Search Results for:


Visual Essay Jam roundup

…focus in on a single game, isolating or creating connections between its most interesting design elements.

Mark Wonnacott explores types and visual sources of weapon and monster designs from Final Fantasy VII in WEAPONS and monsters. Before Violence is a montage of the gritty shooting violence of Kane & Lynch 2 with its comparatively serene menu screens. Nier and Existentialism exposes well-spotted connections between Nier and other Japanese media that share visual and narrative existential themes, and Infinite Jam uncovers the historical sources of Bioshock Infinite’s patriotic and religious imagery. Beegentle digs into The Vanishing of Ethan Carter to

August 6th

…with simulations, experimentation and simple step-by-step explanations of even the more complex ideas.”

  • Yes, ‘Wolfenstein 2’ Is About Trump and the Alt-Right -Even If It Was Never Supposed to Be | Mic Meanwhile, Mic’s Jacob Kleinman draws uncomfortable parallels between Wolfenstein 2 and America’s current political climate.
  • The Tangled Mess that is Dishonored’s Morality | Unwinnable Sarah McGill delves into a post-Bioshock morality system in Dishonored, which appears broken at best:

“You might still decide not killing your enemies is the right choice, but if you’re locked into that decision because you want…

February 14th

…2 and find the exact same statements, almost verbatim, that I find in today’s criticism? These statements aren’t wrong, but they’re shamefully insufficient.

Peter Kirn at CDM runs down the new music based game ‘Chime’ that I’ve been hearing good things about. The game is also part of a charity based collective that aims to raise funds for children in need.

After a negative gamer piece early in the week explaining how difficult the Bioshock 2 hacking mini-game is for people with colourblindness, Dan Griliopoulos (who is colourblind himself) writes about the issue for Rock, Paper, Shotgun.

March 7th

…Company 2 [dead link, no mirror exists] and explains its view of globalization.

Daniel Bullard Bates from Press Pause to Reflect writes on what type of foundation the inevitable Bioshock 3 will have to stand on based on the efforts of the first two.

Gunthera1 looks at ‘Game difficulty settings.’ [mirror] This is a post where the discussion in the comments really shines, so check them out.

Grayson Davis looks at Tropico 3 and other management games effect his emotions via the ‘humanizing power of numbers.’ [dead link, no mirror exists]

At Vector Poem they look

Far Cry 2

…to challenge problematic ideas. But it’s not the purpose of these posts to defend the game, so I’m promoting these pieces in the spirit of embracing well-reasoned criticism – especially criticism that challenges.

#4 – The Politics of Far Cry 2

Jorge Albor’s two part discussion of Far Cry 2’s depiction of politics is framed as ‘not a criticism.’ I think this was a common tactic in early games criticism (between about 2006 and 2009). I similarly committed the sin of disclaiming my criticism when I first wrote about Ludonarrative Dissonance in Bioshock. I was wrong when I…

February 10th

…with so much interesting criticism and boundary-pushing are going noisily, but inevitably, into the dark.

Not on their own, of course–I don’t want to encourage complacency. They need to be pushed. So by all means, readers, stay vigilant and keep pushing them.

Oh, and if you haven’t done so already, be sure to check out Dante Douglas’ comprehensively kickass Critical Compilation on Bioshock Infinite.

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

Access Codes

How can we make more games accessible for…

June 9th

…the binary days of BioWare and BioShock, games have continued to iterate and evolve in how they think about the juxtaposition of choice and moral consequence. Three articles this week look at some fresh developments, as well as a long-building culmination.

  • In Don’t Wake The Night, You Have The Power Of A God Without The Omniscience | Kotaku Heather Alexandra profiles a game inspired Guaraní culture which challenges traditional frameworks of interactivity in games.
  • How Kingdom Hearts Reframed Darkness | Fanbyte Angelica Frey presents an overview of Kingdom Hearts‘ complicated metaphysics.
  • ‘Don’t Wake the Night’ Tackles

This Year in Videogame Blogging: 2019

…of new Critical Compilations, including:

  • The Last of Us by Dan Parker
  • God of War (2018) by Alon Lessel
  • Bioshock Infinite by Dante Douglas
  • The Stanley Parable by Dan Solberg
  • The Mass Effect trilogy by Emma Kostopolus
  • Assassin’s Creed II and Assassin’s Creed III by Gilles Roy
  • Kentucky Route Zero by Nicholas O’Brien

We also brought aboard Connor Weightman to bulk up our coverage of video criticism. Keep an eye out for his new This Month in Videogame Vlogging feature!

There’s more to come, as we kick off 2020…

February 2020


Mark Brown explains the pyramid of Environmental Storytelling, Level Design and World Building, and how these are used to assist narrative cues, using examples from games including Bioshock, God of War, Portal, Celeste and Journey. (Manual captions) [Content note: mentions of child abuse]

  • Analysing the OTHER Missions in Hitman 2 (The Bank and Haven Island) – Writing on Games (12:46)

    Writing on Games analyses two of the missions in Hitman 2 for world building, level design and the use of environmental detail. (Manual captions) [Note: contains embedded advertising]

  • Wattam: Keita Takahashi and the Power of

  • May 2020

    …and collectables, given the obsolesce of newspapers existentially implied by the technological medium of videogames? Bobdunga asks. (Autocaptions) [Note: contains a grab of injecting footage from Bioshock]

  • Why Mario’s Triple Jump Animation Is So Good – New Frame Plus (8:52)

    NFP analyses the frame design of Mario’s triple jump from SM64 – how it adapted Mario’s jumping style from earlier 2D iterations, and the influence it’s gone on to have in subsequent titles. (Manual captions)

  • Why organizing in games is so much more fun – Polygon (12:41)

    Clayton Ashley looks at the role of organisation in