This Week in Video Game Criticism: The oranges of Peter Molyneux
This week, our partnership with game criticism site Critical Distance brings us picks from Eric Swain on topics including responses to the Critical Proximity conference and an enlightening interview with Peter Molyneux.
While the inaugural meet up of game critics and writers was last weekend, there have been a few responses in the meantime.
Mike Joffe of Video Games of the Oppressed wrote about his take on attending the conference and how he learned to stop worrying and love the myriad and nebulous concepts none of us can agree on
Joshua Comer focused on the particulars of jargon
, a concept brought up in many of the talks and various attributes of it as a useful tool and a barrier to communication.
Meanwhile, Nick Hanford, The Man of Many Frowns, decided not to respond to one concept, but all of the talks
through the lens of audience and who the talks were for and how the talks addressed the concept themselves.
And on the Critical Proximity site, Richard Terrell put up the Roundtable Maps
, a dynamic snapshot that grew out of the roundtable talks held after several of the talks.
While not all of us were fortunate enough to go, there was much discussion to be had about the recent Game Developers Conference.
On Paste Magazine, Maddy Myers wrote about what she had to consider about how she dresses when she goes to conferences or conventions like GDC
and how it ends up hiding who she truly is.
Matthew Kumar delivered a detailed write up of Yu Suzuki's Shenmue postmortem
for Edge Online.
Held concurrently to GDC, across the street is the Lost Levels conference as an 'unconference.' Mike Joffe posted the full version of his talk he gave on non-human play
And finally, cartoonist Elizabeth Simins had what must be the shortest interview with Peter Molyneux ever and produced it for Kotaku in comic form
. If this doesn't spawn a Molydeux style game jam I don't know what to do with you all.
Social Effect of Games
Looking at human's response to video games for a sociological perspective.
Katherine Cross for Feministing looked at some success stories in the RPG realm – Dragonfall
– that put another nail into the coffin for the idea that sex sells and anything else is doomed for failure
Mrs. Dawnaway wrote a piece for Big Tall Words about the implications of makeup in Mass Effect
And Mike Rose delved into the seedy world of digital gunrunners
who circumvent the Steam trading system to make a quick buck off of Counter Strike: Global Offensive
This is where everyone sort of wanders about towards their own interests
Edward Smith wrote a trio of posts about Silent Hill 2
looking at the long intro walk in the woods
, the character of Laura
and a closer look at the subtle meanings behind the nurses' design
At Kill Screen Alexander Saeedy wrote about the archaic design as why he quit playing Baldur's Gate II
. The submitter did qualify that he wasn't sure if Saeedy had made it through the admittedly somewhat lengthy and dull opening dungeon.
Mutlimedia Editor G. Christopher Williams at PopMatters looked into Device 6
and how it takes a different route towards its metanarrative of player/game relations.
Mark Chen calls Depression Quest
the most important game he's ever played.
Francisco Dominguez had some questions while figuring out his reading of Amnesia: A Machine for Pigs
, so he went to the source, Dan Pinchbeck.
Robert Rath calls Ground Zeroes
the first Metal Gear Solid
game that gets, like the tagline says, Tactical Espionage Action
Leigh Harrison looks at the super lengthy Darksiders II
and how that and its repetition are, in a way, something to be admired.
Stephen Beirne looks and the concept of exploration by eschewing the normative model of an open world filled with collectables for something far different filled with weird sights
And Austin C. Howe wrote a defense of Super Metroid's backtracking
for his blog Haptic Feedback.
Dispatch from our Foreign Correspondent
Amelie Middelberg writes about sexist abuse
in her gaming life and the various internet projects dedicated to documenting such instances of harassment.
Tobias Martin Schwaiger considers how the movie adaptions
of Resident Evil
manage to enrich the source material, despite its own heavy use of cinematic devices.
Speaking of films, Benjamin Filitz talks about the Dota 2
documentary Free to Play
and its uncomfortable existence as a Valve product documenting a Valve product.
On Polyneux, Doreen shares her personal experience with The Last of Us
' Left Behind
Other Types of Game Criticism
All before were words on a page.
Extra Credits looked at the design benefits of collectable games
like Magic: The Gathering
Campster aka Chris Franklin follows up on his look at Thief
with a an analysis of the newest entry in the franchise.
The Ontological Geek has a new podcast and episode 2 takes a long look at the concept of the asylum level in video games
and what it means.
The Ontological Geek is holding a call for articles for Romance Month
in April. Likewise The Journal of Games Criticism with open for submissions
for their second quarterly issue. The deadline is April 19th.
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