Gamasutra: The Art & Business of Making Gamesspacer
View All     RSS
October 31, 2014
arrowPress Releases
October 31, 2014
PR Newswire
View All

If you enjoy reading this site, you might also want to check out these UBM Tech sites:

This Week in Video Game Criticism: Responding to Feedback the Vlambeer Way
This Week in Video Game Criticism: Responding to Feedback the Vlambeer Way
April 14, 2014 | By Kris Ligman

April 14, 2014 | By Kris Ligman
More: Console/PC, Design

This week, our partnership with game criticism site Critical Distance brings us picks from Kris Ligman on topics including critical reception to Vlambeer's Luftrausers and the sexualized violence of Metal Gear Solid 5: Ground Zeroes.


Stephanie Jennings of Ludogabble has a spoiler-filled critique of BioShock Infinite: Burial at Sea Episode 2, which she derides as attempting to 'redeem' the core game in the worst way imaginable:

In this apparent effort to remedy a significant problem in Infinite, BaS2 has just found another way to further reduce the agency, power, and significance of Daisy and the entire black population of Columbia. In short, it's found another way to be racist.

Meanwhile, on Media Diversified, Brittney White applauds BioWare dev Manveer Heir's recent talk on inclusivity delivered at GDC, but points to some problems apparent within his own studio's titles.

Digging Up the Past

Giant Bomb's Patrick Klepek has a solid breakdown of recent discussions concerning the glamorization of Nazis in Luftrausers. Also worth reading: developer Rami Ismail's classy take on the situation.

Elsewhere, on Kill Screen, Ben Meredith shares with us how games are like archaeology.

Always Going Forward (Cos We Can't Find Reverse)

Storycade's Chris Klimas has an interesting bit on the rise of Twine and other parserless engines in the Interactive Fiction community.

Over on Paste, our own Cameron Kunzelman bracingly addresses the sexualized violence of MGS V: Ground Zeroes in the context of the series to date (content warning: discussion of rape and brutalization):

For all of its baroqueness, the Metal Gear universe has a deceptively simple message: There is a machine bigger than any single human, and trying to conquer it or shape it to your own individual will is almost impossible. [...] The Metal Gear games present us with an augmented, nihilistic version of the phrase: War is always changing, and you can never catch up.


If war is the stand in for the designer in the Metal Gear Solid series, and war necessitates the perpetration of sexual violence against women in that universe, then there’s nothing casual about it. Instead, it signifies that Hideo Kojima has nowhere left to go.

Finally for the week, Martin Robinson is up on Eurogamer with a dose of cold, hard truth: why it may be for the best if games the likes of The Last Guardian, Half-Life 3 or Shenmue 3 never happen.

And we're done! As always we greatly appreciate your submissions sent to us by email or as mentions on Twitter.

Did you know? Critical Distance is kept afloat due to generous support from readers like you! If you like what we do, please consider signing up for a small monthly donation through our Patreon.

Related Jobs

Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute — Troy, New York, United States

Assistant Professor in Music and Media
The College of New Jersey
The College of New Jersey — Ewing, New Jersey, United States

Assistant Professor - Interactive Multi Media - Tenure Track
Next Games
Next Games — Helsinki, Finland

Senior Level Designer
Magic Leap, Inc.
Magic Leap, Inc. — Wellington, New Zealand

Level Designer


Steven Stadnicki
profile image
I'm a big fan of Vlambeer but I feel like Mr. Ismail's response is a bit disingenuous. It's easy to say 'this is supposed to be an abstract enemy from an alternate universe somewhere in a WW2 time frame', but it's an enemy with a blackletter typography that's distinctly evocative of Germanic faces; a dark-airplane-in-circle logo that's got clear similarities to the Nazi flag; and a title that includes the German word for 'air'. I think there's an interesting discussion to be had about whether the Nazi callouts are a Bad Idea or not, but I don't see how a reasonable person could conclude that the society being represented was anything _but_ a Nazi reference.

Michael DeFazio
profile image
Starting up my PS3 I've been bombarded with some new Call Of Duty Ghosts DLC called "Makarov Legend Pack"

Now I am no expert on COD, but I thought Makarov was a terrorist whom orchestrated the "No Russian" terrorist act of killing civilians.

Don't hear anyone complaining about this, yet they find time to criticize the art style of an small indie game that kinda looks like it may be related to Nazis... color me confused.

Also, other games let you play as Nazis, specifically Company of Heroes lets you play as Nazi's (and kill allied soldiers with their powerful Tiger tanks...)

Perhaps there is a fine line as far as "glamorizing" Nazis, but it seems a stretch IMHO. But people gotta complain (1st world problems and all).