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March 19th

This week’s critical writing changed my understanding of how games connect to the physical world and to urban life. Let’s go on a little wander through the winding paths of online discourse.

Visuals and sound

Slightly stepping away from our overwhelming reliance on text for critical communication, in these pieces critics use sound and visuals to explore games.

  • 304: Full Throttle Scenery Studies Ben Chandler carried out another in-depth visual analysis of point-and-click adventure sceneries, this time compiled into a PDF.
  • Waypoint Rescores: ‘Life Is Strange’ – Waypoint Mike Diver engages

Abstract image evoking bird silhouette

November 2nd

…horror-themed close reads, as you might imagine. At Normally Rascal, Stephen Beirne runs through Fatal Frame 2‘s projector room with a fine-toothed comb, while at Videogames of the Oppressed, Mike Joffe concludes his three-part analysis of Castlevania: Symphony of the Night with a meditation on the game’s setting as the childhood home of its protagonist.

These two sound-oriented articles pair nicely together. At Game Sound, Kenneth Young compares the auditory approaches used to introduce characters in two science fiction games, Destiny and The Swapper. And over at his personal blog, Harmonix’s Dan Bruno shares some notes on Mother 3‘s…

May 15th

…cup of tea, The NightmareMode bloggers have been busy this week so maybe you might be interested by Grant Fench’s “Minecraft and Materialism” exercise which is up to Part 3, and if that’s not enough, blogger curlyhairedboy has some ‘Musings on The Witcher’.

Dan Apczynski editor of the GamerMelodico blog wrote about the iPad/iPhone game Sword and Sworcery’s ‘Audience Calibration Procedure’.

On his Gamasutra members blog, Michel McBride listens to and describes the acoustic ecology of Half-Life 2’s City 17, recording a “sound walk”. If you’ve never heard of a soundwalk before, it’s pretty much what you…

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March 9th

We’re back. We never exactly went away, but now we’re here, fully, renewed breath in our lungs. It’s time to sound the bells. It’s Sunday afternoon. It’s time for This Week in Videogame Blogging.

Dev Tools

Critical Distance’s audience can roughly be split into two halves: games bloggers, critics and scholars to one side, and game developers of various stripes on the other. It’s my belief that these two have more in common than even they may think. With that in mind, I’d like to start off this week’s roundup with some recommendations tailored particularly to devs,

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September 27th

…to talk about her time with Habbo hotel: in her first post, she reminisces of times spent in chatrooms and the eponymous A/S/L. I love the name of the blog too: ‘Talking Bobba’: you’ll get it when you figure out what ‘Bobba’ means.

Lewis Denby writes for Rock Paper Shotgun about the mod ‘Korsakovia’ from the same Portsmouth University researchers-cum-developers who brought you Dear Esther:

From the fusion of musical styles, to the alarming bumps and thumps, and particularly the utterly alien sound of the smoke monsters, it’s an absolute aural feast. That is, a particularly poisonous

April 11th

…down: I kinda want to fuck with the grown up stuff after a while. Because I’m not just a child, a scientist, and a brat. I’m a tempest of genuine malice, a power-thirsty psychopath with a crowbar of dysfunction. I want to tinker, but not just with the Meccano set. I want to break the car.

It sounds obtuse, but it does make sense, and he’s got an important bigger point in here about the future of the open world game.

Chris Breault at Post-Hype looks at Sound in Starcraft II and how certain sounds add an…

January 31st

…based studio “Team Bondi” and the Duke Nukem Forever sound-a-like story of developing the as-yet unreleased LA Noire. True Story: I once applied for a job at Team Bondi. I guess they missed out and by the sound of it I dodged a bullet.

From Matthew Gallant who sent this last week, ‘Love does not exist’, a long treatise on… all sorts of things over ten years of gaming.

Evan Stubbs writes about ‘Mining your habits for fun and profit’, another piece on digital distribution.

Steve Gaynor writes an apologia for the entertainment industries (including gaming) and…

June 26th

Hello and welcome to another instalment of This Week In Videogame Blogging, with the latest and greatest writing, blogging and criticism from the videogame blogosphere. But some news! I’m actually going to be away in the UK for the next fortnight (get ready London!) but the diligent team stands ready to fill in for me so we shouldn’t miss a beat. Onwards!

Dan Bruno at Cruise Elroy analyses the music and sound of Portal 2. I think every man, woman and child has pointed out how great the music and sound design is in this game, but Bruno

November 13th

A Nordic tundra. A distant figure is spotted running with great haste, all arms flailing and apparently trying to shout over the sound of the howling wind. As the figure approaches you make out “The dragon is coming! The dragon is coming!”

As the figure approaches you see it is none other than your trusty host of This Week In Videogame Blogging! Clearly something serious is going on. The figure arrives in a near-breathless state:

“The dragons are here! There’s no time for a full run-down of the week’s best blogging, writing and about videogames

December 16th

Do you hear that sound? It’s the sound of only three Sundays left to 2012. Let’s start your morning off right with This Week in Videogame Blogging, shall we?


Capping off his recent feature on text-based war games, John Brindle shares a roundup of his extended interviews with high-profile interactive fiction authors including Emily Short, Porpentine and Paolo Pedercini.

On Eurogamer, Wesley Yin-Poole shares a nice long retrospective on what went wrong in trying to bring the Xbox to the Japanese market.

Over on Nightmare Mode, Canadian Reid McCarter and American Jordan