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May 27th

…The game is now about performance, in more ways than one.

And you may have heard that a certain long-awaited game starting with D and ending in -iablo 3 was finally released recently. Kill Screen’s Yannick LeJacq reflects how the Diablo series puts the agony in games of agon: “When I start to get exhausted, when bolts of pain shoot through my knuckles and up my arm, I have to remind myself that this is a game about hell.” Elsewhere, Unwinnable’s Jenn Frank thinks the game is just too gosh-darn cute:

In playing Diablo III, I…

Abstract image evoking bird silhouette

Episode 38 – The Spawn of History

…of the academy. We talk about the insular nature of academia, the challenges of getting guests to come on to the show, as well as looking to the future of history-based games.


History Respawned YouTube Channel

History Respawned: Assassin’s Creed IV

History Respawned: Diablo III

History Respawned: Valiant Hearts

History Respawned: Bioshock Infinite and the Boxer Uprising

History Respawned: Uncharted 4

Backwards Compatible: Gamers as a Public History Audience

The History Respawned Podcast

Hisotry Respawned Patreon

Opening Theme: ‘Close’ by The Alpha Conspiracy

Closing Theme: ‘Wishing…

August 29th

…to them with and without those differences. What creates the “essence” of Final Fantasy is their emotional journey through the game which emerges from its primary elements and the arc of play.”

Full Context

Up next, two authors talk in and around their subject games to pull at uncomfortable tensions around their production and implementation, as well as naming along the way some of the difficult questions critics must not turn away from.

  • This Is Not a Diablo II: Resurrected Open Beta Preview | Paste Holly Green poses difficult questions about how we talk…

September 1st

…programming skills and develop an aesthetic sensibility, they have also become indoctrination into entrepreneurship for children, shaping their creativity and passion before they have enough life experience to know the alternatives or the consequences of it.”

Taking Space

A trio of writers this week all describe how space is being made/taken/reclaimed in games and play communities for marginalized and or under-represented groups of people. I’m glad people are pushing back on all this Dad Build stuff. I can’t remember ever needing specifically gendered language for wanting to play Diablo II with as few clicks as possible.

November 11th

…their varied forms. Two authors this week reflect on the states of gates past and present.

  • Tobold’s Blog: Grumpy old gamers Tobold Stoutfoot muses about gatekeeping and entitlement in Diablo and Dungeons & Dragons.
  • Poker Night At The Inventory Is An Awkward Time Capsule | Kotaku Maddy Myers experiences an uncanny encounter with the smugly self-referential geek culture of a decade ago via Poker Night At The Inventory.

“As I sat at the table with Tycho, Strong Bad, Max and the Heavy, I expected all of the good feelings that I had about gaming

November 4th

…critics tear teens down just for having fun – Polygon Petrana Radulovic examines nested layers of misogyny in Overwatch fan videos (Content Notification: abusive gamer bro comments).

  • Worse than Scabs: Gamer Rage as Anti-Union Violence | Rhizome Lana Polansky digs deep into the designed built-in precarity of games industry labour, and how publishers quietly leverage gamer rage to keep their workers afraid and exploited. This one feels especially timely given the absolute meltdown people are having this weekend over Diablo Immortal.
  • There Are Not “Too Many Games” – Deorbital Liz Ryerson demystifies the Indiepocalypse as a monolith by…
  • September 12th

    …shots behind the scenes; questionable global slush funds like the Red Cross hoarding money for unknown projects; and world threatening mega corporations like Monsanto seeking to control global food supply, the issues that MGS brings to light can hardly be glossed over.”

    Sean Beanland goes back in time to play the first two Diablo games and examines the strangeness of some of their design choices, even among other rougelikes.

    Chronoludic’s Mike Dunbar writes about Pathologic [mirror] and the concept of death and disease therein.

    And a post I never would have thought possible in the last…

    September 17th

    …is, in the end, quite a familiar sight: many men climbing higher in society by pushing other people down.”


    • Perspectives Differ on How ‘Hellblade’ Handles Mental Illness – Waypoint Our latest Waypoint digest focuses on the discourse surrounding Hellblade.
    • Reverse Design: Diablo 2 – Intro There’s a new “Reverse Design” book out. I haven’t had the chance to read it yet, but it seems worth checking out!
    • Vol 3, No 2 | ETC Press The new issue of academic journal Transactions of DiGRA is out, and it looks pretty promising, with articles on…

    Episode 48 – The Critic and the Dragon

    …he engages in, the roulette-wheel-like luck of algorithms, and the surreality of success.


    Joseph Anderson YouTube Channel

    Dark Souls Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, Part 5

    Diablo 3 and Reaper of Souls

    Fallout 4 Analysis

    Fallout 4 – One Year Later

    Dark Souls 3 Critique

    Uncharted and The Last of Us – Great and Terrible Games

    Joseph Anderson Vs No Man’s Sky

    The Witness – A Great Game That You Shouldn’t Play

    Joseph Anderson Amazon Author Page

    Joseph Anderson Patreon

    Opening Theme:

    July Roundup: Denouement

    …Some stories were crafted to end where the journey leads them, even if it’s a journey or ending that come at great, even narratively unfulfilling, costs. Rob Haines takes a look at games which could—or arguably should—have ended without a happy ending.

    Read it now

    Seth Tomko

    Denouement in Video Games

    Seth Tomko explores how games struggle to marry narrative and mechanics, particularly where climax and denouement are concerned, and offers examples from Diablo III, Dragon Age: Inquisition, and The Witcher III: Wild Hunt. The challenges present are not insurmountable though, and sometimes…