This week, our partnership with game criticism site Critical Distance brings us picks from Zach Alexander on topics ranging from the danger of stereotypes to the Loot Cave of Destiny.
On Gamasutra's blogs, E McNeill discusses
the field of virtual reality and the gender gap
. Jenn Frank, writing with The Guardian, discusses her personal experience with
community and gender
Elsewhere, Sande Chen talks about why
gender representation is important
: "with repeated exposure to this stereotyped content, viewers merely become further entrenched in gender stereotypes and beliefs."
The representation of history in games is also important. Gilles Roy talks about how
our understanding of history can be altered by games
over at Play the Past. At Polygon, Alexa C Roy talks about
the history of Lord of the Rings in videogames
Tom Battey would like to remind you, by the way, that
criticism is neither an attack nor censorship
, but the act of bringing context to dialogue. Tom also links to an older, excellent article by Kameron Hurley (cw: racial slurs used) about how
women have always fought
Nick Cummings writes about how
Unity excludes its intended audience by not taking casual games very seriously
I get the sense that casual gaming is still seen by Unity (and by the many developers who clapped and cheered for this feature) as a fringe market instead of what I see as the millions of potential gamers who aren’t being targeted properly. Too many games are made by too few people with too myopic a perspective, and that, I think, is the biggest hurdle to growing the gaming audience. Design
Take a moment to reflect on design. At Gamasutra, Leigh Alexander interviews Bennett Foddy about
Foddy advises designers to do their own take on the basics
: "figure out what the bread is, and what the eggs are, and then give them your best shot." Sounds delicious!
Marshall Sandoval talks with Kentucky Route Zero’s composer Ben Babbitt
about the incredible music of the game. Over at Connected Learning, a panel discusses
respectful game design specifically when targeting games used for education
. In it, Caro Williams asks to "interrogate multiple concepts… if we take a textbook and wrap it in a game, we’re reproducing the logic that children best learn math by repeating an algorithm over and over again."
Meanwhile, Owen Vince talks about
the tension of open world games
over at Ontological Geek.
Jared Ettinger talks about
his experience with Metroid: Other M mirroring his experience with anxiety
. On First Person Scholar,
Luke Arnott discusses Mass Effect’s Commander Shepard and the "sovereign exception"
Beyond the protection of human law, already belonging to the gods (hence ‘sacred’). Reduced to ‘bare life,’ the homo sacer could be killed with impunity by anyone, but, conversely, he could not be offered up in sacrifice.
Some light is shed on
Metro: Last Light
Stephen Beirne, who reads it alongside The Last of Us
Ed Smith, who reads it alongside Modern Warfare.
Ed Smith compares the storytelling of Gone Home to X-COM
. "Rhaomi" has rolled up
a big ball of essays on Katamari Damacy
on Metafilter. Finally,
Zolani Stewart talks about the use of image
and space at his own blog.
Rolling in Engrams
The time has come, Guardian. You have made it to… THE CAVE. Kirk Hamilton lines up the first shot with
Kotaku’s review of Destiny
, which frames The Loot Cave as a critical design flaw of the game. Michael "Sparky" Clarkson flanks with
a focus-fire on The Loot Cave
scouts out the area in depth
, discussing the game mechanics at work in and around The Loot Cave. Trent Polack pulls up the rear with
a comparison between Destiny and Halo
Meanwhile, Mark Filipowich is
happily mowing down grunts, asking why do we look down on "grinding,"
Well, Guardian, I hope you got
the drops you needed
. The galaxy requires my services elsewhere.
While I’m gone, please submit any and all writing you’d like to see featured in next week’s
This Week in Video Game Blogging
, or through random drops the next time we meet in the Crucible.