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November 17th

…Charming, Frustrating, and Weird as Hell – Paste Dia Lacina discusses Luigi’s Mansion 3 as a fun game that dances on the threshold of something more critically provocative without ever quite getting there.

  • 2019 was the year that capitalism became video games’ greatest villain | Windows Central Carli Velocci traces a growing collective awareness of oppressive neoliberal power structures across games by way of Borderlands 3, The Outer Worlds, and Disco Elysium.
  • Lay Down Your Burdens – The Outer World’s Subversive Approach To Player-Centric Narratives | RE:BIND Emily Rose studies the small-scale, slow-burn storytelling approach on display in…
  • Abstract image evoking bird silhouette

    January 5th

    …internal design and external contexts.

    • Borderlands 3: Sometimes Love Just Isn’t Enough – Uppercut Andrew Cogswell hashes out why Gearbox’s latest feels cynical and hollow in a bad way.
    • another world is possible: meditations on anodyne 2 – lotus root records lotus explores the myriad layers of anticapitalist, antibinary allegory at work in Anodyne 2.
    • UNSTOPPING – DEEP HELL Skeleton muses on the specific brand of apocalypse visited by classic SHMUPs, and how that trend is affirmed and maybe-also-kind-of subverted by modern incarnation ZeroRanger.

    “While other videogames are focused with telling intimate stories

    November 8th

    …good pieces; the first by Shamus Young who, writing for The Escapist, talks about Survival Horror. The second, an interesting post by the Aartform Games blog, asks “Are games art? I think they might be more like cooking” and Kris Graft interviews Valve’s writers about their creative process for Gamasutra. The last one is a quite lengthy and crammed full of interesting tidbits.

    Mitch Krpata writes about ‘Your level best’, or the difference between pleasurable advancement and painful grinding as demonstrated by Borderlands. He notes,

    Gearbox did such a good job of spacing out the rewards, and

    This Year in Videogame Blogging: 2020

    …Maneater is Gaming’s Newest Feminist Icon | Fanbyte Speaking of the best comedy being rooted in sympathy, I think Natalie Flores’s hyperbole and absurdity in this piece is very much enhanced by the sincerity that seems to shine through it.


    • Where Are All The Fat Queer Video Game Characters? | Gayming Magazine (Content warning: brief descriptions of sizeism / fatphobia) Aimee Hart asks for more body diversity in the representation of desirable queer characters, pointing to fat stereotypes in games such as Borderlands and Left 4 Dead, and narrow beauty standards in queer-coded games such…