Kimberley Wallace muses on how sports games can do a better job eliciting "playoff spirit" and over at Rock, Paper, Shotgun, Adam Smith talks to Shawn Allen about his wicked-looking brawler, Treachery in Beatdown City (whose Kickstarter is 70 hours away from ending and which you should definitely fund now, now, now!). Our Emergent Phenomena, Ourselves Mattie Brice answers questions about using play as a tool for anti-oppressive discourse at Model View Culture. At Kill Screen, Corey Milne considers Irish identity in games through the characterization of a sniper in Valkyria Chronicles. Lena LeRay discusses the trials and outcomes of using Twine to teach English as a foreign language in Gamasutra's member blogs. In a guest post on The Border House, Sun Tzu praises DoTA 2's diverse roster of female characters. And our Foreign Correspondent, Joe Koeller, rounded up these fascinatingly contrasting interviews on so-called "walking simulators" at VideoGameTourism.at. The three, with Ed Key, Dan Pinchbeck, and Auriea Harvey and Michael Samyn of Tale of Tales respectively, are all available in English on the typically German-language site. Information Overload Finally, we would like to bring attention to a new research study conducted by Michael Lin, a masters student from USC Interactive Media and Games Division, on "simulator sickness" -- a type of motion sickness associated with playing videogames (and which some of us here at Critical Distance happen to suffer from). The study includes an online survey which takes about 5-10 minutes to complete. Check out this Google doc for more details and, if you're interested, you can fill out the survey here. That's all for now! Thanks for reading, and remember that our hearts grow several sizes whenever we receive submissions via Twitter and email. And, well, in the spirit of this week's post, please consider donating to our Patreon! Critical Distance is funded entirely by readers like you. We're kind of like the PBS of videogames except without the sizable David Koch donations, so we need your help!
The visa issue and the idea to lower value-added tax on games (which is what the 2010 tournament sought to highlight) are the areas Lundqvist feels are most important for the short term but that gambling revenues are also a potential flash point. "In the long term, I think politicians will have to face the discussion that there may be eSport organisations who also want a share of the profit from Sweden's gambling monopoly; money that traditionally is largely donated to youth sport organisations." These are interesting issues but the fact that PolitikerStarcraft is perhaps viewed by the parties as a gimmick means it may well not have the power to raise or address them. When we ask about whether the tournament has had an impact on political debate or discussion, Lundkvist says bluntly, "not very much."
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This Week in Video Game Criticism: Abandoned Cities of World of Warcraft
This week, our partnership with game criticism site Critical Distance brings us picks from Lana Polansky on topics ranging from the abandoned cities of World of Warcraft to locating an Irish identity in games.