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  • August 28th

    …swiftly behind guilt is its best friend, shame. These pieces look at how the opinion of others shapes behaviour in games.

    • The Specter of Multiplayer Hangs Over ‘Door Kickers’ | PopMatters Nick Dinicola finds that experiencing a team scenario without human collaborators allows him to reconsider where agency and blame are placed in multiplayer games.
    • Pokémon Go and Adults Gaming in Public | Sophie Weeks gives some on-point observations about mobile gaming and social shaming.

    “[…] because Pokémon Go takes you out of your house to stalk the neighborhood in search of

    March 24th

    Happy Sunday, readers!

    First of all, if you haven’t already seen it, we’ve got a new Critical Compilation this week–this time on the Mass Effect Trilogy, courtesy of Emma Kostopolus. She’s gathered a bunch of great writing on how the series intersects with queer romance and representation, so check it out!

    With that out of the way, this week’s topics run the gamut from online radicalization, to masculine vulnerability, to colonialism, but they’re also nearly all about communication, too. This could be how we communicate to one another in multiplayer games; how we communicate ideas and themes,

    Abstract image evoking bird silhouette

    May Roundup: ‘Plans’


    Likewise, Joseph Dean argues that the lack of a meta game—that is a list of communally developed strategies organized by effectiveness—is what makes Frozen Synapse such a great multiplayer experience. Because the planning phase recurs, the Frozen Synapse player always reacts and adjusts their plan in a way that meta plans fall apart when faced with unexpected challenges.

    The editing staff at Fem Hype get together to discuss the moments in games that made each of them cry, many if them describe events that disrupted their plans or expectations. Whether in Gone Home or Brothers: A…

    The Art of Level Design Analysis

    …that that does apply for beat-em-up encounters. Beat-em-up design analysis from a more appropriate perspective is, however, offered by Ben Ruiz’ wonderful blog.

    A clarification before I go: I do not enjoy multiplayer games, though I know they can involve a lot of clever design. I touch my cap to them, but obviously I can’t feign authority about them! If there are articles about multiplayer games you enjoy, then I fully encourage you to post it in the comments. Also bear in mind that I haven’t quite seen everything and I am enormously biased, so please post as well…

    March 11th

    …yours truly has been at home chained to a day job–and a certain game about effecting masses. Let’s get right to it.

    Dan Cox leads the way this week with an interesting podcast featuring two of the Critical Distance team, Eric Swain and David Carlton, as well as several other stars in a conversation on the nature of play.

    As for the past week’s biggest AAA release, Mass Effect 3, we’re already seeing a host of interesting commentary, but this analysis of the ideological dissonance of the game’s single- and multiplayer takes top billing. From author Taekwan Kim:…

    May 15th

    …so rarely include you, when you haven’t experience that same level of exclusion. There may be a few shooters, like Perfect Dark, where you’re forced to play the campaign as a female character, but even the multiplayer in that game has males to choose from (more males than females, in fact). Male characters in multiplayer shooters are never considered optional or included as an afterthought; they’re mandatory.

    Troy Goodfellow at the Flash of Steel blog is nothing if not workmanlike – the latest instalment in his long running ‘The National Character’ series is about The German National Character,…

    March 6th

    …about the latest Medal of Honor, this time looking at what made the multiplayer such a disaster.

    Maggie Greene, this week, found out she has become a chapter in a PhD dissertation and decided, since she is still alive unlike most sources, to create a few more sources, detailing in broad strokes her history at Kotaku, to help out in the research.

    Brenda Brathwaite on her personal design blog transcribes her GDC rant from the section called Social Game Developers Rant Back. Simon Ferrari on his blog Chungking Espresso writes an “informal, uninvited rant” called “How to Write…

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    February 27th

    Last year I took over the reins of TWIVGB when Ben went gallivanting off to GDC; now a year later (holy shit it’s been a year), I’m doing the same. So here’s This Week in Videogame Blogging.

    Before leaving us Ben Abraham wrote a post entitled “Cahiers du multijoueur,” a pun on the famous French film criticism magazine, where he talks about the lack of multiplayer criticism, why that is, and how he believes he can rectify that fact. Later in the week he gave us his first attempt to try and convey the experience of Battlefield: Bad

    This Year In Video Game Blogging 2010


    Kateri on her blog Falling Awkwardly, writes some superbly well written and thought through pieces on Morrowind this year, by picking apart and straitening out some of the most complex lore a video game can have. She went deep into the metaphysics and dug down to the point where reality, both in and out of the game twists, breaks and reconstructs itself.

    Quarter Down had a great piece of satire this year by Josh Harmon about ‘Bioshock 2‘s multiplayer as an Avant-Garde Masterpiece,’ [mirror] though given the material it is hard not to see the multiplayer as…