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June 23rd

…a poor choice for a videogame protagonist. Meanwhile on Electron Dance, Joel Goodwin posits that 2D shooters are about “cleaning.”

On the Radiator Blog, the well-informed Robert Yang takes us through a history of PC gaming’s “use key.”

Game historian Richard Moss takes a look at the videogame adaptation of The Thirty-Nine Steps and deems it a sign of “a bright future for interactive stories.”

Michael Clarkson describes why Dontnod’s Remember Me falls flat and Not Your Mama’s Gamer’s Alisha Karabinus takes a peek inside how State of Decay achieves a sense of harsh realism through emergent…

July 2013 – ‘Blogception’

…Is a one-sided conversation one worth having?

On his blog Only a Game, Chris Bateman summarises a recent ‘blog moot’ between several bloggers. Should blogs be about “exploring my own issues in a semi-public forum” as Corvus Elrod muses, or “something like an 18th century Salon… serious chat with nice folks” as Chris Lepine claims at The Artful Gamer?

Your blog can be a direct response to the topic, or can explore the points raised by the other blogs. Write what you like! I will update the BoRT Linkomatic automatically, you can see the current submissions here:

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July 14th

…Pieschel delivers an excellent analysis of a text-based “shooter” written in Twine, Tower of the Blood Lord.

On Unwinnable, Stu Horvath wonders what it would be like to play as a sidekick. And Push Select’s Jeff Wheeldon offers up a reading of The Legend of Zelda‘s Link as a Christ metaphor.


(Not actually about Rogue Legacy. I just couldn’t think of a better subheader.)

Eurogamer continues its stride of sturdy retrospective pieces with this one by Rick Lane: the story of Vampire: The Masquerade: Bloodlines.

On Not Your Mama’s Gamer, Alisha Karabinus recently…

July 21st

…around an Island where some Frenchman with my last name owns someone who looks like my father. And that might make me wince a little.

Dr. B of Not Your Mama’s Gamer in light of the events this week with Trayvon Martin and looks back on 3 years of her writing and career and what it means to be a black woman in the field of video games.

Jon Shafer looks to Ethics in Game Design and what small choices in games compound into larger ideas in our mind with regards to sexism, racism, ageism, homophobia etc.

July 28th

…Alexander on his site Imaginary Playmates doesn’t look at the game, but rather the pre-hype response it has received both in the above posts and on twitter and how troubling it is given no one commenting has played the game.

Stephen Beirne’s piece on Gameranx compares the troubling design of the wife and kids characters in The Castle Doctrine to Ico‘s treatment of Yorda within the game systems.

And Jason Rohrer explains his own perspective on the treatment of otherness in his games Diamond Trust of London and his upcoming game The Castle Doctrine in their design.

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September 30th

…community leaders to gamer’s sexism and other horrible qualities. I know it’s unprofessional for me to editorialize, but I must say listeners, how long will we let publishers of all kinds who take our money to continue such rude, and illegal like everything else in this town, behavior? Paul Tassi seems to have an answer, saying that as long at GTA doesn’t have a lead woman character, none will be given the depth that such a game can afford.

Taking a different route, Tom Bissell shares a letter, hopefully not made with contraband writing utensils, to Niko of the…

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October 13th

…inside that curious machine art-turned graffiti wall-turned ersatz gambling community, Salty Bet.

And Edge has a nice look back at the genesis of expressionistic American gothic point-and-click (and IndieCade award winner) Kentucky Route Zero, whose developers insist they didn’t set out to upend anyone’s chess board.

Theft No More

On Kotaku, Leigh Alexander laments aging out of the target demographic of games, while the hype cycle chugs on. Elsewhere, on Higher Level Gamer, Erik and Gaines address that so tricky of topics: whether Grand Theft Auto 5 is defensible as satire:

Rockstar could have written

October 27th

…defense merely exacerbates the problem.

Cassandra Khaw at US Gamer talk about how unrealistic Michael and his family are given that she grew up with a real world analog to him. It isn’t so much social criticism as it is the high flung fantasy of an executive.

Spann at Arcadian Rhythms is a little disappointed at the criticism towards GTA5‘s most heinous mission and how under read it’s used in regarding Trevor and his character.

Mark Serrels says Los Santos is a place he’d never want to visit on Kotaku. And Johnny Kilhefner at Unwinnable regards existence…

November 10th

…mutated over their many iterations and looks at the core of what makes a quote/unquote Final Fantasy game.

Nathan of compares Baseball to Spelunky in regards to their various levels of play and the deceptively simple descriptions of how they play.

Eric Swain at PopMatters explains how most games that claim to be cinematic fail to take advantage of the techniques of film and how Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons was a game that incorporated such techniques into its camera.

Stephen Beirne wrote a piece at Gameranx claiming that BioShock Infinite‘s combat design was a…

December 1st

…Manager (it’s called SOCCER), including a great tidbit about how global warming has forced the team to update weather data for Great Britain. Brendan Keogh talks about the right way to play Doom 3. What a formalist!

Robert Yang says “Half-Life is magical and interesting and subtle, but not in the way that gamer culture mythologizes it. (At the same time, let’s still be critical of what Half-Life does, and the values it represents to both players and developers.)”

The Aztez Development blog has a history of going in-depth about combat systems in games, and this…