasy where we have utter control over other people’s lives is to assume whiteness, typically male whiteness.

As Mass Effect conversations start to cool, however, discussions on Journey are still heating up. Simon Parkin kicks things off with a stellar interview with Journey auteur Jenova…

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Dragon Age II

…almost feels like Flutie is directly responding to Gallaway’s criticisms while explaining what the Heroine’s Journey is and how it applies to Dragon Age II:

When seen through the Hero’s Journey lens, a story like Buddha’s enlightenment or Journey to the West might look weak or unsatisfying. But that’s only a fault of perspective. Trying to understand these stories as Hero’s Journeys is a lot like looking at a black hole through a backyard telescope – it’ll never work, you won’t see anything worthwhile. That is, unless you use the right filter, you’re missing how beautiful that blown-out

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March 2020

…good for our mental and emotional well-being? In the case of the DOOM series, yes, suggests Screen Therapy… with caveats. (Autocaptions)

On Walking

Three videos offer different analyses of games built around modes of slow exploration.

  • Journey (2012) and Mental Health | Screen Therapy – Screen Therapy (8:39)

    Courtney Garcia continues her Screen Therapy series by discussing the emotional benefits of encountering ‘awe’ in Thatgamecompany’s Journey. (Autocaptions)

  • EcoGaming #4: (Capital “R”) Romantic Games – Lord Faust

    Lord Faust argues for rebranding “walking simulators” as “Romantic games” owing to their emphasis on positioning

This Year In Video Game Blogging 2012

Michael “brainygamer” Abbott contends Journey is not another retelling of the ‘hero’s journey’, but connects it to the sapta bodhyanga of Buddhist Enlightenment.

Robert Yang writes that Dishonored fails as an immersive sim during its tutorial as it closes off possibilities to learn mechanics.

Tami Baribeau of The Border House says that the portrayal of women in Dishonored flits back and forth between tired stereotype and commentary on a sexist society.

Where many others found a disgusting brutality in Max Payne 3 towards foreigners, Fernando Cordeiro found a certain catharsis in shooting his countrymen with regards

June 3rd

On the subject of Journey, Nathan Hardisty suggests that “What Journey does is introduce a computer into the most purest of human experiences. The incredible irony is that the word ‘connection’ now has two connotations. I think Journey is about this connection, about engineering the relationship.” Writing for Edge, Brendan Keogh defines Journey and other recent independent releases as “walking games” where “a new generation of developers is asking what a videogame can be when such definitions aren’t just ignored, but consciously resisted.”

Patricia Hernandez (who, like Keogh, features heavily this week) gives us a retrospective on…

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This Year in Videogame Blogging: 2014

…Patel discovered that The Longest Journey‘s anti-climax broke something within him, but found he “had stumbled on something beautiful and deeply meaningful beyond anything I could comprehend then.”

Jimmy Maher, The Digital Antiquarian, went back to Ultima IV and pieced together the story behind its philosophical departure from its contemporaries.

Finally, this year Javy Gwaltney was reminded of the drives he took alone in the night, and how Glitchhikers is the perfect recreation of that experience.

PublicationsWhat was originally a scant few pieces of criticism stepping out from the aether of the internet has grown into a…

October 16

It’s been quite a while since I’ve been called to round up This Week in Videogame Blogging and clearly I’ve forgotten how easy it is to let the time go by. We’ll call that a consequence of having so much great games crit to cover.

Instructional Storytelling (Beginner)

Many writers this week discussed games that lay an effective foundation for telling a story:

  • The Hero’s Journey of Journey | Gamasutra We begin with Stanislav Costiuc’s blog reposed on Gamasutra working through the stages of Joseph Campbell’s “hero’s journey” as it maps onto Journey
  • Ambassador