Elsewhere, Josh Ling looks at how meaning is derived, altered, and commercialized based on the capitalization, or non-capitalization, of the "e" in eSports. Spectatorship & Participation Over at Paste Magazine, Maddy Myers takes a look at the rise of video games as a spectator sport and the ways in which the acquisition of Twitch by Google-Youtube will enable the rich to increase their profits at the expense of those who generate the content. Back over at Polygon, Emily Gera questions why more women don't stop spectating and start participating in eSports. Even more importantly, the article asks, "How do we vanquish blatant misogyny?" Dismantling Heteronormativity Another question worth asking is, How do we vanquish blatant heteronormativity? In "The Subtle Knife," Todd Harper discusses the differences between the effective and ineffective inclusion of LGBT characters in games. Elsewhere, Merritt Kopas suggests that Saints Row IV, which doesn't make relationships a narrative end-game or quest achievement, provides an environment in which to "dismantle a heteronormative romance culture." An interesting dialogue about Tomodachi Life also took place this week on Austin Howe's blog Haptic Feedback. In an initial post, Howe responds to an article by Zoya Street. Following comments made to Howe's initial post by both Street and Shinji Matsunaga, Howe composed another response. Existential/ism Imagine my surprise and delight this week when three articles all directly mentioned existentialism! Over at Kill Screen, Jordan Smith uses Dark Souls 2 to introduce the philosophies Kierkegaard, one of existentialism's finest. This one contains spoilers, so beware. Next, over on Gamasutra, the prolific Ian Bogost argues that,"The Spiny Shell is the most profoundly existentialist element of the Mario canon." Meanwhile, Extra Credit states Cthulhu is the most existential of terrors, and that's one of the big reasons "Why Games do Cthulhu Wrong." Pokemon and FPS? Sure! Imagine my continued surprise when this weeks submissions allowed me to couple two unlikely topics: Pokemon and first person shooters. Monica Kim has an interesting article up at Modern Farmer on the politics of the belly in the Pokemon universe. She states, "The ethical dilemma is complicated by the fact that each species can be a beloved friend of fighter, or it can be a delicious meal." Bridging the gap between Pokemon and first person shooters, is Bryan Rumsey's article "Searching for Wonder in Games," in which Rumsey muses on the stagnation of innovation across game genres. Jamin Warren also questions the possible stagnation of game genres, specifically the FPS in this week's PBS Game/Show: "Is The FPS Dying or Evolving?" Grab Bag While good, these articles resisted grouping nicely into headings, but don't let that dissuade you from sampling their goods! In "Puzzling Personas: Puzzles as Character Development," Nick Dinicola examines how The Raven: Legacy of a Master Chief uses puzzle mechanics to develop characters, and what the player can learn about their own character based on their puzzle-solving capabilities. Andy Astruc takes a look at the effects of playing in analog in Dead Island and argues that, "analog controls support the themes of vulnerability and fear many ombre games put so little effort into." Foreign Correspondence This week's dispatch on the goings-on in the German language blogging scene comes courtesy of Critical Distance German correspondent Joe Koeller, who writes in: Ally Auner criticizes sexist marketing at a Watch_Dogs launch event in Vienna, which featured a staged sexual encounter in the restrooms that was broadcast to the main screen (surveillance, ya know), after which the woman was escorted out by "the police" while the man took to the stage to lead through the evening. Following his report on German Let's Play stars, Sebastian Leber talks about the abuse he got for his comments about their occasionally homophobic jokes (which he shrugged off as part of their juvenile humor). Valentina Hirsch reviews the crowd funded pen&paper roleplaying history Drachenvater by Konrad Lischka and Tom Hillenbrand. Rainer Sigl has some thing to say about Wolfenstein's ill-fated attempt to combine snooty runtimes and commentary on genocide. And Remember We value your time and thank you for joining us. As always we greatly value your contributions, and we encourage you to submit links to us via Twitter mention or our email submissions form. Before you exit, we'd also like to remind you that Critical Distance is entirely funded by its readership, so if you like what we do and you want us to keep doing it, please consider lending us your support. Thanks for joining me this week, everyone. It's been real and it's been fun and it's been real fun. Enjoy the week ahead and we'll meet you back here next week - same bat time, same bat place.
Being able to speak frankly about psychological disorders and their symptoms is the key to ending stigma, and it helps the people affected tremendously through the simple function of letting them know that these issues are not uncommon and they’re not bad people for having them.
7 MIN READ
This Week in Video Game Criticism: Google buys Twitch, everyone eats Pokemon
This week, our partnership with game criticism site Critical Distance brings us picks from Lindsey Joyce on topics ranging from the food politics of Pokemon to the ramifications of Google's acquisition of Twitch.