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May 5th

…both made what you could call “critical Let’s Play” videos for an event in Chicago ran by Jake Elliott. Yang’s is on the first room of Half Life and Ryerson’s is about the CliffyB sleeper hit Bioshock Infinite.

Bioshock Againfinite

If you’re not totally burned out on anything and everything Bioshocky, Nicole Marie comments on Infinite, but with a particular focus on the critical discussion around Elizabeth as one of the best female characters of all time. Nick Dinicola also has things to say about the game, reading Booker DeWitt’s character arc as a failed one.


April 21st

Hungry for some tasty Sunday reading? Look no further. It’s This Week in Videogame Blogging, the web’s best source for prime cuts of games criticism, analysis and commentary!


Set an afternoon aside for this one. Tim Rogers has finally finished his sprawling analysis of BioShock Infinite’s many systems and the best foot it chooses to put forward.

Over on Kotaku, guest commentator Jordan Ekeroth writes that rather than blasphemous, he found Infinite “deeply Christian.”

Reacting to the suggestion his last piece was “inflammatory,” Jeff Kunzler argues that there is plenty within BioShock Infinite

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October 24th

…unsustainable holding pattern. Also like Bioshock, Metro 2033 treats conflict, in gameplay terms, as a transaction between the player and the game. Both are in this regard closer to first-person survival-horrors than first- person shooters, preferring to challenge the player with the threat of running out of ammo rather than the threat of receiving a surplus of ammo to the face. More broadly, Metro and Bioshock alike confront the player with decisions and revelations that ask them to reflect on themselves as game-players as well as player-characters; both share an interest in the ontology of interactive fiction, and to this…

March 13th

…looks at Rapture’s villains as partial entities of SHODAN [mirror], because one can never read enough on System Shock 2. Paul at Little bo Beep, a site I just heard about, asks if Bioshock really is a good critique of Ayn Rand’s philosophy [mirror]. And Josh Harmon at Quarter Down calls Bioshock 2‘s multiplayer “an Avant-Garde Masterpiece” [mirror] in a great work of satire that I think may be more on the mark than he’s willing to admit.

In a way, BioShock 2 merely takes the multiplayer shooter to its logical conclusion. What is a n00b if not

Episode 2 – Descent into Dissonance

…definitive answer to the question “How do we define narrative dissonance?” You don’t need to go to GameFAQS or Youtube to discover the ending of this conundrum; we don’t end up coming up with a consensus on the subject! My apologies to Roger Travis who become disconnected midway through the podcast and could not return due to prior obligations.

Direct Download (32MB, 42min)

CAST: D. Murray, Denis Farr, Travis Megill, Alex Myers, Eric Swain, Roger Travis.

Show notes: Iroquois Pliskin on Bioshock, Clint Hocking on Bioshock Michael Abbott on Theater and Videogames Corvus Elrod on Fabula

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…by the second playthrough is a positive thing. In fact, it functions much like the lack of agency in BioShock:

Forcing a player to act in a way that doesn’t appeal to their morality at all can make for a very uncomfortable and introspective experience, one that ends up being far more memorable in the long run.

And, as has been illustrated, many articles comment on the repeated plays aspect, Alan Williamson’s “Nier Death Experience” in Issue 4 of Five Out of Ten (2013) is the one that most draws out the game’s final ending and…

January 2nd

…considers BOTW‘s queer-coded characters from multiple angles and critical contexts.

  • Never Trust a Lady Mechanic: Final Thoughts on The Witness | Gold Machine Drew Cook ruminantes on gendered and racialized Others in an 80s Infocom IF game and not, in fact, that more recent puzzle game.
  • Descending the Lighthouse – No Escape Skeleton writes about Bioshock Infinite‘s Elizabeth and the whole uncomfortable, convoluted, sprawling culture of clinical, possessive horniness that surrounds her creation and arc. I probably summarized that badly but take that as extra reason to just go read the article for yourself.
  • “Bioshock

    Kotaku UK archive

    …Is Go 8 Bit The Great Video Game Tv Panel Show Youve Always Wanted 2016/09/08 Lets Compare The Xbox One S Xbox One Scorpio Ps4 Slim And Ps4 Pro 2016/09/11 The Story Behind Hues Brilliant Soundtrack 2016/09/13 Two Developers Are Bringing Wonder Boy Back With Two Entirely Different Games 2016/09/14 Six Years Later Minervas Den Remains The Best Bioshock Thing 2016/09/15 Meet The Anonymous Watchdog Who Broke The Csgo Betting Scandal 2016/09/15 The Forgotten Parts Of Gta Online 2016/09/15 The Unbearable Lightness Of Lost Video Game Saves 2016/09/19 Take A Look At These 15 Minutes Of Metal Gear Survive Before…

    March 29th

    …by drawing upon the theory of Le Guin.

  • Dave talks Video Games: Bioshock 2: A Lamb in sheep’s clothing (game critique) | Dave talks Video Games Dave evaluates the mechanical successes and narrative failures of BioShock 2 as an extension of and iteration upon the original.
  • Londons: Cultist Simulator and the Unknown | Into The Spine Violet Adele Bloch contemplates the intersections between ley lines, stock market microwave datalinks, and the glimmer of gender euphoria in a deep dive on Cultist Simulator.
  • “The fourth eye is Glimmering. Like Passion, it’s closed. Passion and Glimmering are…

    August-September Roundup: Oceans

    …style=”text-align: center;”> Read it now


    Dante Douglas

    Ten Years in Rapture: The Legacy of Bioshock

    Douglas returns to paste just a few weeks later for another oceanic piece exploring the ripples left by the first Bioshock, a game and a legacy that continues to attract heated criticism. Douglas describes what the game and its city on the ocean floor continue to mean to him after so many years.

    Read it now


    Michael Hancock

    Arrrrrunthrough of some thoughts on oceans and videogames

    Michael Hancock applies his…