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June 9

…online needs and how they excludes massive numbers of people in rural America and abroad.

Specific Games and the People Who Think Very Hard About Them

Austin Walker writes about the various loves he has for State of Decay.

Jason Rice reflects on the mechanics of the second installment of Kentucky Route Zero.

Kaitlin Tremblay writes on Bioshock 2, Borderlands 2, and Baldur’s Gate to try to get at the heart of abject subjectivity in games.

Jorge Albor works out why the decision making in Quandary hits in a particularly hard manner.

I wrote…

August 11th

…Unwinnable, on the cult-like nature of videogame power fantasies.

On Game Church, Mark Filipowich has a look into the complexities of Final Fantasy Tactics‘s monotheism.

On Haptic Feedback, Austin Howe continues his analysis of the Metal Gear franchise and directs his gaze particularly towards the franchise’s damselization of Meryl and Emma.

Corey Milne approaches BioShock Infinite as an Irishman and a historian, questioning the game’s rather nuance-free portrayals of ethnic minorities — including the Irish.

On Ontological Geek, Aaron Gotzon praises the actually quite nuanced portrayal of weight issues through the character of Ellie in Borderlands

Abstract image evoking bird silhouette

November 2nd

…music-based battle system.

Context Cues

Taking notes from the recently released Bayonetta 2, Paste’s Maddy Myers argues that the term ‘male gaze,’ which game critics borrow from film studies, is in fact woefully inadequate for describing the ways sexualized game protagonists can be inhabited and made empowering by their players.

On the subject of sexuality and women, Todd Harper shares his impressions of the queer characters in Borderlands the Pre-Sequel, in particular how his impressions are inflected by how media has treated similar characters in the past.

On another subject, Marshall Sandoval showed up at PopMatters…

Abstract image evoking bird silhouette

May 24th

…it genders the player activity of inaction as female in deference to many other examples where such design and progression of abilities may not be accepted with a male character.

Kaitlin Tremblay writing for Dorkshelf talks about her choices in characters and classes in Borderlands she feels more comfortable with the non apologies hulking brutes than with the crafty Sirens.

Brendan Keogh typed up a version of a talk he gave at DiGRA, using Binary Domain as a launching platform to explore the concept of cyborgs and binaries established early on between hackers and the other in the…

October 18th

…to do “horrible and badass” things without being held accountable; and Matulef also questions whether the Metal Gear series can go on without Hideo Kojima.

Who Do You Think You Are?

At FemHype, Ashley Lynn’s interpretation of Assassin’s Creed’s Ezio leads to an exploration of how women are presented within Ezio’s world, and Nico W. reveals in The Mary Sue how she discovered her sexuality through Borderlands 2:

It was without a doubt one of the most enlightening experiences of my life, and as I read through story after story that could have all been written

Minisode 08 – Breaking the Mold and Cultural Musings

…prestige level indie games to AAA games that fell through the cracks for whatever reason.

On co-hosting duties with me this month on this chilly November day is GiantBomb writer and critic, Austin Walker.

Direct Download

Austin’s Picks

Invisible, Inc. by Klei Entertainment

Cradle by Flying Cafe for Semianimals

Cibele by Nina Freeman

Eric’s Picks

The Cat Lady by Harvester Games

Tales from the Borderlands by Telltale Games

NaissanceE by Limasse Five

Opening Theme: ‘Close’ by The Alpha Conspiracy

Closing Theme: ‘Wishing Never’ by The Alpha Conspiracy

February 7th

…continent in terms of language and local customs, success for one African developer is good for all of them.”

At Gamechurch, M. Joshua Cauller discusses how the limited verb set of Oxenfree contributes to the poignant sense of intimacy in its friendships, At Vice, Kaitlin Tremblay looks at Oxenfree alongside Tales from the Borderlands and Life is Strange, to discuss the value of platonic relationships in storytelling.

  • Oxenfree: The Beauty of Traveling Together
  • Why I’m Looking Forward to More ‘Just Good Friends’ Relationships in Video Games

Yet more talk of friendship comes out…

September 25th

…corridor where I lived. There I’d play Borderlands on a makeshift screen the size of a cinema display, at preposterous volume, in maximum comfort. Other people from the building would often join in, because even split-screen modes offered the kind visual acuity that makes a modern flatscreen shrivel with envy.”

Part 3: Power

But Nobody Came

Other ways of connecting with, and disconnecting from, other people are explored in readings of three games that portray different relationships between different kinds of beings.

  • opened world: queerness & movement – haywire magazine Miguel Penabella shares…

Kill Screen archive

…optimism real life

  • nintendos new sleep monitor
  • what happens when computers can tell how were feeling
  • forza 2 and lust cars
  • tales borderlands shoots second asks questions first
  • silent hill 2s endings arent what you want what you deserve
  • republique shows tablets can tell emotional realistic stories
  • whats better hd try 12k monitor
  • vib ribbon love letter obsolete technology
  • long dark will turn any apartment frozen lifeless hellscape
  • hatsune miku here destroy everything you love and hate about pop stardom
  • sexting robots kara stone
  • emergents alex harvey andalusian…
  • August 13th

    …story of Jane Whittaker | Thank you to James Batchelor for bringing Jane Whittaker’s story to light. The story of a developer whose touched over 100 games including Goldeneye, Alien vs. Predator and The Sims who was forced to hide behind assumed names because of their birth circumstances.

  • Tales from the Borderlands: The Oral History | Campo Santo Quarterly With interviews from over a dozen people who worked on the game, Duncan Fyfe compiles a bunch of behind the scene stories of how it got made.
  • How American Game Companies Avoid Paying Income Tax | Super Bunnyhop…