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November 16th

More at GamePolitics.


With new consoles comes the inevitable march of new shooters. Battlefield 4, Call of Duty: Ghosts, and Killzone: Shadowfall all dropped (the bass) recently.

At Critical Damage, Brendan Keogh has some kind-ish words for Ghosts’s campaign:

You’ve probably seen the video of how the intro of Ghosts uses an identical animation sequence to the end of Modern Warfare 2. It’s the most explicit example of it, but the same animations and moments are used throughout Ghosts. It’s either intended as laziness, apathy,

October 28th

…mission report and all video data went to some classified server somewhere; nothing to see, nothing to confirm. This doesn’t bother me as much as it raises questions about the status and effects of the future warfighter.

Am I the product of 20 years of desensitization? With the decrease in infantrymen and the increase in bomb-dropping drones, am I the model killer the military wants–or needs? It strikes me that the first generation to grow up not knowing a world without Call Of Duty or Battlefield is now coming of enlistment age, right as the military shifts to a…

February 26th

We’ve been holding out for a hero, and we’re not gonna take it anymore. It’s time for This Week in Videogame Blogging!

Love is a battlefield, and we keep paying for map packs. Paul Tassi, writing for Forbes says we create our own problem by continuing to buy into the DLC schemes we decry:

It just isn’t correct to call these companies evil for attempting to extract more money from their industry. It may be eye rolling or exasperating, but it’s sort of like getting upset that auto companies charge extra for GPS, when really, all

December 5th

…possible, that war involves soldiers and personal agency, and that war is fundamentally fair and just in the context of a balanced game system. (None of those things are true in Afghanistan.) By that measure, no AAA FPS currently depicts “modern warfare.” The war they present, of roughly symmetrical forces meeting each other on battlefields in trenched combat, is an antique of World War II and the Korean War.

The danger is not someone going out to shoot a school or impulsively join the army; the danger is that these games are affecting how we think of war in…

September 18th

…military video games?’ (Thanks to Kill Screen for the tip-off):

By removing civilians from the picture, developers like Bach are trying to reap the benefits of a real-life setting without grappling with the reality of collateral damage. In sparing themselves the challenge of making their games deeper and more involving, they’re the ones holding back the medium. While video games have come a long way since Mega Man, Battlefield 3’s sanitized environment suggests that players are still limited to the same two basic actions: running around and shooting.

Scott Juster at Experience Points analyses Soulja Boy’s…

Abstract image evoking bird silhouette

February 27th

Last year I took over the reins of TWIVGB when Ben went gallivanting off to GDC; now a year later (holy shit it’s been a year), I’m doing the same. So here’s This Week in Videogame Blogging.

Before leaving us Ben Abraham wrote a post entitled “Cahiers du multijoueur,” a pun on the famous French film criticism magazine, where he talks about the lack of multiplayer criticism, why that is, and how he believes he can rectify that fact. Later in the week he gave us his first attempt to try and convey the experience of Battlefield: Bad

February 13th

…Deep’ blog write about the ideological presentation of war and the battlefield in Advance Wars:

Advance Wars at its simplest is an abstraction, an ‘ideal war’: it is no war you have ever seen, but it is in its own way deeply reminiscent of any modern war. However its almost geometric simplicity and focus on the superiority of attack brings to mind the ‘ideal war’ not of Clausewitz himself—who oft stressed the superiority of defense— but the Clausewitz many late Prussian and early German strategists imagined and assumed to exist.

At The Border House blog, Denis…

October 17th

…bodies enhance and regulate their abilities. Genetic control, information control, emotion control, battlefield control-everything is monitored and kept under control.” And just in case you missed the symbolism of this narration early on, Kojima introduces the Screaming Mantis boss character in Act 5 who hijacks the movements of Snake and a secondary NPC with-wait for it-puppet strings. (I see what you did there!)

Thomas K.L. on Frictional Games’ official blog writes what is missing in gamers’ understanding of what story is.

Upon hearing the word story, most people probably think of a chain of connected events….

Abstract image evoking bird silhouette

June 14th

…a ‘Procedural Skald‘ that would recite, and respond to, players’ actions. I think he’s really onto something here.

In a post called ‘Defibrillate This‘ Tom Francis republishes an old post that gets my heart racing with memories of classic Battlefield 2 matches.

Dan Bruno’s Cruise Elroy blog is consistently excellent and this week he comments insightfully on The Sims 3 and its broad appeal and diverse potential play styles [Editor note 2017: dead link]. He says,

I once sat behind a young girl on a train who played The Sims for three hours straight. Amazingly, I

April 3rd

…Repeat, Succeed | Unwinnable Emily Price responds to Elden Ring hype with a renewed foray into the closest equivalent on hand–the slow, contempletative, and deliberate Dark Souls II.

  • SORRY THAT YOU HAVE TO HAVE A BODY | DEEP HELL Karin Malady meditates on bodily autonomy, bodily decay, and trans liberation as cotextualized through soulslikes, Disco Elysium, and more.
  • “Laws divide the body like a chart outlining cuts of beef on a cow. Bodily autonomy disrupts this process. Now, we’re getting to the heart of the problem. The body is a battlefield. Yet, bodily autonomy does not…