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This Week in Video Game Criticism: From GTA to Salty Bet

This week, our partnership with game criticism site Critical Distance brings us picks from Kris Ligman on topics including status of GTA V as failed satire and the strange world of Salty Bet.
This week, our partnership with game criticism site Critical Distance brings us picks from Kris Ligman on topics including status of Grand Theft Auto V as failed satire and the strange, strange world of Salty Bet. At Least Three Infinities Michael Lutz has a few interesting musings on the nature of performance art and how it correlates with the idea of "replayability" for games. And on Notes & Commentaries, Matthijs Krul has produced a Marxist reading of Dwarf Fortress. Meanwhile, on Unwinnable, Nate Andrews takes a peek inside that curious machine art-turned graffiti wall-turned ersatz gambling community, Salty Bet. And Edge has a nice look back at the genesis of expressionistic American gothic point-and-click (and IndieCade award winner) Kentucky Route Zero, whose developers insist they didn't set out to upend anyone's chess board. Theft No More On Kotaku, Leigh Alexander laments aging out of the target demographic of games, while the hype cycle chugs on. Elsewhere, on Higher Level Gamer, Erik and Gaines address that so tricky of topics: whether Grand Theft Auto 5 is defensible as satire:

Rockstar could have written a satire of the American dream without using misogyny. They didn’t. The game they made is a satire and misogynistic. The game asks you to deride representations of the American dream but not how sexist those representations are. Is the real American dream still wrapped in a patriarchal bow? Yes. But, GTA 5 doesn’t ask you to see that bow for the sexism it is.
On Ballistically Grapelike, here's an interesting reading of Hitman's Agent 47 as an inverted Christ figure. And Eurogamer's Rich Stanton explains how he got going as the Pokemon equivalent of a puppy farmer. Elsewhere, International Hobo's Chris Bateman pops up to underscores the problems of thinking of game narrative as window dressing or, in his words, wrapping paper for a game. World War Zinester Rise of the Videogame Zinesters author anna anthropy reminds us that the "zinester versus formalist" dichotomy is actually not a real thing. And Mattie Brice calls attention to the oft-invisible partitions within the loosely-defined spheres of "games criticism." Thanks for reading! Please keep on sending in your recommendations via Twitter mention or our email submissions form. Lastly, have you picked up your copy of Five Out of Ten #5? Because it is very much worth your time to do so.

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