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April 2013 Roundup

…off if you steal from him. He also mentions Fable III, which is an interesting comparison because I thought its crowds demonstrated both and best and worst of the modern NPC: reactive and multi-faceted, yet also repetitive to the extreme and obviously fake.

Finally, some Irish guy wrote about Elizabeth in BioShock Infinite and whether her relationship with the player is a convincing one. I think people are going to be talking about Infinite for years, but perhaps not in the way Irrational intended.

And that’s us for the month! Join us early next week for another instalment…

June 9

…online needs and how they excludes massive numbers of people in rural America and abroad.

Specific Games and the People Who Think Very Hard About Them

Austin Walker writes about the various loves he has for State of Decay.

Jason Rice reflects on the mechanics of the second installment of Kentucky Route Zero.

Kaitlin Tremblay writes on Bioshock 2, Borderlands 2, and Baldur’s Gate to try to get at the heart of abject subjectivity in games.

Jorge Albor works out why the decision making in Quandary hits in a particularly hard manner.

I wrote…

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May-June 2013 Roundup

…and slime oozing from walls that separates Prime from its contemporaries: it’s the attention to detail in the placement of every object and room to form an intricate web of areas only conquerable through backtracking and sheer resolve. It’s one of the first games that springs to mind when I think about truly ‘immersive’ environments, actually.

So that’s it for this month. Thanks again to all of the writers who participated. Next month’s Blogs of the Round Table is up and it’s a big change in format from our previous instalments. Take a look and get involved!

July 28th

…his personal site has released the design doc for Prince of Persia 2, now 20 years old. He also says that this is not how to make a game and only worked for in this specific instance for a number of listed reasons.

Up, Up and Away

…no, wait…

In any case TWIVGB will be back next week for more link roundups. Please submit any recommendations for it to our twitter or email.

Also, there are still a few more days to participate in July’s Blogs of the Round Table.

And that’s all I got.

August 4

…legacy of The Oregon Trail.

Angela Cox writes on “The Othering of Time Age of Empires II.“

Cornelius Holtorf explains the playful desire of reality-altering efforts of time travel in contemporary culture.


Paul Tassi asks “How Do You Solve a Problem Like Nintendo?”

This is a wonderful redesign of the entirety of The Last of Us that asks the question “what if we played as Ellie?”

Mike Rose uses the new SimCity to model yet another instance of horrible traffic.

Jason Johnson connects Shin Megami Tensei 4 to Bolano’s The Savage Detectives.

July 2013 Roundup

…several bloggers. Should blogs be about “exploring my own issues in a semi-public forum” as Corvus Elrod says, or “something like an 18th century Salon… serious chat with nice folks” as Chris Lepine claims at The Artful Gamer?

To kick things off, I wrote about the emerging dialogue around Animal Crossing: Wild World for Split Screen. The rise of social networking has allowed us to share our opinions and fishing pictures instantly through the likes of Twitter and Facebook. But that also means that there’s less of a need for the type of ‘circular blogging’…

August 11th

However! That’s not a great excuse for re-instating something that was taken for granted in the past, when it is more openly recognised as sexist now. It’s not something you see in other works adapted from the past.

For example, there is a lot of media based around the works of Lovecraft, but usually his racism is thankfully absent. Mass media these days doesn’t feature overtly racist characters unless it’s made clear that their stance isn’t approved of.

That’s the factor these Damsel in Distress games often lack.

Elsewhere, on Macrotransactions, Adrian Forest argues that…

Oct-Nov Roundup – ‘Game Changers’

…folks – add them to your RSS feed!), Gaines Hubbell doesn’t think this generation produced a game changer, but Mass Effect 3 comes close. Personally, I’d choose Mass Effect 2 over the final instalment – the fight between ME2 and Bayonetta in my heart will never end – but the third game is definitely 90% awesome. The line “it’s not the future of games, but you can see it from there” is an interesting one: who can say where the past ends and the future begins, after all?

Nick Hanford talks about the mythical Citizen Kane of Videogames, and…

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December 22nd

…few gameplay reviews and Let’s Plays. Gamer Law’s Jas Purewal provides a useful primer on where this puts video reviewers and LPers on the platform right now.

New Aesthetics

Back on PopMatters, our own Eric Swain explores Kentucky Route Zero‘s rejection of a ‘Platonic Ideal’ of game-ness:

While Kentucky Route Zero does ostensibly exist within a video game space, it is more interested in the function of spaces within that space. It is based on the expressive forms of experimental theater, installation art and modernist literature, not on the ideal of the holodeck. It creates non-Euclidean

July 24th

“The deliberate design and intent behind the camera in Session is incredibly important when it comes to skating because the main way we’ve consumed skateboarding up until the Instagram age has been through street skating videos shot on these imperfect cameras with imperfect lenses and lighting. There is an endearing rawness there that Session mimics honestly.”

  • Diablo Immortal’s microtransactions aren’t an anomaly — they’re expected | Polygon Still in the present, we now turn our mechanical attenion away from the satisfying and towards the predatory. Here, then, Kazuma Hashimoto situates Diablo Immortal’s monetization model in