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This Week in Video Game Criticism: From the pastoral of  Harvest Moon  to the politics of  Pokemon Snap

This Week in Video Game Criticism: From the pastoral of Harvest Moon to the politics of Pokemon Snap

April 20, 2015 | By Zolani Stewart

April 20, 2015 | By Zolani Stewart
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More: Console/PC, Indie, Design

This week, our partnership with game criticism site Critical Distance brings us picks from Zolani Stewart on topics ranging from the pastoral settings of Harvest Moon to the politics of Pokemon Snap.

First, Erik Bigras explores the epistemological boundaries around our concept of a “good” videogame, and Andy Astruc writes of their experience playing Skyrim’s "Live Another Life" mod with their own roleplaying rules.

Gita Jackson looks at the tough and practical attire of Resident Evil’s Claire Redfield, and gives tips on how you can emulate her look. Sarah Nixon takes a closer look at the Romance options in Harvest Moon: Story of Seasons. And novelist Moira Katson documents their experience writing a videogame for the first time:

As I started to write the character, issues became plain: not only did I need to make a character arc largely without internal dialogue, but I needed to show the character in juxtaposition to the world without a great deal of external dialogue, either. This was an idea I had simply never faced before. The world would be shown as it was, not as my character perceived it, and my character’s main actions would need to be comprehensible, while allowing for the characters to feel they had an influence on the story. Oh, crap, would be a good assessment—if not quite a verbatim transcript—of my internal dialogue at this juncture.

Konstantinos Dimopoulos interviews Tale of Tales of their new game Sunset. And Paolo Perdicini published his keynote for DIGRA 2013’s Art History of Games. Stephen Beirne, on his Two Minute Game Crit, examines how Ace Attorney presents clashes of ideologies, and Peter Christiansen at Play The Past asks what it means to design ethical systems in “historical” games.

Amsel Von Spreckelsen writes on The Order: 1886. Alexandra Orlando and Betsy Brey examine the politics of shooting a photo in Pokemon Snap. And Devon Carter reflects on the moments of silence in Dragon’s Dogma.

Lulu Blue writes a brief critique of the superficiality of common videogame language, and Heather Alexandra writes a Defense of Lore in games, exploration alternatives ways of communicating a world.

Over at Arcadian Rhythms, Shawn CG goes over the successes of Pillars of Eternity. On Not Your Mama's Gamer, Ashley Barry examines alternative perspectives on Powerful Femininity. And lastly, at Kill Screen, Dillon Baker examines the rising trend of games about rural, pastoral life.

That is it for this week! As always, we greatly value your contributions, and we encourage you to submit links to us via Twitter mention or email.

The roundups, writing events, podcasts, and interviews done at Critical Distance are only possible through the support of our Patreon, so please consider helping us sustain the website!

Happy Reading!

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