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This Week in Video Game Criticism: From Bayonetta to Beyonce and from Shakespeare to Twine Games

This week, our partnership with game criticism site Critical Distance brings us picks from Kris Ligman on topics ranging intersections of Shakespeare and gameplay to the pop musicality of Bayonetta 2.
This week, our partnership with game criticism site Critical Distance brings us picks from Kris Ligman on topics ranging intersections of Shakespeare and gameplay to the pop musicality of Bayonetta 2. Design Notes At Melody Meows, the titular Melody has published the third part in an ongoing essay series on Atlus's Catherine, a fraught game which nonetheless invites some interesting analysis. Here, Melody attempts to tease out the game's "true" ending and in the process makes a few pointed observations on how the gameas morality system is, ultimately, not representative of any morality we might know. Speaking of our complicated relationships with some games, over on PopMatters regular columnist takes aim at the recently released Bayonetta 2 and how it is like attending a Beyonce concert in both form and function. Meanwhile, on the Justice Points Podcast co-hosts Tzufit and the Apple Cider Mage chat with scholar and game developer Michael Lutz on the intersections of Shakespeare, performance and gameplay. And at Kill Screen, Shonte Daniels compares the rise of 'auteur' games with a similar 20th century movement in the world of poetry. Deep Dives At The Digital Antiquarian, Jimmy Maher performs a meaty retrospective on Activision's seminal 1986 Alter Ego and its key developer, psychologist Peter J. Favaro. Elsewhere, Kyle Kallgren's usually film-focused video series Brows Held High goes for the interdisciplinary approach this week with a fascinating analysis of the interplay of the visual languages of games and cinema -- taking as its starting point Gus Van Sant's experimental 'road trip' film Gerry and its unorthodox source of inspiration, Tomb Raider. Community There has been a recent push within certain sectors of game design academia which has urged solidarity. Over on Gamasutra's Member Blogs, USC's Interactive Media and Game Design chair Tracy Fullerton has released a joint statement on behalf of much of her faculty condemning the harassment campaign which has dominated the discourse of the last few months. Finally, for a good chuckle, the ever-reliable Damien Schubert has designed a highly accurate pie chart on the true influence of "social justice warriors" on game development. My God, Pure Ideology Thanks for reading! As always, we welcome your submissions by Twitter mention or through email. The November Blogs of the Round Table is under way and looking for your contributions! A signal boost: the Montreal-based Game History Annual Symposium 2015 has put out a Call for Papers for its 2015 conference. French and English papers will be accepted, deadline January 15th, 2015. (Do you have a site, zine or conference looking for submissions? Let us know and we'd be happy to link it here!) Critical Distance is community funded by readers like you! If you like what we do, please consider signing up for a small monthly donation!

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