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khee hoon

October Roundup: ‘Hospitality’

…a quick summary of the ways that plants contribute to a sense of belonging in a place and the patient effort it takes to maintain a hospitable space.

Read it now

Khee Hoon Chan

The Comforts of Playing With Food in Nour

Much like gardening, food preparation is its own patient reward for keeping up a home. At Unwinnable Khee Hoon Chan discusses his love of playing with food in games and in life:

Coupled with the capacity to own homes, these dishes make your abode feel cosier and lived-in. I’ve spent countless hours arranging

This Year in Videogame Blogging: 2021

…Japanese dating sims, and studies what each of its three tentpole releases that year has to say about the genre as a whole.

  • We Dwell in Possibility | The White Pube Gabrielle de la Puente speculates on post-pandemic sexual catharsis via Robert Yang and Eleanor Davis’s We Dwell in Possibility.
  • Flashback

    With the sunsetting of Adobe’s Flash Player in the final hours of 2020, some spent part of their early 2021 paying respects to a real one.

    • Tracing the Sprawling Roots of Flash Preservation | VICE Khee Hoon Chan delves into the history of Flash,…

    February 13th

    …out the CFP for more details–the submission deadline for abstracts is March 1st.

    This Week in Videogame Blogging is a roundup highlighting the most important critical writing on games from the past seven days.

    Text and Context

    Our opening section this week tackles appropriation, colonialism, and Orientalism in the industry–topical this week on account of the recent relase of Sifu, but always a topic warranting critical attention.

    • Sifu’s Brawler Is A Soulless Caricature | TheGamer Khee Hoon Chan reflects on Sifu, a wider industry and press that remain locked in a holding pattern on how

    April 10th

    Hoon to organize, edit, and solicit contributors for the issue, but shortly after retired from FPS and had no further editorial involvement in the work you see today. At any rate, I think this is great work and very much worth your time, so here it is!

    • Decolonising queer games and play | First Person Scholar Khee Hoon Chan sets the tone for FPS‘s latest special issue by identifying both an overwhelming whiteness the queer characters and structures represented in contemporary and the need to meet that whiteness with a multifaceted, decolonised, and truly intersectional queer approach.

    This Year in Videogame Blogging: 2023

    …games-as-product and speculation on games-as-process inform and contextualize the work of the critic.

  • Crowbcat, The Kuleshov Effect, and Insincere Games Criticism | The Tax Collector Man The Tax Collector Man deciphers a rhetorical playbook for outrage farming.
  • Why do games media layoffs keep happening? | Games Industry Khee Hoon Chan delves into an abundance of opacity and a dearth of accountability in a games press more beseiged by precarity than ever (curator’s note: Critical Distance alumnus Kris Lorischild is an interview subject for this piece).
  • Unravelling the magic and alchemy of Metacritic | Rock Paper Shotgun Edwin…
  • October 30th

    Khee Hoon Chan describes the history of the Venetian mask and applies it to games such as Bioshock and Masquerada.

  • Playing with the Trickster | Kill Screen In a similar piece, Andreas Inderwildi looks at the trickster archetype throughout time and a player’s exploration of it.
  • In his book Trickster Makes This World: Mischief, Myth, and Art (1998), cultural critic Lewis Hyde re-examines one of the most persistently fascinating figures of our archetypal imagination: the trickster. Of all the places the trickster’s spirit may settle, videogames seem to me the most intriguing. Here’s a chance not…

    Abstract image evoking bird silhouette

    September 3rd

    …KFC’s VR Game | Unwinnable Khee Hoon Chan describes how VR is used to build players connection to a brand using an intimate sense of presence.

  • Sympathy for the Killer in Dead by Daylight | GameChurch Daniel Motley discusses gameplay dynamics as an empathy-building practice. Regardless of where you stand on the controversial rise of empathy as a in game design goal, this piece offers some intriguing, and perhaps troubling, insights.
  • “Dead by Daylight allows me to empathize with my killer because I know he’s not actually a raging redneck out to saw me in two—he’s…

    Abstract image evoking bird silhouette

    September 24th

    …stories are increasingly told from a pre-apocalyptic standpoint.

    • Moral Discernment as a Game Mechanic | Emily Short’s Interactive Storytelling Emily Short sets out a design goal for complex moral choices.
    • 20 Years Later, the Hardest Losses in ‘Final Fantasy VII’ Have Changed – Waypoint Cameron Kunzelman argues that Aeris is not the most important loss in Final Fantasy VII‘s story, and that 20 years later, in a world that seems more wracked with loss than ever, we should reconsider its narrative.
    • Making Cheese in the Industrial Revolution | Unwinnable Khee Hoon Chan praises Where the Goats

    October 8th

    …usually difficult to depict clearly.

  • Juggling the Chaos in Overcooked – and at Home | Unwinnable Khee Hoon Chan links the skills behind cooperative play in Overcooked to the emotional labour and cognitive load too-often placed on women.
  • Children Of The Anthropocene | Future Unfolding | Heterotopias Lewis Gordon discusses a nature wandering game, considering the universalism and specificity of paying attention to the environment with reference to the writings of naturalist John Muir.
  • “For a crisis as enveloping as the Anthropocene, there is a value in this type of universalism. Specific problems abound that…

    November 12th

    …“[I]s it really such a surprise that a book about human obsolescence and our increasingly half-hearted whimpers of protest doesn’t easily make for a blockbuster videogame – particularly within the more established genres?”

    The counterculture

    The following two pieces concern racism in gaming; one article looking at ethnic stereotypes in a Nintendo game, the other looking at community building in the face of oppression.

    • The Uncomfortable Racial Stereotypes in ARMS and Videogames | Unwinnable Khee Hoon Chan summarises the racial stereotyping issues with character design in ARMS, while also highlighting that the pain of these…