This week, our partnership with game criticism site Critical Distance brings us picks from Eric Swain on topics ranging the critical reception to Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare to a different look at Bayonetta 2.
continues to stir up conversation both as a sexual entity and in the game's other facets.
Apple Cider Mage picks up the sex positive/sex negative discussion
around the titular character as an opportunity to explore what is actually meant by both terms in a feminist context.
Todd Harper, however, is tired of the discussion around Bayonetta's body and sexuality behind it to the exclusion of everything else. To that end he posted a series of short posts on the game as capable of instilling joy
, dance and music
, the angelic facade of the monsters
and Bayonetta's love of the camera and vice versa
Ben Ruiz continues on this with a set of videos on his development blog going into extreme detail about the technicalities
and depth of Bayonetta 2
's fighting system.
Military and Politik
Kill Screen's Chris Priestman, instead of leaving the image of "Hold X to Pay Your Respects" and calling it a day, talks about why Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare fails to earn that interaction
Jake Muncy also condemns the use, but instead goes on to talk about grief and our odd aversion to dealing with death at funerals
. Muncy then talks about two games that managed the ritual of dealing with grief far better than CoD:AW
At Polygon, Charlie Hall puts the spotlight at a different type of war game, with This War of Mine
's focus shifted a few yards off screen from Call of Duty
's soldiers and instead focuses on the cowering, surviving civilians trapped in the conflict.
Meanwhile, at Ontological Geek, Tom Dawson turns his eye back to 2012's Spec Ops: The Line
and why it asks "How many Americans have you killed today?
" and if that isn't sending the wrong message.
Finally, Robert Rath talks about a different type of war, the War on Terror, and how Shadow of Mordor
is a mirror of that conflict. He says the game fails Tolkien's world
by eliminating the themes of idealism, suspicion of power and our better natures triumphing to instead mire itself in modern cynicism, realpolitik and victory coming from tactics and the willingness to do anything.
History Respawned invites Dr. Zach Doleshal on to discuss the Eastern Bloc through the lens of Papers, Please
And the game history e-zine Memory Inefficient volume 2 issue 5 on religion and game history
has come out, featuring articles from L. Rhodes, Austin C. Howe, Danielle Perry, Mauricio Quilpatay, Jon Peterson, Amsel von Spreckelsen and Stephanie Cloete.
Sometimes one needs to only lean back and think, letting the mind wander for no practical end and see what connections can be made.
Alex Jones compares the feeling of driving at night
and Euro Truck Simulator 2
Zolani Stewart explains expressionism paintings
and their lessons to understanding worlds like that of Sonic Adventure 2
At Outside Your Heaven, Matthew Weise feels like he should like Alien Isolation more than The Evil Within
, but he finds that the former just retreads too much ground.
On Gamasutra's member blogs, Sergio Hidalgo has some words on the mental tax on developers making horror games
, drawing from his personal experience.
A concerning not only with content, but with how that content is both delivered and expressed.
If you missed GDCNext, Raph Koster has put up his slides from his talk from that conference, "Practical Creativity
." More than a few of the slides are thought inspiring, even as just a rough outline.
Sam Kabo Ashwell of These Heterogenous Tasks wrote A Bestiary of Player Agency
a few weeks back. It's a long piece that goes into quite a number of different types of mental and physical play spaces and how the various implementation affect our behavior and what we get out of the game.
My colleagues at PopMatters Moving Pixels have also talked about different implementations. Marshall Sandoval writes about the use of regional authenticity to create the texture of real places
rather than the bland settings of regurgitated copies of copies of copies. Also, G. Christopher Williams looks at the addition of a first person view to Grand Theft Auto 5
Then there is David Canela who, on his Gamasutra blog, notes the many binaries in Dark Souls
that mirror the thematic binaries at play in that world and how the oft overlooked sound
is another of them.
Dispatches from Vienna
Joe Köller has these links to give from across the pond.
The essential story this week: apparently a German theater ran a stage adaptation
of The Secret of Monkey Island
. Videogame Twitter noticed it too late to make it to an actual performance, but the image gallery alone is worth clicking that link.
Austrian student paper Progress has a special on games this month, which includes a bit of media history
by Helga Hansen, as well as Anne Pohl's summary of recent GamerGate nastiness
, among other things.
Meanwhile, Mina Banaszczuk talked about being an inexperienced player
Pixeldiskurs also has a recording of a talk Michael Schulze von Glaßer gave about his new book
on games and the military-industrial complex.
Lighten the Mood
Here's Conan O'Brien trying and failing to cross a street
in Call of Duty
The Usual Footer Stuff
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And I'm sure I'm forgetting something, but I'm cold.