"The feeling of efficacy"
How do resilience, progression and success really feel meaningful in games that allow you to revisit your actions and continually try and try again? These pieces offer new answers to a question that seems to be returned to rather often in games criticism.
- There Is No Coming of Age in 'Oxenfree' | PopMatters
Nick Dinicola argues that by challenging a narrative form that normally presents character development as forgone conclusions, adolescence and adulthood are radically reimagined in this survival horror adventure.
- Jolly Determination: Dark Souls, Undertale & Player Motivation | Medium
Yussef Cole demonstrates how difficulty can be addressed as part of a game's narrative and aesthetic ethos.
- Health 101 with Professor Yoshis Island | Gamasutra Blogs
Christopher Gile shows that health mechanics can be examined as statements about our responsibility to ourselves and to others.
"In Yoshi’s Island healing isn't forgiveness so much as it is redemption. It is making up for mistakes though extra effort. By making the player have to earn it the emotional payoff is much higher and that is what makes this system in Yoshi's Island so satisfying. Every mistakes results in a nice mini-arc of failure, struggle, and redemption."
"The necessary unfamiliarity"
Perhaps we are in a bit of a historical moment for games writing, with critics going beyond the rote reiteration of events of the past, instead approaching history as a way of complicating simplistic ideas about games as cultural objects.
- Japanese Environmentalism, Shinto, & ‘The Legend of Zelda’ – FemHype
Kathryn of FemHype complicates the simplistic East vs. West juxtaposition that is used to discuss JRPGs, in an extremely valuable primer on Japanese religious history.
- Controllers Control Everything | Game Maker's Toolkit - YouTube
The latest Game Maker's Toolkit is a highly polished review of the impact of game controllers on design over 30 years of history, with a glance at the future with VR motion controllers.