- Kris Ligman on ‘Electronic Empire Expo: The First World Problem of E3’
- G. Christopher Williams on ‘The Comforts of Home: Defending Applebee’s in Modern Warfare 2’
- Scott Juster on ‘Kratos and the Camera’
- Kris Ligman again on ‘‘don’t take it personally’: Identity Performance and Surveillance Culture’
5 MIN READ
This Week In Video Game Criticism: Neptune's Pride To Native Americans
This week, our partnership with game criticism site Critical Distance brings us picks from Ben Abraham on topics including the dark side of Neptune's Pride, Native Americans in video games, and more
[This week, our partnership with game criticism site Critical Distance brings us picks from Ben Abraham on topics including the dark side of Neptune's Pride, Native Americans in video games, and more.] Five hours sleep. That’s all I got last night before getting up to spend the day in the freezing chill at the top of a mountain. Needless to say, this one’s gonna be as short as possible. At Nightmare Mode, Lizz Quinlan discusses Valve’s “Project lil” and inclusiveness in Portal 2. Eric Lockaby writes for The Last Metaphor, and we’ve linked to his creative/critical fiction work before… this next piece, is it real? Is it invented? I really don’t know, but the words coming from this allegedly real and completely unknown developer are worth reading anyway: “Your Homosexual Lover is in Another Castle”. “…I was thinking about speedrunning culture. You know, where people compete to get their total time down, carefully exploiting glitches in the game world, until, over the course of months or even years in some cases, they gradually shape the original game into something much smaller. As if it were some new kind of stoneworking. And yet, in stonework we’re shaping raw material inward; speedrunners begin with a finished product. So what are they doing exactly? Are they making the game more finished? Better finished? Or are they simply working a product back into its raw material again?” At KillScreen Magazine’s blog this week, Simon Ferrari writes about Neptune’s ‘Pride and it’s Dark Side’: "One of the first things I learned while studying game design under Ian Bogost was that these [“negative”] emotions can and should be used expressively by game designers (ennui is Bogost’s specialty). And recently we’ve seen a few highly publicized cases of players modifying their own personal rule sets—doing iron, hardcore, or permadeath runs in difficult videogames—in order to amplify potential negative emotions and the resulting cathartic load." And Danielle Riendeau considers ‘Moral Goods’ and the interesting tale of the indie game Smuggle Truck, talking to one of the game’s creators Alex Schwartz. Riendeau descrbies the games as: "…actually a biting satire of the American immigration system, made by a tiny team of people—Boston-based Owlchemy Labs. It’s a complete counterattack on the “serious game” paradigm of sober graphics, coalition banners strewn about the title screen, and not-so-subtle messages peppering simple gameplay." Olly Skillman-Wilson is clearly a man after my own heart, as he has written in to alert us to his ‘Open Letter to Dan Hay regarding non-diegetic gameplay elements in Far Cry 3’, with the thrust of his issue being: "How can the game deign to reward the player for killing another human as if it knows what was right, what the context was, or what the player was feeling, Far Cry 2 nailed that moral ambiguity so well that when you enjoyed the killing, you knew its world had claimed you in its sick seduction of brutality." Do you need a smart new game criticism podcast to add to your rotation? I think you do, and Playable Character is it. Try episode 3, but episodes 1 and 2 are excellent also. And if that’s not enough, Jorge Albor of the Experience Points blog is teaming up with Patrick Holleman of The Game Design Forum to tell “the Stories of Developers, Gamers and Games” and they’re asking for your input and suggestions. Adrian Forest at Three Parts Theory on Prototype and Infamous in 'A Tale of Two Cities.' At the Project COE blog, Charles Sharam takes a look at ‘Native Americans in Video Games: Racism, Stereotypes, & The Digitized Indian’. Zach Alexander at Hailing From The Edge mentions ‘Frozen Synapse and Poker’ in the same breath. Craig Wilson and his merry band of dashing-do-gooders just one fellow do-gooder at the Split/Screen blog have a metric truckload of data visualisations on videogame metacritic scores. Must see. Pippin Barr writes at his personal blog on dead space within L.A. Noire (I totally stole that joke from him). Doubtless, many readers will already be aware of the treasure trove of cogent and thought-provoking writing that is the Moving Pixels blog at Pop Matters? But for anyone in doubt, here’s the stuff they’ve been doing recently, in list form.