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mass effect

February 14th

…authors look at story worlds as they relate to (or have been outpaced by) our own world, covering intersections of contemporary crisis, narrative payoff, and Black representation.

  • In Nioh 2, you learn to believe in a better future — and fight for it | Polygon Jeffrey Rousseau situates the historical fiction Nioh 2 in the contemporary context of our present moment.
  • Trash Fantasias, or Why Mass Effect 3’s Ending Was Bad Actually | Uncanny Magazine Katherine Cross makes the case for why Mass Effect 3‘s conclusion was bad when it could have been trash.
  • Owning the

Assassin’s Creed III

…explain the AC3 finale. Ironically, it wasn’t Desmond’s self-sacrifice to save the world that proved the most controversial with players; it was his apparent betrayal of the Assassin ethos, and AC3’s unilateral imposition of this outcome that provoked the most outrage. Ben Babcock at complained: “Minerva and Juno present Desmond with a choice, and it is literally the fate of the world. And what do I, the player, get to do? I get to watch. No one asks my opinion. There is no choice system here like at the end of Mass Effect 3.” Shubhankar Parijat at Gaming Bolt…

April 8th

…plows onward, we’re still seeing some noteworthy and original response articles popping up. Top marks this week go to Patricia Hernandez, who writes in Gameranx about the racial problematic of the krogan.

[G]ames like Mass Effect indulge in a power fantasy related to control and influence. […] To indulge on the power fantasy where we have utter control over other people’s lives is to assume whiteness, typically male whiteness.

As Mass Effect conversations start to cool, however, discussions on Journey are still heating up. Simon Parkin kicks things off with a stellar interview with Journey auteur Jenova…

Abstract image evoking bird silhouette

April 1st

…Own Adventure style.

Dan Bruno discusses at length why Mass Effect 3‘s conclusion is unsatisfactory. Et tu, Bruno?

Segueing back to the part of the internet not dedicated to effecting masses, Tommy Rousse writes on the relationship between “the miniature” and the player:

The RTS is a fetishization of cybernetic control. It is a simulacra of the modern Western military paradigm of command and control; sometimes a more efficient one, sometimes less. It almost always privileges positions of management and control over the autonomy of the individual.

John Carter McKnight reveals how the concept…

July 1st

…do we care deeply about such a character, if her love for us is predetermined at birth? If one day this person can feel on her own, how are we supposed to trust that person? But shouldn’t we trust that she cares about us?

Characters are a treasure to Patricia Hernandez of Kotaku as well, who writes of why not finishing Mass Effect 3 is her own ideal ending:

I mean, really, that’s why I was there, right? It wasn’t about defeating Saren, or the Illusive Man, or the Reapers, and it’s especially not about saving…

July 4th

It’s my own fault. Last week I suggested a summer lethargy may have overtaken the games blogosphere, so naturally this week we’re swamped with cogent posts about all manner of games.

First is Dan Bruno at Cruise Elroy who has been playing Mass Effect, and who says, “I am not Shepard” [dead link, no mirror available], comparing the decision to record dialogue for the player character’s voice in ME to Dragon Age’s mute protagonist.

Matthew Armstrong at SnakeLinkSonic talks about ‘Pissing in your games’. He’s talking figuratively here, of course, but it’s about marking one’s territory and

June 13th

…me. They were people, and possible friends.”

Second Draft

Re-releases and remakes (or even re-releases of remakes) are the name of the game(s) in our next section, as our next two featured authors make sense of what’s new, what isn’t, and what could have been.

  • Finding The Heart Of Midgar With Final Fantasy 7 Remake Intergrade’s Photo Mode | TheGamer Jade King explores how Final Fantasy VII Remake‘s new–albeit limited–photo mode opens up its world a little more.
  • Mass Effect Isn’t Star Trek | Gamers with Glasses Christian Haines notes how Mass Effect‘s…

UPDATED: Blogs of the Round Table: January ’12 Roundup

…Lange at Second Truth writes about her experience role-playing as a straight man in ‘On Gettin Ladies…In Games‘.

Matt Kopas wrote this piece for The Borderhouse Blog which he admits wasn’t written with the theme explicitly in mind, but which still fits well enough under the heading – it’s on ‘Gameplay, Genderplay‘.

At Nonfiction Gaming, Eric Howell writes about empathising with the characters he played in both Mass Effect and Bastion in his contribution, ‘Choosing to Be the Other‘.

Patrick Stafford writes about ‘Roleplaying games and the fundamental problem of sympathetic characters‘ on his blog The Problem…

ReadySet Zam archive—-but-its-far-from-perfect


September 4th

…ship on fire.

Taylor Cocke at Scoreless is working on some more short vignettes of games (remember his Far Cry 2 stuff?). Now he’s doing Deus Ex: Human Revolution.

Line Hollis at Robot Geek discusses what she terms ‘Leaning Games‘. Their choices, as she describes, are also employed in choose-your-own-adventures and AAA titles, to varying effect:

What this style really resembles is the story structure found in mainstream games with a “moral choice system,” like Bioshock, Infamous, or Mass Effect. The dead simplicity of the system in Bioshock is a particularly close match. Each Little…