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This Year In Video Game Blogging 2011

…a Culture of Dismissal“.

And Tracey Lien of Zero Lights Seeds reminded us that “It’s not just one joke, it’s all the jokes.”

If Kirk Hamilton is the one great blogger of the year, Kate Cox is the other. In her three part series The Gamer’s Gaze she turns the media theory of the male gaze as a concept to how it applies to video games. Additionally, she wrote her Beyond the Girl Gamer series in 8 parts (so far) on “the role of women and girls as players, characters and participants in games and gamer culture.”

Pixel Vixen 707, Part 1

…stunt that didn’t really have any negative consequences on anyone.

And for all the hubbub, PixelVixen kept on writing. The nature of being a girl gamer would come up again in a post on Rock Band 2. She points out the strangeness of winning a female merch chick, essentially a groupie who wants to make out with you. Since they were both female, Rachael pondered whether this was adhering to rock culture or gamer culture. A Harmonix writer in the comments chimes in that they were indeed tapping into fan culture and how the merch chick is in love…

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…what traditional game elements remain in Flower as well as its reception on both sides of the gamer/non-gamer divide. Steven O’Dell of Raptured Reality probes our expectations more broadly, even considering our expectations of the objects we encounter in our everyday life.

Dan Kline of Game of Design discusses the fact that, in Flower, “[t]here is no way to say ‘I die’.”; Shane Hinton of First Wall Rebate also explores this theme, discussing the lack of failure as a mechanic in both Flower and in thatgamecompany’s previous title, flOw, while also pointing out the difference in accessibility between those…

May 26th

…which capitalism is a part. As capital facilitates the mass production of games, themselves cultural artifacts, these forms of entertainment that were previously limited to the shared ‘public’ sphere become absorbed and encapsulated in ‘private’ spheres by the rise of a new type of cultural actor; the gamer. The gamer, in turn, sees in games a way to cultivate a utility and beauty, but only if the the uncultivated others, located in the ‘public’ sphere of activity, can be successfully distinguished from the die Wissenden (gamers). This is facilitated by a creation of the ‘private’ garden of games.

Kill Screen archive

…porn stars and mexican wrestling kill screens indiecade superlatives

  • why humanity so pathetically cheap and other observations xcom
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  • former footballer who makes fifa…
  • September 25th

    …Anglo-American observer.)

    • Gambling dens and gamer monks: Asia’s offbeat videogame subcultures | ZAM – The Largest Collection of Online Gaming Information Robert Rath shares stories from his game-hunting adventures in Asia, giving us insights into the diverse gaming cultures and economies that have developed under different historical conditions.
    • Gamasutra: John Szczepaniak’s Blog – Dark Side of the Sun John Szczepaniak shares his findings on crunch culture in Japan
    • The Determination of China’s Independent Game Scene – Kill Screen An excellent feature on Killscreen examines the current state of the Chinese indie game developers’ scene, with some

    June 5th

    …whether it’s video games, books, or something else — are more than just our pastimes of choice. They form a small, but vital part of who we are. If we lose that, who have we become?”

    Wounds opened

    Looking more closely at that darker side of how we respond to gaming’s endorphin loops, these pieces address addiction, violent obsession, and sexual assault.

    • Gaming, Gamers, and Health – Not Your Mama’s Gamer Alex Layne considers health and addiction in connection with gaming.
    • Dangerous Obsession and Gaming – Not Your Mama’s Gamer Alex Layne brings mental…

    January 17th

    …the new religious right?”

    At Houston Press, Jef Rouner argues that yes, gamers are the religious right of today, stating:

    The gamer right has its moral crusade, now. It wants gaming to be orthodox and traditional and easy to swallow without thinking too much about it.

    In response, Damion Schubert posits a counterargument on Zen of Design: “So don’t call these people you refer to as ‘gamers’. That’s a term for good people. Go with ‘fuckwads’.” While his response was fairly concise, I also recommend checking out the discussion in the comments!

    Party Like…

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    July 17th

    Hello dear readers! Did you miss me? The UK treated me just fine so I’m back and alive and raring to go. I got to meet at least one Critical Distance reader while in the UK too. Hey Dimitrios, always happy to be nestled in warm and snugly in your RSS reader every week.

    First! Some slightly older things I missed while away – Chris Dahlen at Save The Robot has a ‘History of an Average Gamer’, and he really is the epitome of the ‘average gamer’ so his gaming history is like a small slice of gaming

    April 14th

    …his town in the new SimCity to diagnose its traffic problem. Observing the bugs in the new SimCity’s traffic modeling, he went back to SimCity 2000 to see how it handled the same problem.

    On Quarter to Three, the eternally engaging Tom Chick presents us with a pretty unsettling depiction of how SimCity’s systems (inadvertently?) model contemporary malaise.


    (A general content warning, once again, for spoilers in most of the following links.)

    On Gamer Theories, Ben Meakin has written a bit on how we can look at BioShock Infinite through the lens…