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August 18th

…the ending states of XCom: Enemy Unknown and Pacific Rim.

The Indie Gamer Chick talks about epilepsy and gaming. She asks that you do not user her editorial as a baseline for your own ability to play a game.

And finally, Rob Gallagher at The New Inquiry thinks that video game’s devaluation of life may be a good thing overall.

Closing Notes

We have a new Blogs of the Round Table topic up and running through the end of September. Don’t forget to submit your suggestions for TWIVGB through email or twitter. I have no idea who will be here…

August-September Roundup

…attack that comes with real-world terrorism. Although perhaps he is looking in the wrong place – XCOM: Enemy Unknown does a great job of this, albeit in a different genre.

Desmand King from Plus 10 Damage takes a look at Spec Ops: The Line and Year Walk (spoilers for both). There has been a lot written about The Line, but it’s still one of the standout games of 2012 – I was thinking about it last week while watching Apocalypse Now. It falls into the category of “mediocre story, well-told”. I disagree with King that our choices in a game…

This Year In Videogame Blogging: 2013

…of The Walking Dead.

Austin C Howe explores the postmodernism nature of Metal Gear Solid. James Clinton Howell looks at MGS4 and how it calls attention to how we become indifferent to human life by its own indifference to human life.

Zolani Stewart looks at how Mortal Kombat 4 is different from its fighting game brethren. Mark Filipowich expands upon it and charts the trajectory of Mortal Kombat‘s violence and what it meat over the numerous entries.

Chris Plante wrote a postmortem on The Bureau: XCom Declassified‘s 7 year development cycle for Polygon.

At Medium Difficulty, Samantha Allen wrote A…

Abstract image evoking bird silhouette

March 9th

…romp through peak videogame absurdity: “If somebody were to make a game out of that one twitter bot that proposes random situations (@AndNowImagine) the result would look something like Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII.”

A Mind Forever Voyaging author Dylan Holmes spent the last year fighting the tide of the release cycle to instead work on his backlog.

Meanwhile, UK-based writer Leigh Harrison lauds The Bureau: XCOM Declassified for subverting a particular trend of modern shooters:

The Bureau should be celebrated for its bravery in swimming against the current of accepted videogame design. It fearlessly deconstructs the prevailing notion that

February 7th

…Gear Solid V

  • Kirby’s Momentum
  • A number of critics this week considered unreality and ambiguity as a storytelling technique in games, arguing that designing for co-authorship with the player can enhance their ability to imaginatively project into the work. Leigh Alexander interviews Firaxis producer Garth DeAngelis, and Kym Buchanan discusses the imaginative power of sensory limitation.

    • How XCOM enables players to tell their own stories
    • How Video Games Engage the Imagination Muscle

    Continuing on the theme of ambiguity, Vincent Kinian discusses the storytelling power of the dreamlike half-reality of Kingdom Hearts: Dream Drop Distance, while Miguel Penabella

    August 18th


    A pair of authors this week investigate goofy, funny games, and why those elements of absurdity compliment the rest of the work.

    • Why Metal Gear Solid 4’s Nonsense is Great, 11 Years On – YouTube Hamish describes how Guns of the Patriots has aged gracefully into its absurdity.
    • Attack of the Earthlings Bakes Humor Into Its Freakish DNA | Unwinnable Khee Hoon Chan looks at an XCOM-like that offsets its cynical setting with a side of side-splitters.

    “While many titles wrap their plots and jokes around the game, rather than let these influence or dictate its game’s