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Ten Years of Penny Arcade

…the dreaded dial-up, but the slur of ‘camping’ persisted well beyond its actual meaning. Before Warcraft III had even been out for a month online play already resembled “burly men raping you”. At first the comic only made a few stray gags about Everquest, but eventually World of Warcraft would change all that. There are over a dozen comics about that game, so I’ll just post this one about couples playing together to give the gist of their take on it.

Their lampooning of the console wars both back in the early days and this generation are all on…

Abstract image evoking bird silhouette

October 2019

…been used in loop form, some of the limitations of this, and how it might be used otherwise by games with more conventional structuring.

  • World of Warcraft Classic and What We Left Behind – Folding Ideas

    In a broad but always-interesting piece, Folding Ideas examines World of Warcraft’s long evolution against the much-touted notion of it having an ideal past form. The video responds in part to assumption-based arguments made by “outrage merchants”, and ends up looking at the evolution of ideas and philosophy behind choices in MMOs, such as the contextual desirability of traits like self-direction and

  • Abstract image evoking bird silhouette

    September 8th

    Welcome back, readers.

    It’s a great week for critical games writing. Control seems to be the big game right now, and I swear I’ll play it as soon as I’m done with World of Warcraft Classic, which I’m playing for the first time. This game, it, uhh, it has an end, right?

    Catherine is also a thing again, and by now I’ve read a good deal about its transphobic content. I’ve seen less about the game’s mishandling of polyamory, however, and so I really appreciate Natalie Degraffinried shining a light on that angle this week.

    There’s

    January 2022

    …(25:25)

    Kat analyses how both Outer Wilds and Rain World use static environmental difficulty to represent ‘nature’ as powerful, indifferent, and not to be trifled with, actually. (Manual captions)

  • World of Warcraft and the Pleasure of Mundanity – Afterthoughts (27:52)

    Sam Kern compares definitions of ‘play’ and ‘fun’ against recollections of enjoying more passive and repetitive forms of engagement – particularly grinding and exploring – in World of Warcraft. (Autocaptions)

  • Concerning: Hypothetical Futures

    These next four videos look at different intersections of technology, ideology, online communities and anxieties about contested versions of ‘the future’

    Víctor Navarro-Remesal and Thiago Falcão | Keywords in Play, Episode 11

    …studies by researching agency. So, I was very obsessed with the theme. For a while, I wrote my dissertation on agency, trying to crossbreed the term coming from the discipline of game studies, but also taking it through a more sociological understanding I used at the time, I was very caught up with Bruno Latour’s, actor network theory. So, I was really interested in theme. So it’s a theory that discusses agency profoundly. So, I wanted to see how it happened in virtual worlds and I discussed the World of Warcraft. Once someone said to me, everyone discusses World of…

    August 8th

    …has seen, and Brett Bates looks at whether or not Alan Wake’s new DLC has improved its use of collectibles [mirror] (remember those oft-criticised thermoses? Gone but not forgotten).

    Quinnae Moongazer looks at how her relationship with the World of Warcraft has changed as she herself has undergone a change [mirror]:

    It was no longer ‘my’ fantasy, a fact that intruded quite violently on my mind during the RealID crisis and in other recent events on the WoW forums where the mass of the game’s population poured scorn on transgender people. What had made it clear to

    August 13th

    …mean when we talk about visual novels, highlighting the innate condescension the press puts forth even for positive write ups of Dream Daddy.

  • Baldur’s Gender | Campo Santo Quarterly Did you know Baldur’s Gate has 19 genders? You didn’t? You want to know why? Duncan Fyfe has got you covered.
  • What the dead say in World of Warcraft | un bot pourrait faire ca (Video with English subtitles) Un bot pourrait faire ca speaks about Eron Rauch’s photography project of making a record of the dead in World of Warcraft and what they can tell us about the…
  • February 3

    …we should actually figure out if video games are harmful and, more importantly, that we should be open to the data that comes from studies.

    Enough of that.

    David Valjalo works through Thirty Flights of Loving with creator Brendon Chung and gets twenty seven references out of him.

    Angela Washko teaches people about feminism in World of Warcraft. Not feminism as embodied in World of Warcraft, but actually inside the game.

    Zoe Quinn explains how the guy who made a game about his job ended up getting fired.

    Roger Travis continues his series about the…

    February 5th

    …latter was more stringent in its hub based structure. Meanwhile, at Insult Swordfighting, Mitch Krpata types out a series of “Rejected Endings to Fallout: New Vegas.”

    Guest Blogger Apple Cider Mage posts “Let’s get rid of ‘slut plate’ forever” at The Border House. It isn’t about the skimpy armor of World or Warcraft, but the term itself.

    Speaking of World of Warcraft, John Brindle of the Brindle Brothers talks about the moral psychopathy that Blizzard has continually displayed. They know they have a moral obligation to their community, but don’t seem quite capable or knowledgeable on how to…