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This Week In Video Game Criticism: From Dragons To Virtual Death

This Week In Video Game Criticism: From Dragons To Virtual Death

November 15, 2011 | By Ben Abraham

November 15, 2011 | By Ben Abraham
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More: Console/PC, Design

[This week, our partnership with game criticism site Critical Distance brings us picks from Ben Abraham, as he's assailed by Skyrim's dragons, on topics including the meaning and import of virtual death in Demon's and Dark Souls.]

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 Video Game Criticism! 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 video games - we've got to get back to fighting the dragons!

Brendan Keogh writing for GameRanx talks about Dark Souls in 'A time to grind'.

Jonathan McCalmont's regularly irregular column at Futurismic is also about the Demon's/Dark Souls series, talking about the meaning and import of virtual death.

Martin Falder at Oh no Videogames! describes "the fascist politics of infinite respawn"!

At the Ambient Challenge blog Lee Kelly talks about ANGER MANAGEMENT (and L.A. Noire). When those dragons get here, we'll be in need some of that anger.

This week sees an expansion of an Ambient Challenge post, in the form of 'The Assassination of Rockstar by the Coward John Brindle (or, three design failures in Red Dead Redemption)'."

A dragon swoops overhead.

"Oh no! We must hurry! It's nearly here!

Joel Goodwin at Electron Dance went to the BAFTAs and saw the IGDA writers' panel. What did he think? Enough to write two parts.

At Systems Operational, Richard Naik writes about 'If Team Fortress Two Were A Baseball Team'.

Richard Goodness at Second Quest writes about not understanding why Sword and Sworcery was such a critical darling.

At PopMatters G. Christopher Williams wrote about Batman and "Bitches", riffing off something Kirk Hamilton wrote at Kotaku a few weeks back.

A dragon roars somewhere overhead, our poor beleaguered chronicler winces visibly before pushing on.

"At Gone To A Strange Country Andrew Lavigne writes about CODBLOPS.

Stu Horvath talks not really about trolls but about consensus and disagreement and diversity for the Unwinnable blog in a post called 'The Ecology of the Troll'.

Patricia Hernandez at Nightmare Mode writes about 'Playing Catherine as a Cheater', and aaaaaaaahhh!!

A dragon swoops out of the clouds and lands beside our figure. A change comes over him - an inner peace and composure - and then from his mouth blasts forth a shouted word of power. The dragon issues an answering roar and jet of flame, and our figure becomes shrouded in smoke and flame, the sound of spell and steel echoing across the tundra...

Apologies for the thinness of this week's post but, well... you know.

Please, if you read something interesting, tweet it to @critdistance or email the link to us at our email.

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