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November 27th

…a harsh reminder of that nonsense, so I’ll take a pass, thank you very much. […] [BioShock‘s] Rapture truly seemed like a living, breathing, fully-realized world. Hell, even though it was clearly unraveling at the seams, if I somehow acquired a one-way ticket to that damned, underwater metropolis I would have jumped at the chance to go.

Katy Meyers, writing for Play the Past, might have a reason for BioShock‘s lasting appeal as a compelling aesthetic and narrative experience. In “Anthropology of Social Behavior in BioShock“, Meyers outlines the audio, visual and behavioral cues that lend Rapture that…

November 30th

Hope for all our US readers you had a lovely, stuffing Turkey Day and didn’t spawn too many family brawls. For everyone else, happy weekend. Welcome to This Week In Video Game Blogging!

Bioshock and Beyond Earth

Bioshock is back in the critical eye. Anthony Burch at his blog No Wrong Way to Play decides to see what the consequences of the little sister decision is by never using any of the Adam earned from making a moral choice and finds the game lacking in its response. Meanwhile, Rick Stanton at Rock Paper Shotgun looks at the

October 4th

Critical Chaser

Ok these lists were really good.

  • 7 Video Game Villains That Would Make Great Roommates | Fanbyte Virginia Paine makes the case for subletting to Eggman, Dracula, and more.
  • Is Your Favorite Bioshock Character Sexy? | Uppercut Monti Velez presents a ranked list of Correct Opinions.

“Nathan Drake from Uncharted, Joel Miller from The Last of Us, Booker Dewitt from Bioshock: Infinite. These men for years are the reason for fights breaking out between me and my white girl friends. Even though I, powerful in my body with an

The Last of Us

…that goes to lengths to create interesting female characters, all the human enemies are male. (CW: anti-indigenous slur) The Last of Us II seems positioned to address Albor’s criticism based on a gameplay trailer (CW: violence against women, gore), but not everyone seems enthused.

Dadification of the Apocalypse

One of the most popular approaches to discussing gender in The Last of Us has been examining the relationship between Joel and Ellie as one of surrogate father and daughter. As The Last of Us is positioned within the phenomenon known as “the dadification of games” alongside Bioshock Infinite…

Calling for Critical Compilations!

Bioshock 2

  • Bioshock Infinite
  • Dear Esther
  • Deus Ex series
  • Dishonored series
  • The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim
  • Fallout: New Vegas
  • Fallout 4
  • Far Cry series
  • Final Fantasy VII
  • Final Fantasy X and X-2
  • Final Fantasy XIII
  • Gone Home
  • Heavy Rain
  • Journey
  • Kentucky Route Zero
  • L.A. Noire
  • The Last of Us
  • Mass Effect series
  • Metal Gear series
  • Metro series
  • Nier Automata
  • Nier Gestalt and Replicant
  • No Man’s Sky
  • Papers, Please
  • Pathologic
  • Portal and Portal 2

  • This Year In Videogame Blogging: 2015

    …all 11 PC Call of Duty titles (video) and how the series has evolved over the last 12 years. And Nate Ewert-Krocker performed a close reading of Final Fantasy Tactics and how its main character comes to recognize their privilege.

    Brendan Vance’s longform critique of “The Ghosts of Bioshock” covered the real history of Wounded Knee, Manifest Destiny, and the Boxer Rebellion, versus how their shadows are felt through Bioshock Infinite‘s compromised vision. Samantha Blackmon and Alisha Karabinus came together to in a video for Not Your Mama’s Gamer about the art and animation style of Cuphead and its…

    March 29th

    …(Content warning: discussion of suicide.)

    Joe Parlock, inspired by Laura Kate’s post, tells of how his own feelings blinded him to an option in Fallout 3, and elsewhere, Taylor Hidalgo tackles morality in The Deer God.

    Mapping Out Our History

    Over at the Ontological Geek, James Hinton wrote about how game maps tend to ignore practical implications for interesting design in land masses, and Brendan Vance’s “The Ghosts of Bioshock” reflects on the Wounded Knee massacre of the Sioux and the framing of history in Bioshock: Infinite:

    On one hand I feel [Bioshock: Infinite]

    August 18th

    …it got stuck in the mind of its lead developer over at Polygon.

    Bioshock Infinite

    More barbie on the fire.

    Nate Barham looks at the violence in Bioshock Infinite, particularly in the opening and how it misses the mark in the one place it’s supposed to have a transgressive impact.

    Justin Freeman delves deeply into the character or rather lack of one of Bioshock Infinite‘s Elizabeth portraying her creation as a cynical attempt to justify the rest of the game.

    The Last of Us


    Edward Smith says The Last of Us’ opening…

    Abstract image evoking bird silhouette

    March 2nd

    …press, for the most part, is salivating about what he’s going to do next, thereby enabling this sort of behavior the next time. Hovering over it all is the vicious irony that a man who made his name by writing about a Randian dystopia is going to be just fine because we’re currently living in one.

    To round out the Bioshockery for this week, we have Kyle Fowle reviewing its box art and Felan Parker doing some amazing and specific work on how Bioshock Infinite fits into the larger cultural narrative of games and their status as art.

    July 21st

    …looks at the much derided final act of the original Bioshock and says that it instead of a mistake in fact drives home one of the game’s most important themes, that of choice or the lack of one.

    Mark Flipowich on PopMatters notes the banner over the hall in the beginning of Bioshock – “No Gods or Kings, only Man” – and how it is reflective of video games as a whole with regards to how they treat religion.

    Joel Goodwin, proprietor of Electron Dance, wrote “an incomprehensible essay about Ted Lauterbach’s complex and surreal puzzle-platformer suteF.” He…