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May 31st

…included in the latest installment of their FIFA series. Mary Hamilton talked about the predictably terrible reactions to this absolutely minor effort at inclusion.

In Fifa 15, the last instalment of the franchise, there are more than 16,000 players. All of them are male. (Many of them are not as good at football as the women’s World Cup players.) There are 23 players in a World Cup squad. This suggests that approximately 1.7% of the players in Fifa 16 will be female.

Elsewhere, Megan Condis looked at the consequences of Rust‘s decision to randomly assign skin…

Jaroslav Švelch | Keywords in Play, Episode 20

…limited. You know, you couldn’t just go into a store to buy a computer, or a console, or video game, like almost all distribution of hardware and software was, to some extent, unofficial. So, when somebody wanted to buy a computer, for instance, they would have to travel, usually to the West. And to do that you had to have a special permit. So, a lot of people couldn’t do that. So, they ask their friends who could get the permit to actually go to the West and bring a computer over. So, it was complicated and it was also…

January 30th

…Marcia’s Blog Marcia discusses philosophies behind and strategies for making independent TTRPG-making a less commercialized scene.

  • Unholy Aisles | Unwinnable Emily Price interrogates the fraught and unsatisfying relationship between labour and products as expressed through three works of popular media and literature, including Wilmot’s Warehouse.
  • Unpacking Presents a Version of Normalcy I Will Never Understand | Fanbyte Jess Sebastian confronts the disconnect between Unpacking‘s Instagram-perfect vision of upward mobility and the increasingly precarious contemporary existence of much of its player base.
  • “I wondered what it must be like to have natural light in every room…

    Abstract image evoking bird silhouette

    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…

    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.

    Abstract image evoking bird silhouette

    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…

    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…

    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

    August 10th

    Hello, Critical Distance! I’ve been traveling on and off for nigh on the last month, and since I’ve been back, I’ve been consuming nothing but Games Crit. So delicious, so filling. Please, gather round with me for some nutrient rich content This Week in Video Game Blogging!

    At All Costs

    This week brings us several sources interrogating the concepts of cost, monetary and otherwise, in relation to games. For instance, both Tami Sigmund and Casey Johnston take a look at free games in terms of their non-monetary costs: Sigmund examines the phenomena whereby casual and mobile players

    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…