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This Week in Video Game Criticism: From animation to unsung heroines

This week, our partnership with game criticism site Critical Distance brings us picks from Kris Ligman on topics including evocative animation and a great unsung heroine of games.
This week, our partnership with game criticism site Critical Distance brings us picks from Kris Ligman on topics including the role of evocative animation in game design and a great unsung heroine of games. READINGS AND ANALYSIS Alex Duncan has just started up his critical blog The Animist and kicks things off with a rigorously academic reading of Journey as a reconfiguration of game space. On Games That Exist, Alex Pieschel delivers an excellent analysis of a text-based "shooter" written in Twine, Tower of the Blood Lord. On Unwinnable, Stu Horvath wonders what it would be like to play as a sidekick. And Push Select's Jeff Wheeldon offers up a reading of The Legend of Zelda's Link as a Christ metaphor. ROGUE LEGACIES (Not actually about Rogue Legacy. I just couldn't think of a better subheader.) Eurogamer continues its stride of sturdy retrospective pieces with this one by Rick Lane: the story of Vampire: The Masquerade: Bloodlines. On Not Your Mama's Gamer, Alisha Karabinus recently introduced her young son to Left 4 Dead 2, and muses on the tough balancing act between engaging one's children with games and avoiding desensitization. On Burning North, George "Dramatic Reading" Kokoris argues compellingly that we shouldn't write off technical advancements when it comes to communicating emotion through games -- but the polycount matters far less than evocative animation. MISANDRY On The New Statesman, Cara Ellison dismisses all this so-called sexism masculists are crying about in games. On Nightmare Mode, Alex Law draws up a valuable primer on the male gaze as it applies to games, and provides a sample roster of games with a different sort of gaze. Meanwhile on Kotaku, Kirk Hamilton hails one of the great unsung heroines of videogames. HIDDEN BARRIERS Stephen Beirne shows up on re/Action with a piece concerning the price point of games, and how the fast pace of digestion of new releases unfairly marginalizes players with less spending cash. Over on Ontological Geek, Tom Dawson offers a few additional thoughts on the prohibitive cost of games, and why that's helped drive Dawson to adopt Nintendo as a cheaper, more welcoming alternative -- both in terms of price and nostalgia. GERMAN INTERRUPTION Sebastian Standke is less than impressed with the Ouya. Jagoda Gadowski likes Animal Crossing: New Leaf. And Rainer Sigl interviews our own Johannes Koeller regarding his publication Haywire magazine. SO LONG AND THANKS FOR ALL THE FISH That's it for this week. Please remember to keep submitting your recommendations by Twitter mention and email.

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