This week, our partnership with game criticism site Critical Distance brings us picks from Kris Ligman on topics including status of Grand Theft Auto V as failed satire and the strange, strange world of Salty Bet.
At Least Three Infinities
Michael Lutz has a few interesting musings on the nature of performance art and how it correlates with the idea of "replayability" for games
. And on Notes & Commentaries, Matthijs Krul has produced a Marxist reading of Dwarf Fortress
Meanwhile, on Unwinnable, Nate Andrews takes a peek 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 a satire of the American dream without using misogyny. They didn't. The game they made is a satire and misogynistic. The game asks you to deride representations of the American dream but not how sexist those representations are. Is the real American dream still wrapped in a patriarchal bow? Yes. But, GTA 5 doesn't ask you to see that bow for the sexism it is.
On Ballistically Grapelike, here's an interesting reading of Hitman's Agent 47 as an inverted Christ figure
. And Eurogamer's Rich Stanton explains how he got going as the Pokemon equivalent of a puppy farmer
Elsewhere, International Hobo's Chris Bateman pops up to underscores the problems of thinking of game narrative as window dressing or, in his words, wrapping paper for a game
World War Zinester
Rise of the Videogame Zinesters
author anna anthropy reminds us that the "zinester versus formalist" dichotomy is actually not a real thing
. And Mattie Brice calls attention to the oft-invisible partitions within the loosely-defined spheres of "games criticism."
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Lastly, have you picked up your copy of Five Out of Ten #5
? Because it is very much worth your time to do so.