Search Results for:


February 21st

sex, sexuality, and sex work.

“2077 is nothing more or less than the modern videogame with the veil torn away. It is the surfaced bile, everything that is rotten and moldering, and in this light it makes perfect sense that the one aspect of life it is not childishly lurid about is sex. If Japanese cyberpunk locates transcendence in the runny excrea of the (industrialized) flesh, 2077 is repulsed by the abject: its mirror image.”

Stumble Chums

This week’s pairing of queer-themed pieces have a common focus on messiness as part of the

Assassin’s Creed II

…at no point is he himself sexualized in a visual manner. Surrounded by women with ample cleavage and varying courtesans, his sexuality becomes a matter of performance.” To “win” his sexual conquests, Ezio must time and again “prove his virility” by successfully completing challenges posed by the (female) object of his desire. But as players discover, Ezio is no courtesan: he rarely displays learned or gallant mannerisms. In Farr’s estimation, Ezio’s strong revenge motive encourages players to gloss over his uncouth ways with women, and buy into the “performance model of sex” prevalent in AC2.

Ezio may have stolen…

August 12th

…Three reporters look into game cultures, including a landmark piece of reporting breaking open the problems at one major workplace.

  • Inside The Culture Of Sexism At Riot Games | Kotaku Content warning: sexual harassment, workplace abuse Cecilia D’Anastasio investigates company culture at Riot, not only reporting on horrifying stories of sexism and harassment, but also unpicking what constitutes the idea of culture in a workplace such as this.
  • Want to yell like a real chef in Overcooked 2? These restaurant workers share how | The OP Ana Valens researches workplace culture in restaurants, and how it

Dark Souls

…and societal gatekeeping, and the ‘the ‘canon’ of human experiences’

So when I say that ‘sex is like Dark Souls,’ I also mean ‘Dark Souls is like sex,’ in that there is a culture of acceptance… in how we talk about certain experiences as being either universal or ‘should be universal.’

.In “I Can’t Take This: Dark Souls, Vulnerability, and the Ethics of Networks”, Matthew Kelly asks “how the gameplay mechanics of Dark Souls actively inhabits and manipulates the unique ethical dimensions of an always-on, always-interconnected cultural paradigm.”

“Each message persists like an orange-hued

January 11th

Cara Ellison continues her S.EXE column at Rock, Paper, Shotgun with an in-depth look at 1988’s Romantic Encounters at the Dome. Ellison applauds it as a sex game that actually targets adults, rather than a series of dick jokes, and admires its rough edges that capture a slice of late eighties life:

This is really a man’s fantasy of what a woman wants from a man -– and my mind does these strange backflips. It is probably one of the most interesting sex scenes I’ve played through, apart from Coming Out On Top of course. It’s

Abstract image evoking bird silhouette

June 16th

…its problematic ‘More is better‘ approach: “What can be seen as “normal” amounts of masturbation? As compared to men?”

Anna Anthropy also had something to say about its notions of sex positivity, and the cissexism of equating women with vaginas.

look through the infographics on the game’s page. look at how masturbation is being framed. “46.6% of women masturbate less than once a month every year. gals, you can do better!” the way to overcome shame is definitely not to shame women for what they don’t do with their bodies. there’s this unfortunate idea of “sex positivity”

October 31st

…of ‘bigotry’. So when they’re talking about ‘expectations of the self’ and ‘things that are just a little bit off’, there’s no darker than pale-beige image associated with what’s right and normal.”

At PopMatters, G Christopher Williams examines ‘Fallout: the scrounging simulator’, for what its teaching kids and adults alike about the benefits of frugality in these tough economic times. Staying with the PopMatters crew for the moment, and Fallout: New Vegas, Rick Dakan looks at ‘Sex Workers and Sex Slavery in Fallout: New Vegas’:

For all its bugginess and slightly outdated graphics and stiff animations, this

ReadySet Zam archive—season-6-episode-3-oathbreaker—season-6-episode-2-home—season-6-premiere-castle-back-to-black


August 30th

Sticking with Gamasutra for a moment, Alex Wawro has a front-page piece on the psychological toll that studying and rendering hyperreal violence (and other grotesqueries) can have on designers and animators working in the games industry (Content Warning: graphic violence).

Moving over to Not Your Mama’s Gamer, Samantha Blackmon questions why Fallout Shelter not only erases queerness, it also enforces some highly specific attitudes regarding pregnancy:

There was so much about the mechanics of this game that not only privileged heteronormativity but also reproduction. Only heterosexual sex is allowed, heterosexual sex always leads to both 100%

Discover a Critical Culture

…and our broader culture. And most importantly, Critical Distance made me feel like I could be a part of the conversation, inviting me to participate in its Blogs of the Round Table and submit my work to This Week in Videogame Blogging.

Archives quicksearch

Jenn FrankLana PolanskyZolani StewartSexHistoryLaborRacismBodiesNarrativesAesthetics

Through Critical Distance, I’ve learned about games and sex, games and history, games and labor, games and racism, games and bodies, games and narratives, games and aesthetics. Regardless of whether or not games remain a part of my life for years to come, I know the insights of writers featured…