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This Week in Video Game Criticism: Discussion from a Critical Proximity

This week, our partnership with game criticism site Critical Distance brings us picks from Cameron Kunzelman on topics including the first ever Critical Proximity conference and a chat on Titanfall.
This week, our partnership with game criticism site Critical Distance brings us picks from Cameron Kunzelman on topics including the first ever Critical Proximity conference and a chat on Titanfall. Games Criticism! It Happens! This Sunday marks the occasion of the first Critical Proximity, a conference for games writers that happened right before GDC. You can see text and video of a number of talks here. You can also watch the archived Twitch stream here. Angela Cox explains that teaching games to students is easier if those students aren't already invested in games. Tadhg Kelly writes about what he calls "patreonomics" and lays out the land of cultural production around videogames. Javy Gwaltney writes about the incredibly small world of videogame criticism and what it means to put a lot of weight and pressure on writers and reviewers. Ethan Gach reads the concept of canonicity and comes to some conclusions about games and the canon. Olly Skillman-Wilson plays some Far Cry 2 and also weighs in on the critical work on the game. Games and Their Buddies I Mean Players Alex Duncan does some hardcore Lacanian work to talk about players and avatars and what it means for the two to come into contact with one another. Mattias Lehman performs some statistical analysis of various forms of representation in League of Legends. I can't say that I'm on board with all the digressions that he makes, but the data itself is fascinating to someone like me who literally has no idea about anything involved with that game. Jonne Arjoranta wonders if you can ever really, truly know what it is like to be a cat person in a fantasy land far, far away. Jeff and Holy Grenade talks about his life as an Xbox Live bully. This link contains all of the language you might associate with that. [Trigger warning for this: sexual assault described in detail, racial slurs, general sexism.] CYBERPUNK: IT IS PUNK. CYBERPUNK. Mark Filipowich writes about the connections between videogames, Philip K. Dick, and Austin Walker's A(s)century. Zack Fair pings off of the same game in a piece about time and how cyberpunk as a genre has dealt with the concept. Red Thumbs reviews Remember Me in a sprawling format, reading aesthetics, play experience, and writing all as one big, ungraspable mass. How cyberpunk. THINKING ABOUT SPECIFIC GAMES Jill Scharr explains the specific failings of the new Thief, reading its cutscenes and comparing it to Dishonored. Gus Mastrapa has words elicited from him during matches of Titanfall. Alice Kojiro plays and contrasts World 2 of Super Mario Bros. with the World 2 of Excite Mario Bros. Stephen Beirne tells us that "Boletaria wasn't built in a day." Martyn Zachary performs an in-depth analysis of Gone Home and reads it from 100 different angles. FOREIGN CORRESPONDENT Christian Guerth interviewed gay games journalists, Youtubers and PR people about their experience with the games industry, stereotypes in games and online harassment. Meanwhile, Dejan Lukovic had a long talk with games rapper Rockstah about his new album. Thanks for reading! As always we greatly appreciate the links you send to us by Twitter mention or by our email submissions form.

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