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September 11th

…a Dog Makes: Some Thoughts on the Dogs of Fallout 4 and Fallout: New Vegas | for starters… Chris Waldron considers different ways of relating to virtual pets in the Fallout universe.

  • Single Motherhood and Monstrosity: Some Final Thoughts on The Park and the Implications for Motherhood in Video Games – Not Your Mama’s Gamer Bianca Batti argues that the pains of motherhood undergird the fears of affection gone awry.
  • “… recent iterations of horror have the potential to explore motherhood in more complex ways, ways that do not necessarily perpetuate mother-blaming and mother-shaming. Such potential,…

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    November – December 2015

    …further delay, I’ll kick off This Month in Let’s Plays, which actually contains LPs from November and December.

    In this LP from early December, Noah Caldwell-Gervais examines how well Fallout 4 follows the game design traditions of its predecessors.

    Also from Noah Caldwell-Gervais, in this LP from November he critically deconstructs the Postal franchise.

    Elsewhere, Cameron Kunzelman considers Halo 5’s narrative friction by analyzing both what the game does on a narrative level and how it does so.

    Over on Game Maker’s Toolkit, Mark Brown questions whether players create…

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    December 6th

    Hello Everyone, this is Zolani taking over for Kris on This Week in Videogame Blogging. Let’s get to it!

    Big Box

    Aevee Bee wrote two stellar pieces of writing on Destiny this week, one of them is a series of mini-reviews on the game’s flavour text, the other a longer piece on what makes Destiny curious and interesting as a massive budget title.

    Over at Kotaku, Patricia Hernandez does well articulating Fallout 4’s struggle between its role-playing roots and its streamlining towards action-game systems. At the Mary Sue, Bryan Cebulski makes recommendations of literature for Fallout

    November 22nd

    …put in, then feel around for the walls, the limitations of exactly what could be achieved in that dark place.”

    The Elephants in the Room

    AAA is going strong this week, with the recent releases of both Fallout 4 and Rise of the Tomb Raider. At Gamasutra, Simon Parkin looked at the conflict between narrative and violence in games like Tomb Raider, noting how, for instance:

    Nathan Drake becomes an unsettling blend of chirpy wise-cracker and insatiable murderer. This kind of observation has become so prevalent with regard to blockbuster games that even its mention…

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    November 27th

    …when we talk about Battlefield 1 we should direct our critique where it really matters.

  • Oxenfree, Memory, and Public History | Play The Past Christopher Sawula addresses how a haunted old military base serves as a commentary on how the past is remembered.
  • Fallout 4 and the End of History | First Person Scholar David Bowman argues that Fallout 4’s capitalism is much more contemporary than its atompunk stylings imply, yet its critique remains toothless.
  • “The two strains of late-capitalism, neoconservatism and neoliberalism, both make an appearance in the form of the world’s two main…

    April 28th

    …to the assumptions and limitations of previous works.

    • This City Builder Asks You to Rebuild the World After Climate Devastation – Waypoint Cameron Kunzelman studies Molleindustria’s latest depressing, provocative project and identifies the ways in which it rejects SimCity’s narrative of clear-cut progress through intervention.
    • i didn’t realize this was a sad occasion — Violence in Fallout: New Vegas Steven Santana identifies how Fallout: New Vegas establishes empathy in ways its predecessor never bothers with, all while using the same basic building blocks.
    • Bad video game AI makes for hilarious surrealist comedy skits | WIRED UK

    Calling for Critical Compilations!

    …Bioshock 2

  • Bioshock Infinite
  • Dear Esther
  • Deus Ex series
  • Dishonored series
  • The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim
  • Fallout: New Vegas
  • Fallout 4
  • Far Cry series
  • Final Fantasy VII
  • Final Fantasy X and X-2
  • Final Fantasy XIII
  • Gone Home
  • Heavy Rain
  • Journey
  • Kentucky Route Zero
  • L.A. Noire
  • The Last of Us
  • Mass Effect series
  • Metal Gear series
  • Metro series
  • Nier Automata
  • Nier Gestalt and Replicant
  • No Man’s Sky
  • Papers, Please
  • Pathologic
  • Portal and Portal 2

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    October 14th

    …more critical approach.

    • Life is Strange 2 works to deconstruct the series’ power fantasy | Unwinnable Malindy Hetfeld considers how a shift in narrative framing and the adoption of a more politically-charged setting allow Life Is Strange 2 to subvert some of the power fantasy tropes embraced by its predecessor.
    • The Nukes of ‘Fallout 76’ Are Where Power Fantasies Hit a Breaking Point – Waypoint Cameron Kunzelman examines the nuke-happy Fallout 76 and concludes that power fantasies in games have reached a troubling, untenable, and ultimately paradoxical zenith.
    • Choice, Guilt, and Life Is Strange – ZEAL

    ReadySet Zam archive—season-6-episode-3-oathbreaker—season-6-episode-2-home—season-6-premiere-castle-back-to-black


    November 19th

    …the Day – Haywire Magazine Miguel Penabella focuses on a common environmental cue, used in Fallout 4 to particularly great effect – skeletons!

    “Fallout 4 carries an air of melancholy by juxtaposing the gritty post-apocalyptic setting with the mundane scenarios these skeletons convey.”

    The New Colossus

    The latest Wolfenstein game continues to generate discussion – this week, writers are particularly interested in the body.

    • Wolfenstein: The New Colossus (Review/Analysis) – Humanity Through Absurdity – YouTube (video: auto-captions) Hamish Black praises the way the new Wolfenstein game builds the protagonist’s character and…