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This Week in Video Game Criticism: Of Dress Spheres and Metal Gear

This week, our partnership with game criticism site Critical Distance brings us picks from Kris Ligman on topics ranging from the fashion of Final Fantasy X-2 to a meditative tribute to Metal Gear Solid 3.
This week, our partnership with game criticism site Critical Distance brings us picks from Kris Ligman on topics ranging from the fashion of Final Fantasy X-2 to a meditative tribute to Metal Gear Solid 3. The Devil's Backbone At The Guardian, Simon Parkin offers up a profile on US politics' recent move to include game developers in an ongoing conversation on future warfare, thus deepening the connection between games and the military-entertainment-industrial complex. Also in the vein of military games, over at Vice the seasoned Leigh Alexander attempts to pin down that most inscrutable of creatures, Metal Gear Solid 3. In doing so, she reveals some of its least talked about, yet incredibly compelling commentary on the dirtiness of war. Hollow Bodies High At Polygon, Claire Hosking shares a solid takedown of the Damsel in Distress trope and just why, precisely, it's creatively lazy. (Content warning: Polygon's choice of stock imagery peppered throughout the piece features close-ups of terrified women tied up and gagged. Why this seemed a good idea to anyone, I'm not sure.) Meanwhile, at Paste, Gita Jackson dashes off a missive questioning why, for a game which so heavily features fashion as a gameplay mechanic, the costume design in Final Fantasy X-2 is so awful. At Gamasutra's Member Blogs, Tiny Cartridge's Eric Caoili goes to some length to illustrate just what makes the card game Netrunner exciting from an inclusivity standpoint. Finally, at Kill Screen, Dan Solberg has an excellent profile on independent game developer and artist Lilith, creator of Crypt Worlds. Also, a brief shoutout, but Gaming Intelligence Agency has loads of coverage from IndieCade if you find yourself wanting more. Dispatches from Vienna First Person Scholar has begun a partnership with its German-language counterpart, Paidia. As our German Correspondent Joe Koller notes, the fruits of this cross-pollination have already begun. Two strong pieces from Videogame Tourism: Agata Goralczyk muses on human interaction in post-apocalyptic games while Dan Heck entertains a thought experiment on a large-scale crossover game. At Herzteile, we find a podcast interview with board game developer Andrea Meyer, while at Kleiner Drei there's an exciting interview about Lady Internet, an upcoming communication network for women. This Ain't the War You're Fighting, It's the Red October Developer Stephanie Bryant picks apart a popular retort from naysayers of diversity: why "just make your own game!" is so oblivious. It's Not the End of the World, It's Just the End of A Song As always, thank you to our readers who send in submissions via Twitter mention and email. You make these roundups stronger. Critical Distance is community funded by readers like you. If you want to help us weather this brave new world with such people in it, please consider signing up for a small monthly donation. See you next week, space cowboy!

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