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March 2015

…together this month too! For instance, Philip Kollar and Danielle Riendeau of Polygon venture into Let’s Play territory with Bloodborne. In Part 1 of this LP series, Kollar and Riendeau create the avatar Pickle Hedgehog and discuss various stats for the character as they do so.

On Four Play Show, Matt Albrecht sits down to play the as-yet-unreleased Extreme Exorcism with the game’s two developers.

Elsewhere, on Steam Friends, Soha Kareem and Kelsey play and take in the beauty of Raetikon. It’s enjoyable to hear just how responsive they are to the game’s aesthetic.

Kentucky Route Zero

Critical Distance is proud to present this Critical Compilation of Cardboard Computer’s Kentucky Route Zero, written by Nicholas O’Brien. Nicholas is an artist and researcher that makes video games, digital animations, and installations addressing civic history, urban infrastructure, and overlooked narratives of technology and labor. He currently lives in Brooklyn and is Assistant Professor in 3D Design and Game Development at Stevens Institute of Technology.

When Kentucky Route Zero, the episodic magical realist point-and-click adventure from Cardboard Computer (Jake Elliott, Tamas Kemenczy, and Ben Babbitt), first reached players in 2013, critics were struck by its intricate narrative, distinct

November 15th

…game’s environments, Petit notes Rise of the Tomb Raider forces the player to de-emphasize the aesthetic, reducing environments from sublime to a mere container of player plunders.

Petit addresses the backlash to her review in a follow-up on her Tumblr:

Some readers–those, for instance, who attack less-than-glowing reviews of highly anticipated games that haven’t even been released yet and that they haven’t yet had a chance to play–aren’t interested in actual criticism. They are interested in being told that their emotional investment in a particular game, their anticipation of it, the sense of greatness that they have

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This Year in Videogame Blogging: 2014

…Single Day. The original article is lost to time, but it is archived for now through the Wayback Machine.

Actual ethical debates were brought up and ignored. For instance, Eurogamer’s Simon Parkin asked “Are YouTubers breaking the law?” With prominent personalities doing advertorials and promotions for their subjects, this is a question we’re bound to return to in the new year.

Claire Hosking explains the whole Grand Theft Auto V being pulled from Target shelves in Australia thing from the perspective of Australians, contrary to the mainly American outcry which has dominated the conversation.

Rami Ismail, developer…

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December 14th

Hello everyone, it’s Lindsey here with another weekly roundup. Before we get started I want to remind you that, as the year comes to a close, we’re looking for submissions for our end-of-the-year roundup. But for now, let’s take a look at This Week in Videogame Blogging!

History and Culture Clashes

Quite a few of the submissions this week talk about how history and culture are both used and confused in games. For instance, Corey Milne uses the recent news about Greece’s pleas to have their artifacts returned to them rather than loaned out by the British

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November 2nd

…Moving Pixels again this past week to reflect on the recession’s influence on the recent uptick of cyberpunk in games.

Illustrated Herstories

Kill Screen’s Chris Priestman has a neat feature on Rachel Weil’s FEMICOM art installation, which Leigh Alexander also profiled earlier this year.

Actually It’s About…

At his review blog, Erik Twice notes that, indeed, games journalism is mired in very real problems, albeit ones which don’t seem to have crossed Gamergate’s radar.

Meanwhile, at Salon, Arthur Chu writes empathetically about the social ostracization and resentment behind much of the movement’s rage. And Zoe…

April 24th

…control—bend to her psychological state, rather than offering clarity to the player. This expressionism reflects the murkier ideas of violation, transgression, and bodily autonomy running through the narrative.”

Homemakers

The work and play of creating a space is addressed through writing on art installations, survivalism, and sausages.

  • art/games The first issue of new magazine Art/Games is out, featuring Skot Deeming and Hannah Epstein among others, discussing gallery installations, dystopias, and maker spaces.
  • Far Cry Primal’s Survivor Mode Makes The Game Feel Complete Kirk Hamilton argues that Far Cry Primal is at its best…

Far Cry 2

…simple fact that 10 years later, people are still inspired to play it, to revisit it, and most importantly, to write about it.

So for the 10th anniversary of Far Cry 2, I wanted to share some of the best and most thoughtful criticism of the game that I’ve come across. I went back through old emails, searched the internet, and spent hours organizing my Instapaper account in order to narrow it down to what I feel are the ten best pieces written about Far Cry 2.

In terms of how I filtered them: for the most part…

01: Subjectivity

…across countless sites, calling this near-universal lauding “games journalism’s failure.” Thier brings up an interesting point that I think not many players (or prospective purchasers) consider when reading reviews. The point is that, more than likely, the journalists tasked with writing reviews for Bloodborne were probably also players of previous Souls games. As such, their reviews are colored by perspectives informed by previous enculturation into specific modes of play. They have a subjective outlook on what the game is and what it should be. And that subjective outlook is not one that would be formulated by, for instance, a newcomer…

May 15th

Welcome to another exciting, informative, and hopefully entertaining instalment of This Week In Videogame Blogging.

Before we swing into the usual routine, a few words about a certain blog post you may have read this week. Around about the time last week’s TWIVGB went live, Dan Cook wrote an inflammatory blog post called ‘A blunt critique of game criticism’, and a heated conversation bloomed across much of the blogosphere. I’ve made my personal response (to the original draft, which has since been edited heavily) on my personal blog but I wanted to comment here as well, since Critical