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  1. DoctorEvil liked a article by Legolas_Katarn, Best Videos and Video Series of 2019   
    Included in this article are some of the best and most interesting game related videos that I've seen throughout 2019. Put together with the goal of highlighting some of the best content creators and videos that can enhance your knowledge of or bring up interesting viewpoints on the industry, developers, events that happened this year, or on individual games. Many of these have been shared in my weekly This Week In Gaming articles.
    Each section might include a single video, a single video series, or videos that might be from different people but focus on a similar idea or subject. The ordering does not signify better or worse quality. All mentioned creators are worth following and all of them were likely to have produced other content worth viewing on their channel this year. Some videos are from older channels with a large number of followers and supporters, while some are new and could use more support. Many of them are able to work due to the donations of their Patreon supporters, if you enjoy the content and would like to donate this can usually be found in their Youtube video description or linked social media profile.
    The best writing of 2019 article can be found here.
    Previous Best Video and Video Series Articles
    Videos focused on analyzing and discussing the stories of games be they guided or emergent, their themes, the way they are told, and how and if their mechanics and interaction with the player helps to tell those stories
    "Dutch has the charisma and competence to live life as a well-to-do banker but instead he targets his talents at the most prosperous in that profession. He drags mud through their institutions, he steals their currency, and he reminds them that their safety is contingent upon their cooperation. And their lowest class, their laborers, their indentured servants, their tribes that they'd like to wipe off the map, they're treated with the dignity and respect normally reserved for the man in the tallest tower. Their mouths fed, their voices heard, their persons armed. They fight back against the world that once took advantage of them. Dutch van der Linde disgraces civilization and he exposes the Pinkertons and Cornwalls as nothing more than rival gangs who sold the masses on its lies. Blessed be those who see through their seductions, for freedom is theirs to grasp by the reins and ride! And so these people that society turned its back to come together and hope that their lives as degenerates and thieves will be forgiven through the acts of goodness that they can muster between all the killing. The gang is born. And the gang, is doomed."
    What Made Red Dead 2's Story Worth Telling (By Orange Lightning)
    Orange Lightning breaks down why we follow people with vision, trying to understand our own motives, and what it means to finally see them clearly through the characters of Dutch and Arthur in Red Dead Redemption 2.
    "And this American apathy, this is where BJ Blazkowicz runs into a little cognitive dissonance. Because Blazko has, in many ways, defined himself against Nazi ideology. The Nazis are uncaring but he's empathetic. They are white supremacists and he's an egalitarian. They're German and so he leans hard into his American identity. But an American identity is complicated, really complicated, and ultimately this is where NJ's self-identifying falls short. Because what he doesn't fully understand is that the America of his youth isn't a refutation of Nazism. Not at all. If Blazkowicz was to return to that America, his Jewish heritage would make him lesser by definition. In fact, the Aryan supremacy that fuels the worldwide Reich is directly inspired by the country that BJ calls home."
    Judaism and Whiteness in Wolfenstein (By Jacob Geller)
    Jacob Geller discusses how Wolfenstein's focus on the depiction of the Jewish identity and empathy of its main character, as well as the history of the country he was raised in, helps to contextualizes Blazkowicz's fight against Nazis within America’s history of white supremacy.
    "Those are the experiences that the team at Red Candle crafted into a beautiful and nuanced piece of horror. The game itself was designed to look like an old faded photograph, capturing the feeling of that era perfectly, and drew on Taiwanese and Asian mythology in order to flush out the more supernatural portions of its story. Creating a distinctive cultural identity for Detention. All while showing the damage high-level government oppression can have on the most vulnerable members of society. But also a chilling tale about one person's inability to accept the atrocities they've committed. Detention to me is horror at its most powerful, filled with cathartic creative scares but using that fear to convey the very real terror the people of Taiwan would have felt. And, in doing so, turning the horror of Detention into a tool for empathy."
    DEVOTION: The Disturbing Horror of Red Candle Games (By Super Eyepatch Wolf)
    Super Eyepatch Wolf covers the themes and setting of Detention and Devotion as well as some of the history of Taiwan, the White Terror period, and the rise and prevalence of cults. Devotion was very well received but shortly after release was reviewed bombed on Steam from Chinese gamers due to insults towards China's leader being found withing the game (many of the low reviews being written due to the potential problems it could cause for the Chinese game industry rather than caring about the content), the developer has since removed the game from all storefronts, and their Chinese publisher has had their license revoked.
    "But I want to take a closer look at the sentiments that these types of moments create, the psychology behind the emotion that fills our hearts and our minds when we see our heroes battered and bruised. And we'll focus on Midna's desperate hour as the example here because there is something special that happens in our minds when when we drive the story. The sadness changes how we play the game."
    The Best Moment of Twilight Princess | Psych of Play (By Daryl Talks Games)
    Daryl Talks Games discusses his favorite moment in Twilight Princess and how sadness effects how we play games.
    "As I'm preparing for my spaceflight, I look into the distance at the sun. It's much farther than it is from my home planet, but through the atmosphere of the gas giant and miles of empty space, it's still beautiful. And then I look back and realize the space station has drifted away from me. And I laugh, this time. Death is inevitable, after all. And as I go into my own orbit around the planet, my zero-g version of a lazy river, I take the time, ironically, to breath. If you'd believe it, it's incredibly relaxing. I've died from blunt force trauma, I've been eaten, crushed, burned, punctured. To drift off in this gentle void, it's not too bad at all."
    Outer Wilds: Death, Inevitability, and Ray Bradbury (By Jacob Geller)
    Jacob Geller shares stories of discovery and inevitable death in Outer Wilds.
    "In its attempts to reground Modern Warfare, it ends up becoming exactly the kind of mindless action I was expecting out of a game like Breakpoint. Where that game managed to be broken and slapdash to the extent that it felt as genuinely hostile to me as a game about being a soldier probably should, Modern Warfare doesn't want you thinking about the contradictions inherent to its campaign, it barely even wants you stopping to look behind you half the time."
    Critiquing the Campaign of Call of Duty: Modern Warfare (2019) (By Writing on Games)
    Writing on Games looks at the campaign of this years Call of Duty title to see if it handled its portrayal of war and conflict in the grounded way they promoted, and considers the little details that need to be focused on to make you question your role in war stories.
    "Call of Duty: Modern Warfare does not have a perspective on modern warfare. That is their official position. What...what do you even do with that? Is freedom good? Is war bad? This game has no idea! Come and play the game series named after the phrase we say when we're honoring soldiers, a series completely neutral on the ideas of war.Alright, alright. So what's interesting here, taking them at their word, is what the writers of Call of Duty think a perspective-less story looks like."
    Does Call of Duty Believe in Anything? (By Jacob Geller)
    Jacob Geller examines Modern Warfare to see if the writer's belief in having created an apolitical perspective-less story could possibly be true and if it really was a narrative or mechanical departure for the series as it was advertised.
    Interviews and Documentaries
    "And one low fidelity word that I hear often in reference to socially impactful media is representation. Irresponsibly, representation is used as a purely quantifiable golden ratio of the right kinds of characters in a story or creator on a project in order to make a movie or a game socially relevant. X number of people from this underrepresented background or worldview makes the whole work either noteworthy or more of the same. The problem is, if there's an elite group of people making the lives of everyday individual miserable, mixing up the optics and keeping the practice the same does no one any favors. Responsibly, I believe, that representation is less about a keen obsession with counting and more about asking what kind of permission is an empathetic piece of art giving to a subset of people who wouldn't typically see themselves reflected in other places."
    Spending A Night In The Woods (By Satchell Drakes)
    Satchell Drakes' short film has him talking with others about growing up in similar locations to the town portrayed in Night in the Woods and being able to spend time with characters from underrepresented groups that both feel like real people and allow you to spend time with them in ways not usually seen in games.
    "Most of the comments were nice, both those first few weeks, I got a lot of nasty comments. They would say things like, "You don't belong on here." And then they would say, "Why aren't you sitting in a rocking chair, knitting?" I said, "I don't like to knit." And then some of them were really downright vulgar. So I learned to answer them politely, like a Grandmother would say something to a child that didn't have any brains. And eventually they learned to treat a Grandmother with respect instead of the way they were acting."
    Shirley Curry: The Gaming Grandma Documentary | Gameumentary (By Gameumentary)
    Gameumentary interviews 83 year old gamer and Youtuber Shirley Curry. Covering how she got into playing games and creating her content, the stigma against older gamers and why others don't want to be as visible, the problems with how games are marketed, and how she interacts with her subscribers and what draws them to her.
    "I didn't have an Amiga actually, but I had heard about them. They drove me up there, they looked after it, had lunch, and they kept talking about, you know, when you can do your product when can you put your product on there. And it turned out they got the wrong Taurus company. There was another Taurus which was Torus, and so the end of it they said you know, are you gonna be, you know, putting your developers on this, and I said absolutely."
    We showed Peter Molyneux every game he's ever made (By People Make Games)
    People Make Games' started a series, The Games I Made, their first episode had Peter Molyneux walking them through his entire career one game at a time, starting with a story of how a case of mistaken identity got him into the industry.
    "You have to get 150 people, who are very stubborn and passionate and creative to all see a similar picture that doesn't exist. And doubt is the demon that lives in the ear of every person in this industry. That is, to me, the biggest obstacle, keeping everyone focused on the goal and not listening to that little demon in their ear that says, they're all gonna laugh at you, and it's not gonna work. I have the exact same thing in both ears constantly, but I'm still trying to steer people back. And, you have to be able to trust each other that you can fail and openly fail together and still recover, otherwise everybody just starts protecting what they're doing and nobody wants to share anything."
    God of War - Raising Kratos: Full Length Feature | PS4 (By Santa Monica Studio)
    A look into Santa Monica Studio's five year journey to create God of War. While a studio and publisher supported documentary likely falls to being PR friendly this does show some of the struggles involved in developing AAA titles and in multiple parts show how it can be damaging and unsustainable. 
    "I learned more about what it was like to work at the studio, the parts they'd like to remember, and the parts they'd rather forget. You see, for most Telltale alumni their feelings on the studio are complicated. Many made lifelong friends there, found the work rewarding, and the day to day exciting. But it was also a place which suffered terrible crunch for years, toxic management, difficult work conditions, and ultimately abandoned hundred of people into one of the most expensive places to live in America with no severance and only two weeks of health insurance. Understandably, many of the folks who worked there have found it difficult to summarize their own feelings on Telltale, so most of them turned us down thinking that they probably had a lot to lose and really nothing to gain. Hundreds of people worked at Telltale over the course of its 14 year life. Each of those people had a different experience and a valuable story to tell. So out story isn't a comprehensive history of the studio or its games, it's the story of four people who wanted to come forward and tell their version of the tale."
    Telltale: The Human Stories Behind The Games (By Noclip)
    Noclip interviews four former Telltale employees about what it was like to work at the company over the years, covering the camaraderie of the staff, problems with earlier executives, how and why ideas and game elements would be accepted or not, the changes being made in their final year, attempts to save the company, and the physical and psychological effects of the sudden closure.
    "As the years waned on, and the industry changed, many of the most influential Japanese game designers belonging to developers like Compile, Treasure, and SNK have found a new home at a company called M2. Their unique passion and understanding of classic video games have positioned M2 as one of the industry's top players when it comes to keeping gaming history alive and playable for gamers of today."
    M2: Complete Works / MY LIFE IN GAMING (By My Life in Gaming)
    My Life in Gaming's documentary looks into the history of Japanese game developer M2, from their early dedication to improving on ports to their involvement with some of the most iconic games of all time.
    "So we have a number of candidates for the 'first ever game', and we've painted a picture of our understanding over the last few decades. Paradoxically, the further you go back, the more recent the consensus of the 'first ever video game' and everything seems to converge on Pong. As video gaming developed, so too did the appreciation if its history, and as more scrutiny was given to the limits of popular memory, the origin was pushed farther back, first Spacewar!, then Tennis for Two. The principal catalyst for this interest, at least at first, were the Magnavox lawsuits. With a very strong financial incentive for someone to overturn these key patents. But as we shed more light on the past, another paradox emerges. The more we uncover, the less certain we become."
    The First Video Game (Ahoy)
    Ahoy looks into the history of the games that were at different times or by different people considered to be the first of their kind, who created them, and what tech was used to do so.
    "SonicFox's professional career is only about five years long but it's easy to forget that given how much they've achieved in that time. They've become an example of everything great about the FGC. They've become an ambassador for esports. In just five years they've assembled a trophy cabinet that rivals some of fighting game's greatest talents. They've won over 60 first place trophies, including five EVO World Titles. They're one of the greatest fighting game players of all time but, perhaps more importantly, they're an inspiration, and that will be their legacy."
    The Furry Who Beat Everyone: The Story of SonicFox (theScore esports)
    theScore esports tells the story of the rise of SonicFox.
    "And despite drastically changing the character's design, it pulled off the impressive feat of being welcomes with open arms by video game fans across the globe and its soundtrack being cited as one of the best to this very day. The animal buddies, the level design, the cast of characters, and the enemies themselves it was all able to knock it out of the park right off the bat. That's still critically examined by video game enthusiasts, as well as game journalists, for how to do a 2D action game right. The game went on to sell nine million copies, making it the third best selling Super Nintendo game. It also held the record for the fastest selling video game of all time during its launch. But every great legacy to every great game has a team of people behind it that made that possible."
    The Donkey Kong Country 25th Anniversary Interview Documentary (By Shesez)
    For the game's 25th anniversary, Shesez interviewed five of the original creators of Donkey Kong Country Gregg Mayles (lead design), Steve Mayles (character design), Kevin Bayliss (design), Chris Sutherland (lead programmer), and David Wise (composer).
    "In many ways, Sweden, through Bergsala, became a western testing ground for Nintendo. A huge early success that proved their was a desire for the work of Miyamoto and Gunpei Yokoi outside of their homeland and it was build, in the nicest possible way, on a lie."
    The Lie That Helped Build Nintendo (By Joe Skrebels and Dale Driver)
    Joe Skrebels and Dale Driver tell the story of the lie that that changed a business empire and the game industry.
    Systems, Level, and World Design
    Videos focused on the mechanics and worlds of games and how they get the player to interact with them
    "But what I find striking is how nearly unavoidable combat mechanics are in any type of game with an open world component whatsoever. That the general idea seems to be that, "If we remove the combat element from the game there will be less in it and therefore it will, logically be a worse game." But that's a flawed truism, isn't it? It's like saying more ingredients on a pizza will always make the pizza better. I'm convinced that if the emotional experience you want your game to get across would benefit from the absence of violence altogether then designing your core gameplay around it could potentially add a lot to it. Even though that might feel counter-intuitive at first glance. And then, all of a sudden, there came this game along that proved my hypothesis firmly."
    Eastshade: The Value of Rejecting Conventions (By RagnarRox)
    RagnarRox on the value of rejecting conventional, and often contradictory, design ideas of always needing to add combat to open world games and the benefit of focusing on designing around a game's intended emotional message.
    "To most gamers, this experience of feeling emotionally invested in the virtual world of video games is probably obvious and self-evident but when it comes to our actual understanding of it, the exact nature of virtual empathy and the real-world implications of in-game morality are still hotly debated. And understandably so, because moral responses carry an important function, as another study explains. 'Like any effective state, a moral response hold informative value for the person experiencing it. For example guilt can be understood as a spontaneous feeling that "informs" a person that he or she did something wrong.' Effective moral responses put us in the state of reflection, and when necessary, can subsequently guide us in altering our behavior and our worldview in general. It makes me wonder what potential video games have by evoking such real-world responses in their virtual worlds."
    Virtual Empathy – How The Witcher 3 Encourages Moral Reflection (By Like Stories of Old)
    Like Stories of Old, usually a channel focused on well made and thought out film essays, discusses empathy in video games like The Witcher 3, how player agency can be too limited or results too cynical to allow for reflection, what developers can do to draw players into their worlds, and if the empathy you feel towards those worlds and characters can help make you a better person.
    "And all of this, all of this, comes from a game that is blatantly unfinished. But maybe that's a bigger part of it than we like to think. There seems to be a certain kind of magic that can only really come from a game being incomplete. This doesn't mean that every incomplete game will be good, very far from it, but when you rush something out the door there is a non zero chance that that thing will still be good but it will force you to overlook quirks and rough edges of the engine that you would otherwise 'fix' or 'polish'. No one in their right mind would, or I think really even could, design inertia as an intentional game mechanic as it appears in DMC4. It's too convoluted, too niche, too complex, too generally useless at low level, and DMC5 seems to be proving that to be the case. There have been a handful of these lightning in a bottle moments like this throughout gaming's history, melee probably being the most famous of them, I compared them earlier for a reason. These are games that are all time classics not in spite of their flaws but quite literally because of them."
    Devil May Cry 4: A Flawed Masterpiece // Codex Entry (By Codex Entry)
    Codex Entry looks at the mechanics, bugs, and half finished elements that come together to make Devil May Cry 4 one of the deepest and most unique action games ever made and why he doesn't know if games of this scale can lead to something like this anymore.
    "Game design is typically utilitarian, by necessity. Making a game is hard and expensive. You don't build a giant stone door for no reason, right? But just as soon as Ascadia posted his theory, the thread was inundated by other questions and theories, many of which seemed equally valid! What were those rings in the desert, and why were they positioned in such a specific way? That beach, the one that looks like it's from ICO, that has to be related somehow. As a matter of fact, is that the castle from ICO far in the distance, as seen from the top of the bridge? And the hole that Dormin speaks through, why can't that be seen from the secret garden? These unanswered questions form one of the pillars of Shadow of the Colossus’ design."
    The Decade-Long Quest For Shadow of the Colossus’ Last Secret (By Jacob Geller)
    Jacob Geller tells the story behind the decade long quest to find the final secret of Shadow of the Colossus, how and why it started, where it lead those that worked together to uncover it, and how the game was designed in a way that provides mystery.
    "It's called The Oldest House. And once you start thinking about Control as taking place in a haunted house, things start to click into place. The Oldest House is a bizarrely elusive building, despite being in the middle of New York, it can only be found by someone specifically looking for it. The Bureau of Control didn't build it, nor do they have the knowledge to recreate it. The Bureau calls the oldest house "a place of power," a location "acted on by paranatural forces." And in a way, I find this terminology almost cute. They're assigning words to things they truly can't understand, trying to tie a logic to a place this is, by every definition, illogical. They found a haunted house and set up a government agency in it, but at every turn, they're just reminded how little they know about where they've placed themselves."
    Control, Anatomy, and the Legacy of the Haunted House (By Jacob Geller)
    Jacob Geller discusses the games Control and Anatomy by talking about the legacy of the haunted house and why we are drawn to buildings that reject habitation.
    "And it got me thinking about what exactly it is that the creators of Minecraft expect me to do, what do they think this game is about? Every video game is created based on certain assumptions, assumptions about the world and its people that are reflected in the game's mechanics which enable ad constrain virtual behavior. Examining these assumptions is a great way to understand why a game is designed the way it is, but it could also reveal what would be different if the creators were to change them."
    The Unfulfilled Potential of Minecraft – Assuming a Different Perspective (By Like Stories of Old)
    Like Stories of Old considers what assumptions were at the heart of Minecraft's virtual world as it was developed, how those assumptions frame the worlds of Minecraft and your actions in it, and what could happen if those were changed so that the world was no longer indifferent towards you.
    "It felt like a cruel cosmic joke, one of many, that would only grow in intensity as the game went on. To the point that Death Standing, to me, is as much a comedy game as it is an absurdist exploration of isolation and loneliness. It's Untitled Goose Game, except the players are the villagers and the world is the goose."
    Keep Running Up That Hill: An Analysis of DEATH STRANDING (Spoilers) (By Writing on Games)
    Writing on Games analysis of Death Stranding. Kojima's use of his actors, Sisyphean tasks and confrontational design, what drives you to keep going, and a surprising lack of enthusiasm for continuing discussion of this game.
    "Now, have I deceived you, clickbaited you with the bold claim on the thumbnail of this video that Disco Elysium is the literally best cRPG? No. I haven't, I stand by this, I stan, how the youths say these days. Admittedly I've been wrestling with myself for quite a while when I was playing the game because I kept having this desire to say, "This is seriously the best RPG I've ever played!" But I didn't quite dare to speak it out because it's such a bold claim, you know, but the more I thought about it the more I felt that, yes, in a literal sense, in the original semantic meaning of the term RPG, role playing game, that harks back to the tabletop, there is not a single game that made me feel more like I'm feeling during a tabletop campaign."
    Disco Elysium is a Role-Playing Dream Come True (By RagnarRox)
    RagnarRox describes the systems, writing, world design, character building, recognition of small details, branching options, and rejection of genre conventions that make Disco Elysium the best cRPG. 
    "That's why these experiences stand out so much to me. What they've given me is space without objectives, time without a timer. It's startling to not be told what to do in a medium that we've basically created to give us things to do. What's left is me, and how I relate to the world, not as a tool to accomplish missions but just as a thing living on this planet."
    Artificial Loneliness (By Jacob Geller)
    Jacob Geller describes what he means when he says a world is alive, the "aliveness" in areas that have little gameplay utility, and what happens when you travel from one of the most "alive" areas in a game to a quieter place that allows you time to reflect.
    Music and Sound Design
    "APE OUT is an explosion of color and sound. APE OUT is an album cover come to live. APE OUT is synesthesia for music's most violent genre, not in terms of themes or lyrics, but in terms of the literal interaction of person on instrument. APE OUT is smashing a man against the wall, smashing a drumstick against cymbal. APE OUT is smashing restart over and over and over again until you've managed to just survive the anthropocene most hostile ecosystems. APE OUT is fucking great."
    APE OUT and FREEDOM (By Jacob Geller)
    Jacob Geller on the art and sound design of APE OUT and how it lead to one of his favorite gaming moments.
    "Health's unique sound was chosen as the perfect fit for representing Max's journey, and they never missed a beat. Every track in the game has an underlying purpose in its instrumentation. It perfectly represents every moment and aims to be more than just a mood enhancement. It's a character study through music, and in this video we'll be analyzing Health's award-winning soundtrack to understand the music of Max Payne 3."
    Understanding the Music of Max Payne 3 (By Liam Triforce)
    Liam Triforce's Understanding the Music series examines the soundtrack composed for Max Payne 3.
    "I've always kind of written off this idea as rose-tinted nostalgia, things always mean more to us when they were a formative part of our growing up, and we have a tendency to compare the best of the best from yesteryear with the average flock of today. And after all, there are still plenty of wonderful game soundtracks being released every year, whether AAA or indie, western or Japanese, orchestral or chiptune, melodic or ambient. There's something out there for everyone, if you think video game music has gotten worse, well you just have to look harder. However, I've realized that's not really an answer, it's a dismissal, and the question continues to be asked in spite of it."
    What Happened to Memorable Game Music? | Game Score Fanfare (By Game Score Fanfare)
    Game Score Fanfare discusses why old game music is often said to be more memorable than modern soundtracks by looking at the history and evolution of hardware and design focus.
    "It really did change me as a human being, and it made me, I think, a better person, and it definitely made me a better composer because I never thought that deeply about music and about the interaction between music and gameplay as just three years of trying to make it all it could be."
    Why Journey's last song was the hardest to compose (By Clayton Ashley)
    Clayton Ashley speaks with composer Austin Wintory about the difficulty of creating and inspiration for Journey's final song, and how a concert pushed the game's ending in a new direction.
    Designing Games
    Videos discussing process and theories behind game design
    "Welcome to Who Shot Guybrush Threepwood, a philosophical interrogation into the meaning of genre in and beyond the gaming idiom with the adventure game as our guide."
    Who Shot Guybrush Threepwood? | Genre and the Adventure Game (By Innuendo Studios)
    Innuendo Studios explores the meaning of genre and what it is for while using adventure games as a guiding point.
    "The impulse to rationalize ourselves and to jump to the indictment of others is a potent trap that many might fall into. Given the uneasy ambiguity of morality, conceptually and prescriptively and psychologically, perhaps any earnest attempt to address the question needs to come from that explicit perspective. In other words, forcing ourselves to bear witness to the fact that there is no easy answer to moral questions and how easily manipulated we are by our own instincts can get us to understand the paralyzing ambiguity of morality. Video games as an interactive medium are uniquely situated to do this."
    Morality and Guilt in Video Games | How Game Designers Reveal our Heart of Darkness using Mechanics (By The Game Overanalyser)
    The Game Overanalyser examines how games can explore morality and guilt through their mechanics, systems, and narratives and pulls from studies, psychology, and philosophy to examine their potential as moral education.
    "This little test has me questioning how I became interested in video games in the first place. I don't remember how they became such a big part of my life. I don't know how I got to the point where I could look at a compass at the top of a screen and know what to expect from every marker without looking them up; I don't know how I first learned about stamina bars and various ways to make sure I don't run out of energy, I don't know how I became, I guess, fluent in the language of video games. I'm just glad that I learned the basics when I was young enough not to care about spending hours on one level."
    What Games Are Like For Someone Who Doesn't Play Games (By Razbuten)
    Razbuten runs an informal experiment to see how inexperienced players might engage with games and how they start to come to learn how they function. Covering the expectation newcomers have of games versus the reality of their limitations, how even seemingly detailed tutorials might end up teaching the wrong lessons, and how learning the language of games, like any other language, is much easier when you start early in life. The series was continued in a later video covering how Breath of the Wild allowed for varied solutions that helped a new player build confidence by allowing things that would probably be ignored by experienced players. A third episode was produced within the last few days.
    Long Form Analysis
    Videos covering multiple facets of a game from its design, ideas behind and history of their creation, legacy, themes, narrative, and mechanics
    "And this is what Alpha Centauri does, it reveals that the status quo of its time wasn't permanent, wasn't stable. The then post Cold War, liberal-capitalist order was fraught and frail and could not survive the world that this order itself had brought into being. It's in the Peacekeepers that we see Alpha Centauri's biggest idea, the scariest way that it plays with its parent franchise. Sid Meier's Civilization is, in its own words, about building an empire that will stand the test of time. Alpha Centauri looks at the empires of its own day and says, what if they don't."
    Sid Meier at the End of History: the Philosophy and Politics of Alpha Centauri (By Yaz Minsky)
    Yaz Minsky discusses the history of Sid Meier's Alpha Centauri, how it won its designers independence, its use of hard science and tech research as well as character and faction ideologies to tell its story, what those factions says about the politics and philosophy during the time of its creation, and how it questions the focus of it's parent franchise Civilization, as well as the wider 4X genre, by looking at what humanity can do better rather than marveling at what we've done.
    "On the surface some of the symbolism is so on the nose and simple and some of the images so self-indulgently gross and excessive that you might think the game is being edgy for the sake of being, but I don't feel like that's the case here. The way American McGee subverts the iconography of Alice in Wonderland also subverts the predatory aspect of the original work. This is not a story being told by a grown man to a child, it's a story about a wounded woman whose narrative is in her own control. As active media Alice the protagonist is responsible for her own success or failure, adjudicated by your mechanical efforts as the player, but most of all what is subverted is this idealized image of femininity. Like all humans, she has regret and grief and rage and sometimes those emotions are overwhelmingly ugly. The Alice in the game embraces the disturbing and the weird. Approaching the grotesque with the same wit and charm that she approached the merely whimsical back in the original books. After all, there's nothing in this Wonderland that wasn't part of her to being with."
    Manic Pixie Dream Worlds: A Critique of American McGee's Alice Games (By Noah Caldwell-Gervais)
    Noah Caldwell-Gervais covers the works and author behind the character of Alice compared to the version American McGee presents in his games, the game's subversion of common ideas of femininity and early tropes of the designer's previous work through its focus and use of the Quake engine, and how the sequel compared to the original.
    "If you're a tabletop RPG player you probably know full well that when you have a good storytell or DOM rolling a critical failure often leads to the most interesting role-playing experiences. Sure frustration goes along with it, but it's also extraordinary. In Video games, death is very often treated as a state of, well, you failed so you better reload and try again because that is not how the story played out, lets do it right this time. But Pathologic is one of those games where you have an exceptional DM, death or precisely failure leads to the most interesting experience."
    Pathologic 2 is an Underrated Masterpiece (By RagnarRox)
    RagnarRox on what makes Pathologic 2 a unique and underrated masterpiece that makes struggle, choices, and even death meaningful.
    "Great, you're completely fucked, and you're on day three. Day two is excellent game design. It's deeply engaging watching your attempts to get anything at all done get frustrated, and it also sets a general tone for the game it does the special game design trick that I like to call re-contextualizing. Players come to games with their own expectations and understandings of how a game is supposed to work, and feel, and play, a certain general set of ideas about what all this is supposed to be like. If you're playing an open-world RPG you know what dialogue trees, shops, trading, and hunger, and time mechanics, and moral choices are and you think you know how they work. Day one partially plays into this, it takes pains to show how fragile you are and all the work you have to do to not die but it's doable, it makes sense, it doesn't feel that much different from a normal game. When the prices rise so massively that money is effectively worthless and you were given no warning this would happen, everything about how you relate to the game experience is thrown out the window, and you feel that happening in your brain as you play and realize what just happened. Walking around while slowly starving, getting rid of the rest of your own items to try to get the food for a doomed quest, carrying food you can't eat around and wondering when you will get to eat, and watching your meters inevitably rise as you race to help the town and only barely achieve anything. You start to make realizations about the scope of this experience. You weren't playing a game with the mechanic where you have the option of using money to buy things, you were playing a game about having no money. You weren't playing a game where you have to eat food to survive, you were playing a game about starving. You weren't playing a game where you can choose what sort of morals you have, you were playing a game about how betraying the people who trust you is better for you than trying to be a hero and doing the right thing is an exercise in getting your time and energy and money wasted."
    Pathologic is Genius, And Here's Why (By hbomberguy)
    hbomberguy discusses the amazing bad game and nightmare that is the original Pathologic and the value of negative experiences. What makes it unique, how it often goes against conventional video game logic, how it makes you engage with it, all of the bad, why some of those bad things are good, how it acts as the antidote to modern game design ethos, and why you should buy the second one.
    "A big part of the appeal of video games is that, while in all other mediums we observe protagonists, in video games we embody them. Making for what I think is the rawest form of escapism, letting us take up the roles of heroes of time, warriors of light, or any other number of characters that just feel bigger than we are. And initially, this is the appeal of Cloud. As a first-class member of Soldier, Cloud is this elite military bad-ass. He has the highest attack in your entire party and the most devastating Limit Breaks. And its this bad-ass we embody, but something is not quite right."
    The Impact of Final Fantasy 7: The Game that Changed Everything (By Super Eyepatch Wolf)
    Super Eyepatch Wolf on the impact of FFVII and why it is their favorite game. Covering the history of its creation, how it appealed to the west through its advertisement and mechanics, finding the character and world details that were made possible with human character moments and a shift to 3D, how character arcs and relationships are conveyed through gameplay, the early simplicity and growth of a new battle system that allowed for more player expression, enemy design, Hironobu Sakaguchi's need to portray death in a game about life, and embodying a character that used to be a nobody but becomes enough.
    The Game Industry, Connected Industries, and Culture
    Videos looking into different aspects of the game industry, companies associated with it, discourse, platforms, how games intersect with the wider world, funding, hiring practices, etc
    "So remember to follow me on Twitch TV slash I kill weed names because you can enjoy what the Earth-Mother gave us but that isn't the same as having a personality."
    Manufactured Discontent and Fortnite (By Folding Ideas)
    Dan Olsen's essay looks at the exploitative design of Fortnight. Discussing how the psychology and social pressure behind the game is designed to hook players, while seeing it as a glimpse of a perpetually monetized and hostile future.
    "I've seen a lot of things change over the years. And one of those that has definitely changed is, like, a lot of benefits are just kind of going by the wayside little by little. You know, we don't even talk about earning royalties anymore, that's not even in discussion."
    "Did that used to be a thing?"
    "Oh yeah. I have a house, by and large, because *** managed to sell pretty darn great. Royalties have gone by the wayside, paid internships by and large have gone by the wayside, extensive benefits have gone by the wayside a little bit. I mean, you're still seeing a lot of shops offering, you know, full health, dental, vision, etc but even then you're starting to see that kind of get clamped a little bit."
    "What about crunch time, have you seen a lot of that in your career?"
    "...Oh God, yes. I've seen crunch destroy marriages, I've seen it turn people into alcoholics, I've seen it give them health problems, you name it."
    Unionization, Steady Careers, and Generations of Games Culture (By Super Bunnyhop)
    Super Bunnyhop looks at GDC and into the efforts towards unionization in the games industry and how the way the industry is run effects future generations of designers through discussions with developers and advocates.
    "Problems of skipping bylines and misinterpreting the methodology and intent behind media messages, there's something I've noticed a lot more of in recent years. Especially now that people who are teenagers a few years ago during, lets say, oh I don't know, August 2014, are now growing up to become adults. But media literacy also requires an understanding of, not just the standards and ethics that serious journalist should hold themselves accountable to, but also the sinister effects that money and cognitive bias have on it. And that goes both ways, both for writers and for readers. All of that idealism, all of the standards and ethics and professional codes clashes with the reality that media is just another product in a highly competitive market supported by other people's disposable income. The race to sell newspapers was a race to the bottom, and in many ways that really hasn't changed. If anything it's been made far worse in the age of social media where anyone with any kind of internet connection can make media no matter their motives, their funding, or their education."
    Media Literacy and Game News (By Super Bunnyhop)
    Super Bunnyhop discusses media literacy and becoming media literate, media history, what he was taught in journalism classes and learned working in print media, the evolution of game journalism, ethics codes, how advertising effect reporting and headlines, the lower standards and lack of accountability that comes with Youtube reporting, danger of isolation in online social environments, what to look for to see if you should trust reporting, and discusses some of these issues as well as deciding factors of what get published on websites with editors from EGM (Josh Harmon) and Kotaku (Jason Schreier).
    "2:22 AM made me uncomfortable. It made me think about all the other games I play. How predictable they are. How I understand the rules. It made me wonder what lies beyond the polished edges of AAA game development. 2:22 AM doesn't really fit within our existing games infrastructure. Itchio is kind of a haven for these experimental titles but, because of that, Itchio is also kind of a punchline for a lot of people dismissive of non-traditional gaming experiences. Newer platforms, like the Epic Store, have promised that the titles they sell will be more strictly moderated, they'll only sell high quality experiences. This might exclude the worst of the worst but who decides what lives inside or outside the realm of high quality experiences. Where do games like 2:22 AM fit in?"
    Who’s Afraid of Modern Art: Vandalism, Video Games, and Fascism (By Jacob Geller)
    Jacob Geller discusses the attacks faced by modern and experimental art, both in videos games and the wider art world. Where the anger typically originates from and why and the problems that come from a dominant culture attempting to create a hierarchy of value for the art world to follow.
    "The former employees I have spoken to share common threads, anger at the way they and their colleagues were treated, frustration with the company's infantile, volatile atmosphere, and a remarkable level of disgust reserved for one particular Rockstar executive, Jeronomo Barrera."
    Fear & Fury: How The Rockstar Sausage Is Made (The Jimquisition) (By Jim Sterling)
    Jim Sterling collects the horror stories of abuse and exploration from former Rockstar Games employees. Jason Schreier's article on sexual assault allegations towards the executive behind many of these stories can be found here.
    "These are the whales, so callously hunted by assholes with lanyards. It's very easy to suggest that these are people who should be smarter with the money, that only a fool lets it get this bad. I refuse to believe that anyone that churlish about the situation, has ever dealt with addictive behavior in their own lives. I simply refuse to believe it. Because addiction simply does not work that way, you can't just switch if off, it's not that easy to simply stop. You can even know, all day long, that what you're doing is wrong and you can consider yourself stupid, and you can know that it's harmful, but that won't stop you."
    The Addictive Cost Of Predatory Videogame Monetization (The Jimquisition) (By Jim Sterling)
    Jim Sterling examines how addiction is exploited by video games while covering company statement and personal testimonies.
    "Cyberpunk has no inherent agenda, at least no more than any other genre. It has hallmarks and anxieties, class disparity, the interface between technology and consciousness, the boundaries that define humanity, the replacement to the state of capital, and it's the view point and consciousness of its authors that shapes how these anxieties play out. In the world of 80s science fiction it was pretty hard to get your voice heard if you weren't someone with a lot of luck, resources, and privileged. The kinds of things that cyberpunk as a genre routinely strips away, but so much of the genres change has been the result of its ideas and themes propagating and being interpreted by people who never had those things."
    We Need To Talk About Cyberpunk (By Yaz Minsky)
    Yaz Minsky discusses the roots of and some of the more defining media of the cyberpunk genre, how and why art changes when it is no longer looked at through limited worldviews, and that the failings of Cyberpunk 2077's marketing, unfortunately, historically puts it closer rather than further from the staples of the genre.
    "What video game production alone is doing to our planet is a pretty scary thought. So yeah, welcome to the Ethics of Buying Games, my new show about the different ways of buying games and the impact that they have on many different aspects of life."
    The Environmental Impact of Physical Games - The Ethics of Buying Games (By HeavyEyed)
    HeavyEyed's series looks into the impacts that buying video games has on the world. The first episode covers the sustainability of physical game products, the disappearance of game manuals, and Atari's dumping of thousands of copies of ET into the New Mexico desert. Episode 2 covers how digital distribution can be worse for the environment than physical copies of games.
    "This isn't really that weird, people do tend to be pretty bad at figuring out why they like the things they like, so they just assume their stated values apply to the things they enjoy. And yes, to bring this back around, World of Warcraft has undeniably changed over the years and the changes have collectively been dramatic. Not just changes in terms of graphical updates, large swathes of new content, or the world overhaul of Cataclysm, but philosophically. The ideas answering questions like what makes good content have shifted and morphed over the years, often subtly, sometimes drastically. I want to remove the outrage merchants from the equation and contrast some of these changes honestly, because, while on a personal level, I think a lot of people have been hoodwinked by outrage merchants into parroting bad syllogistic arguments, I don't think people are being disingenuous when they say they enjoyed WoW more in the past than they do in the present and that it's not all nostalgia."
    World of Warcraft Classic And What We Left Behind (By Folding Ideas)
    A long time WoW player Folding Ideas examines World of Warcraft classic, how RPGs/MMOs have changed over the years, and why people might have the desire to go back to what was left behind.
    "I honestly think that this is a case of quick low effort decisions being made and it's in the situations where propaganda can be the most effective. Propaganda typically relies on quick and simple explanations of complex issues which makes it the perfect accomplice for those trying to move quickly through complex topics. Like a filled out answer sheet casually passed to you by someone who looks suspiciously like Mussolini. In this way, grand strategy game development and propaganda are sort of a match made in heaven. They have a symbiotic relationship, with propaganda facilitating easier production of the games which then spreads that very propaganda."
    Paradox Interactive is Not Immune to Propaganda: Leftist Politics in Grand Strategy (By Huntress X Thompson)
    Huntress X Thompson covers how the grand strategy games with a focus on history but created by armchair historians lack the research or mechanics to portray certain ideologies with any nuance and how they instead repeat modern or historically used propaganda to showcase those ideas to their player base.
    "Even if nuclear war happened tomorrow, it still wouldn't look like Fallout because the world's moved on since that era in Klamath Falls, and progress does a better job than apocalypse of burying the past."
    The Real Life Landscapes of Fallout 1, Fallout 2, and Fallout: New Vegas (By Noah Caldwell-Gervais)
    Noah Caldwell-Gervais follows real life maps and landscapes that he had explored digitally with Fallout 1, 2, and New Vegas as he attempts to find the intersection of fact and fiction in the series and explores how the locations change over time
  2. DoctorEvil liked a article by Legolas_Katarn, Best Games Writing of 2019   
    2019 is now behind us and I've put together a list of some of the best writing I saw throughout the year. Created with the goal of highlighting the work of some of the best writers and journalists in the industry and to share topics that can enhance understanding of the game industry, events of the previous year, and of the games themselves. Many of these have been shared in my weekly This Week In Gaming articles.

    These articles might focus on developer and game history, what working in the industry is like, what games make us think and feel, things that have effected the industry this year, the effects of games on people and culture, entertaining stories, and the lessons learned and connections that can be established through games. Links are included to author's social media accounts and it is worth following them and their work if you are interested in games and the industry.
    The best video and video series of 2019 article can be found here.
    Previous Best Games Writing Articles
    History of the Industry, Developers, and Games
    Research and interviews examining the life and work of notable figures, developers, studios, and the games and franchises they created
    "The impressions of human desire are often left upon objects of their devotion or on the paths leading to where a sense of peace or pleasure can be found; i.e. the worn frets on a favorite guitar; the finger-smoothed ivory keys on an old piano; the “secret path” in the forest blazed by decades of children that’s been “a secret path” to other children for over 100 years. And, of course, the front left-hand sides of all unrestored and original Pac-Man arcade cabinets that no one –until now– has thought to explain."
    Catherine DeSpira looks into the history of Pac-Man, with a focus on the physical impressions left behind on the arcade cabinets and how that signature left by the first generation of gamers tell the story of how the game was really played.
    "How did things go so badly wrong in such a short space of time? According to over a dozen current and former Starbreeze staff members, who asked to remain anonymous in order to protect their careers, the writing had been on the wall for some time. But even as staff lost faith in the studio and its bosses, nobody, it seemed, thought Starbreeze's fall from grace would turn out to be quite so dramatic."
    The fall of Starbreeze (By Wesley Yin-Poole)
    Wesley Yin-Poole looks into how it all went wrong so quickly for Starbreeze by talking to the people that were there.
    "As for the men and women chosen to work on Silent Hill, the town asks much more than it’s willing to give. Long hours, false starts, corrupted data, an impossible legacy. It’s claimed marriages, careers, and livelihoods. More than one colleague’s told me they believe the series is cursed. Perhaps that’s true; those drawn to the town of Silent Hill are so rarely able to change their fates. I certainly knew, the first time I heard Akira Yamaoka’s iconic mandolin, that I’d be a resident until the town’s final tortured moments, whatever those might be."
    From Super Fan to Producer: An Insider's Perspective on Silent Hill (By Tomm Hulett)
    Tomm Hulett reflects on his past as a fan of Silent Hill, becoming a producer in the franchise, and what it was like to work on the series in troubled years.
    "Speaking to eight former Rockstar employees, we recently pieced together the story of Agent’s phase in San Diego. This is not the complete Agent story, and in many ways is the story of the early days of Rockstar San Diego as a studio. It’s a story that involves a workplace environment that some call toxic."
    The Agent before Agent, a lost Rockstar San Diego project (By Black Hester)
    Blake Hester talks to former Rockstar employees about the early days of Rockstar San Diego and the history of their missing game Agent.
    "During that seven-day nightmare, every corporation on that network had their online operations sabotaged by a bunch of nerds who'd somehow been given $4.5 million dollars and a mission to create something extraordinary. And for its time, half a decade before World of Warcraft, EverQuest was nothing if not extraordinary."
    Breaking the internet: The story of EverQuest, the MMO that changed everything (By Steven Messner)
    Steven Messner tells the story of the creation of EverQuest and how it came to define a genre.
    "I used to have this thing with Todd, because he was one of the ones that’s like, “Let’s not make it too weird.” So I’d bamboozle him. There was a period where I would actually draw two different versions of a monster — the one that was weird and that I wanted to be in the game, and then one that was fucking crazy. And so I’d go to Todd, and I’m like, “OK, I think I’ve got the mid-level creature set.” And I’d show him a picture. He’d be like, “Nah, dude, that’s crazy.” Then I’d go back to my office and I would act like I was drawing something new, and I’d just come back with the original drawing of what I really wanted to be in there. Like, “Hey, is this what you were thinking?” And he’d be all, “Oh, yeah, that’s much better. That’s great.”
    Morrowind: An oral history (By Alex Kane)
    Alex Kane and Morrowind's developers cover the history of the game's creation and the thought process behind creating a world that could withstand the test of time, one that players could explore and experience in radically different ways.
    "Perhaps most alarming, it’s a story about a studio in crisis. Dozens of developers, many of them decade-long veterans, have left BioWare over the past two years. Some who have worked at BioWare’s longest-running office in Edmonton talk about depression and anxiety. Many say they or their co-workers had to take “stress leave”—a doctor-mandated period of weeks or even months worth of vacation for their mental health. One former BioWare developer told me they would frequently find a private room in the office, shut the door, and just cry. “People were so angry and sad all the time,” they said. Said another: “Depression and anxiety are an epidemic within Bioware.”
    How BioWare's Anthem Went Wrong (By Jason Schreier)
    Jason Schreier interviews Bioware employees to report on the troubled development of Anthem and a studio facing an epidemic of burnout and depression.
    "Getting girls into games required more than simply making games that would appeal to them. Kelly recalls that girls at the time were actively discouraged from engaging with games and technology. Even if a girl did start to play, Kelly adds, citing ethnography research she did later at Mattel, “when a boy walked in the room she’d have to give it up to the boy.” Worse, she says, “it was a known fact [that] girls don’t play with computers and girls don’t play with video games. That’s what the retailers thought.” Kalinske adds that even when presented with actual concrete data, many people would scoff at the notion that girls might be interested in video games."
    What happened when Sega courted female players in the mid-’90s (By Richard Moss)
    Richard Moss speaks with the Sega executive, Michealene Risley, behind the efforts to bring in more female players in the mid 90s and the effects of those efforts.
    "Revising the history around the game crash matters because otherwise what remains is corporation-worship that puts a magnifying glass on profit margins while disguising human effort and lives."
    Pitfall II: Scene 1: The Great Video Game Crash of 1983 (By LeeRoy Lewin)
    LeeRoy Lewin on the reasons behind the 1983 game crash and how the people that want or think that one is coming revise the history around it.
    "Yeo’s character reveals itself in the very makeup of The Friends of Ringo Ishikawa, the entirety of his passion poured directly into its creation. His approach combines a depth of vision and philosophical perspectives with a love of the arts and an affinity with pop culture. Given his unwavering commitment to his craft, whatever challenges he chooses to take on next will undoubtedly be watched by audiences both East and West."
    The Incredible Real-Life Story Behind The Friends of Ringo Ishikawa (By Jeremy Hosking)
    Jeremy Hosking learns the story behind the creation of The Friends of Ringo Ishikawa by speaking to its creator, Yeo, about his life and inspirations. 
    "The game was built on indecipherable “spaghetti code” where moving one piece can result in the game imploding for no logical reason; there isn’t enough space to fit English translations without crashing the game, which means you’d have to hack it and force it to accept more; one chapter in particular—the dreaded chapter five—was coded in such a perplexing way it lead to the whole “translation patch killer” branding. It’s where translation attempts go to die."
    The Near Impossible 20-Year Journey to Translate 'Fire Emblem: Thracia 776' (By Patrick Klepek)
    Patrick Klepek covers the history of attempts to translate the fifth game in the Fire Emblem series as well as discussing localization, the work behind translation projects, and what drives people to attempt them.
    Writing On Games
    Articles on the games themselves, effects they had on the industry, the stories they tell, how gameplay is used, deeper meanings of titles, etc
    "Heaven Will Be Mine was the missing piece helped me make sense of the divides between three generations of queer activists. It helped dispel the myths around of the radicalism of youth, adults who knew about “the real world”, and the cynicism gained through growing up trying to do the impossible. Heaven Will Be Mine helped me internalize what CIG calls “fighting in our own times and geographies”, the way solidarity and diversity can help us bring the best of each other’s visions instead of imposing ours."
    Fighting with Perfect Greed: Heaven Will Be Mine and diversity of tactics in activism (By Eme Flores)
    Eme Flores examines the characters of Heaven WIll Be Mine as representations of different strands of queer activism.
    "The term “power fantasy” pops up a lot in video game criticism. Bastion, you see, is a game that made me feel powerful in a way I don’t get to in my real life. On the most basic level, that’s because I was one person against the world and, through skill and grit and an upgrade tree, I managed to beat the world back."
    One Minute Past Midnight: Bastion & Healing from Nuclear Devastation (By Ty Gale)
    Ty Gale explores the anger felt over their Grandmothers' erasure of their Japanese heritage through the apocalyptic lens of Bastion.
    "Rakuen is about accepting the things we cannot change, while asserting that our little actions make a difference. By this I mean we should take time to grieve when we fail, but also know that our actions aren’t futile in the face of a cruel, uncaring world. We can care, and we can act."
    The Serenity Prayer and Rakuen (By Priya Sridhar)
    Priya Sridhar covers how the character arcs in Rakuen hold a mirror to the real world by teaching that small actions matter and how to accept what you can't change.
    "While MGS4 was a far more sombre game, dealing with Snake at the end of his life fighting a war he had no choice but to fight, Revengeance is (as the incredible subtitle implies) near-infamously bombastic in the same way that many of PlatinumGames’ other developed titles are. This switch in tone works extremely well in its favor – while MGS4 used Snake to question the legitimacy of heroic war narratives, Revengeance is focused heavily on the question of violence itself in a video-game context."
    And Besides, This Isn’t My Sword (By Lilly)
    Lilly covers how Metal Gear Rising deals with the theme of justice and what is learned through Raiden's rivalry with Jetstream Sam.
    "There’s a street prophet who stands by the fountain in the center of town in Fort Tarsis. He has much to say about the game, if you’ll listen. Someone knew what they were making, and they slid it in sideways through his mouth. He often talks about the Anthem of Creation. He calls the player a scared puppet of meat, always fighting, always afraid, always grasping at a meaning she’ll never know because she’s just playing along with the systems that push and pull her by unreliable whims. “It never finishes,” he says. It can’t afford to."
    “Today, I Felt Nothing,” by Tara Hillegeist (By Tara Hillegeist)
    Tara Hillegeist considers how the frequent feelings of loneliness and isolation that the game invokes can tie into the troubled seven year development of Anthem and the thoughts employees must have had while working on it.
    "As players, we look to find ourselves in narrative and characters in these games. Searching for resonance, that someone or something understands psychic spaces we often have difficulty expressing without avatar, surrogate, metaphor. To assuage our anxieties over the complexity of a progressively accelerating and dividing modernity, we vainly attempt to problem solve the fractured, redacted From Software worlds. We make videos, discuss themes and share theories on forums, twitter, and even sometimes in person. We hunt for psycho-spiritual ligature in these hollowed out digital people. Pulling meat from our own bodies to fit into the gaps in their bones."
    Charting our Emotional Landscapes through Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice’s Hanbei (By Dia Lacina)
    Dia Lacina shares her feelings on the character who meant the most to her in Sekiro and why players respond strongly to From Software's lonely and isolating worlds
    "Your journey becomes defined by how far you are from the next safe place, like stops on a pilgrimage or stations of the cross. Since you do not know how far away the next checkpoint is, going outside is an act of faith. Players must stumble in the dark, learning the area, until their faith is rewarded with safety, only for it to be tested yet again as they leave. There’s been plenty of discussion about whether Sekiro or Fallen Order “count” as souls-likes, but this misses the point. Their usage of Souls’ structure results in a meditative ritual of combat. Respawning becomes an act of redemption. The structure mimics the process of reincarnation, whereby over multiple lifetimes of experience, perfection can be reached."
    Jedi Fallen Order and Sekiro Shadows Die Twice: A Leap in the Dark and the Chaos of History (By Grace)
    Grace on religious cycles and the space between battles found in Jedi Fallen Order and Sekiro.
    "My father has run emergency rooms for years, but I didn't fully understand his job until we played a game together."
    ‘Project Hospital’ is A Great Way to Understand Our Broken Healthcare System (By Ian Boudreau)
    Ian Boudreau plays Project Hospital with his father, a hospital director, and finds that the game can be used as a way to understand the broken healthcare system of the United States.
    "That’s where the magic lies, in the a back-and-forth alchemy where player, character, and boss meet and their reactions to the actual battle as you choose to play it, not through cutscene chatter or flashy but ultimately hollow QTEs. You’re doing this. You’re doing all of this – and you can trust that the game will respond to every last drop of extra effort you put in and do its best to play along with you."
    Now I’m motivated! (By Kimimi)
    Kimimi's analysis of how Devil May Cry 5's final boss avoids typical AAA boss tropes and how it remains special by focusing on the personalities of the cast.
    "This isn’t just a fantasy game. It’s a game where every paranoid concern about your life, that it truly isn’t your own, comes true. And it’s about making decisions knowing that fact."
    Years Later, the Ending of 'Dragon's Dogma' Remains Wonderfully Weird and Subversive (By Cameron Kunzelman)
    Cameron Kunzelman describes how Dragon's Dogma does something different with the traditional fantasy narrative.
    "Rightfully or wrongfully, the Metal Gear saga is inextricably linked with its creator Hideo Kojima. Metal Gear marks the birth of the myth of Kojima as supreme auteur; even this analysis couldn’t help but see the creator in his creation. However, the tensions at the core of the franchise are larger than any single man. They are the inescapable tensions of a genre where players are always the intruder. The player is not welcome in Outer Heaven; they will not be welcome anywhere. And Metal Gear is the moment where that previously unspoken sentiment is finally voiced."
    Metal Gear Retrospective: Snake's Punishment Begins, 
    Metal Gear 2 Retrospective: The World Spins Without Snake,
    Metal Gear Solid Retrospective: 'You Enjoy All The Killing, That's Why' (By Heather Alexandra)
    Heather Alexandra retrospective on the Metal Gear and Metal Gear Solid series explores the characters, themes, creators, and series intersection with the real world and their fan reception. So far covering Metal Gear, Metal Gear 2: Solid Snake, and Metal Gear Solid.
    "Hellblade stands in the shadows of capitalist institutions that encourage us to sell our trauma, to expose our wounds at the expense of our dignity. But we can look away. We can make and find art that does not speak but listens. Art that allows itself to cut, to move away, to imagine something else. Art that believes our hurt and that does not showcase or sell it, but lets it be, lets it heal. This is not enough. As long as art is being made under capitalism, this problem of commodifying trauma will remain. But it is a start."
    Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice, Trauma, and the Power of Editing (By Grace)
    Grace examines Hellblade's failure to depict mental illness.
    "Judgment wants us to consider what kind of sanctity the law deserves when those who bend its already unfair guidelines to serve their purposes are capable of harming others by doing much the same."
    “Real Justice,” by Reid McCarter (By Reid McCarter)
    Reid McCarter discusses Yakuza spin off Judgement and finding real justice outside of Japan's corrupt bureaucracy.
    "New Vegas interrogates the heroism of the post-apocalyptic power fantasy. Where the morality of the previous games is uncomplicated, New Vegas’s moral compass is deliberately troublesome. Its gameplay has no romanticism; there’s no melodrama directing the player’s violence. You’re not killing people to save the vault or to find your father, you’re killing people for your own ends. For the sheer enjoyment of the power fantasy. New Vegas subverts the FPS genre with the reasons it gives the player for justifying their violence. Taking revenge on the man who shot you isn’t even required, but it is pretty satisfying, and it’s appropriately done in Vegas. After all, why do people go to that city? For pleasure, or greed. It’s the only American power fantasy that the game delivers: that you can actually get what you want in Vegas."
    NOT A HERO, JUST A POSTMAN (By Euan Brook)
    Euan Brook on the moral grey of Fallout New Vegas, the game's attention to detail, and the world not existing solely for the player character's benefit.
    "The album’s title would later be absorbed into the universe’s canon as a stage play in Crisis Core, but its inclusion here remains opaque. Still, when Bilinda Butcher sings about holy places, lonely places, and “sunshine faces carrying their heads down”, it’s hard not to picture Midgar itself. A city of slums and superstructures, secret police and ID checks, social stratification, and the profound personal isolation that blossoms where technology grows faster than community."
    Why Final Fantasy 7’s Midgar is one of the most politically-charged video game locations ever (By Nic Reuben)
    Nic Reuben's analysis of Final Fantasy VII's Midgar.
    "I’m a killjoy, a cynic, a bummer. I’ve been here so many times before, that is aboard a zeppelin, or at least some kind of large, aviated zeppelin-esque vehicle, shredding videogame enemies one after another with moral impunity, that if Soph and the game-makers who write her dialogue want to ask me whether I can believe it, then my answer is likely to spoil their fun: yes, yes I can believe it; after experiencing the climactic zeppelin level of 2013’s BioShock Infinite, the shootout which takes place aboard a zeppelin in 2015’s The Order: 1886, and then the zeppelin-based opening to Wolfenstein: Youngblood’s 2017 predecessor, Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus, I can believe it and believe it easily."
    The Infinite Zeppelin (Ed Smith)
    While playing Wolfenstein Youngblood, Ed Smith comes to the realization that he's seen all this before.
    "But we can’t see the terrible strangeness of our empire in the same way we cannot see the air we breathe. It is so pervasive, winding its way into the stickers we put on our trucks and military recruitment specialists that come to every high school in fatigues. We don’t see empire, and as a result games about working as a paramilitary commando can claim to be apolitical. We don’t see it, we can’t see it, without stupid sexy Raiden’s full body prosthetic turning roided-out Dick Cheney into ground beef. Metal Gear makes the hideous silliness of our empire clear — these impossible things happening clearly under the midday sun."
    How Metal Gear Eschewed Realism to Convey the Horror of Imperial Violence (By Moira Hicks)
    Moira Hicks on magical realism and how Metal Gear uses fantastical elements to better communicate the horrors of war and American imperialism.
    "In this light, even A Plague Tale’s most outré moments—its seemingly infinite heaps of corpses, never-ending torrents of rats, and the presence of literally sorcerous characters—can be forgiven as expressionist exaggeration or a magical realist fantasy meant to render the most unbelievable horror of real history into something understandable. Its camp excess is meant to heighten the sense that everything happening to Amicia and Hugo, but also to the wide swaths of ordinary 14th century French who actually lived or died during the horrific medieval war, can only be communicated through the twisting logic of a nightmare."
    A Plague Tale: Innocence Is the Anti–Assassin’s Creed (Reid McCarter)
    Continuing with a focus on magical realism, Reid McCarter examines A Plague Tale’s depiction of the Hundred Years’ War and how it differs from game's like Assassins Creed which frequently follow in the style of Thomas Carlyle’s “great man” reading of history.
    "Bioshock could be powerful at times — who could forget that first interaction with the splicer, or the golf club moment? — but by going “hey, I’m About Something,” a lot of people who were desperate for games to be taken seriously made the mistake of assuming that being About Something made you inherently intellectual."
    i don’t think i like prestige games
    yeah, okay, so i don’t like prestige games, and i think i get why (By GB 'Doc' Burford)
    Doc Burford defines his idea of prestige games and covers the desire people have to feel that their hobby is validated by championing games that attempt to be intellectual regardless of how poorly they examine their messages or how much was lifted from better things. Doc briefly gives some of his thoughts about his article and wanting people to seek more for themselves rather than being complacent here and wrote a follow up piece going into more detail and discussing some of the responses to the first.
    "I’ll offer one architectural term, though: a “falsework,” which is a temporary frame that holds a structure up until it can support itself. A certain subset of falsework lends the texture to Brutalism’s concrete walls, in fact. Shooting is the falsework of Control: built first, defining its form, supporting its architecture. In the end, we’ll dismantle all that scaffolding so the beautiful pillars and the coffered ceilings can settle into their new positions on high."
    “Falsework,” by Nick Capozzoli (By Nick Capozzoli)
    Nick Capozzoli considers if the architecture of Control serves as anything more than the foundation of a shooting gallery.
    "She will enjoy it. She will feel at home. But she will also have to work that enjoyment within a corrupt system that works to control inexplicable things that resist control. Just because she hires “better people” doesn’t mean they won’t be prone to the same kinds of hysterics and egos that led to Darling and Trench’s respective downfalls. She will ultimately realize that without the Bureau, without The Oldest House, she may as well be dead. She must keep this position, or there will be nothing left worth living. She will fall under the same lust for control that plagued Director Trench. Like Trench, the job will be as much a prison as it is privilege. Things she once enjoyed will be corrupted by bureaucracy, just as the Altered Items are corrupted by the collective subconscious. A self-fulfilling prophecy. A cycle that repeats and renews ad infinitum. Capitalism, bureaucracy, politics, America."
    Everyone Wants The Big Chair, Meg (By Carol Grant)
    Carol Grant on the feelings of frustration and fascination felt by the implications of the ending of Control.
    "The game’s basic message—like the chilling effect of Wajda’s Kanał—is, in the end, universal, even as it focuses on the specifics of Warsaw, Poland, in the last months of 1944. It shows the Uprising not as a glorious, bloodless undertaking but as a horrifying event that the world should mark as one of the darkest chapters of our history. Warsaw is the latest contribution to a nation’s ongoing efforts to process its history, delayed for decades and erupting in recent years as an ongoing battle between competing visions for the country’s future. But it’s also a monument to the many struggles Poland has faced, in the 20th century and before, to continue existing at all."
    How Warsaw Captures the Brutality—and Complexity—of the Historical Uprising that Inspired It (By Reid McCarter)
    Reid McCarter researched the Warsaw Uprising to tell how the recently released game Warsaw captured the events brutality and complexity.
    "James’s descent through the strata of a psychic netherworld to, one way or another, atone for killing Mary is commonly read as a Freudian punishment dream. This is worked into the game’s foundations—as Gareth Damian Martin wrote, on both a micro and macro scale the architecture of Silent Hill 2 is an expressive Freudian topography built to ferry players into its ever-darker depths."
    “Nurse With Wound,” by Astrid Rose (By Astrid Rose)
    Astrid Rose on the use of violence and psychosexual meanings behind the design choices of Silent Hill 2.
    "During my time reviewing Death Stranding, I had a relationship fall into disrepair. That my most valued personal connection frayed while playing a game that is ultimately about the bonds we make was not lost to me. Time and time again in Death Stranding, I wandered through harsh red deserts and snow-capped peaks with the mission of bringing people together. I crossed bridges left by strangers, trusting that the paths they had laid would bring me where I needed to go. Outside of the game, I was lost. What does it mean for a connection to unravel, like an old rope bridge across a ravine? What does it take to rebuild one? I don’t have answers to this. Death Stranding didn’t provide them. Instead, it insisted on a simple idea: that we are made strong by the grace and, more beautifully, the chance of others."
    Death Stranding: The Kotaku Review (By Heather Alexandra)
    Heather Alexandra described what Death Stranding seems to draw its inspirations from, how it communicated its themes of togetherness and worker solidarity through its systems, gestures towards modern America, and how it creates a desire to build something.
    "In its use of 19th and 20th century imagery, Death Stranding consciously evokes the violence that hangs over both eras, be it America’s use of the nuclear bomb at the end of World War II or the systemic brutality that accompanied the country’s western expansion. Most strikingly, the game is filled with constant reminders that everything players see and do in its setting takes place in the shadow of a horrific tragedy—the “Death Stranding” that left regions of the country marked by enormous craters caused by bomb-like “voidouts” and the ordering influence of a recognized government in shambles. Its main characters are all touched by the instability of their country and this recent terror. All of them have been marked, physically and mentally, by the cataclysm that partially destroyed their country—and each of them has thoughts on how America can move on from the chaos."
    Death Stranding Finds Hope in Despair (By Reid McCarter)
    Reid McCarter shows how Death Stranding signals for hope and optimism in even hopeless situations.
    "Death Stranding’s (and Kojima’s) tendency to complicate for no reason other than complication’s sake ends up depoliticizing the game. The early game presents an America that’s mostly artifice—an oval office that’s depicted through a hologram projection over a gray hospital room; devices for “linking citizens” that look more like handcuffs; and a de facto leader, Die-Hardman, who literally wears a mask through 95 percent of the game—and the game honestly seemed to be presenting a narrative that would attack fantasies of “going back” to the old days, fantasies in no short supply in our own American moment. But as the game introduces more and more to the world and plot it presents, this simple critique becomes muddied in a way that doesn’t make it more complex but instead smooths out any contradiction or critique in favor of a happy ending in which the nation could be saved and humanity might survive another day. In other words, Death Stranding starts out with a pointed approach but settles on a description of America as a land of contrast, one that is not only depoliticized but politically frustrating on its own merits."
    The Muddled, Flavorless Politics of Death Stranding (By Trevor Strunk)
    Trevor Strunk attempts to find a coherent message in Death Stranding.
    "Gears is not capable of answering why we should choose or why we should live. It is, despite flickers of other ways of living, an anti-utopia. However, its characters do continue, fighting for a peace that might never exist, because they refuse to believe that this is the end. I admire them and weep for them, when the writing allows, because they strive. Gears of War is fundamentally tragic, but it is not nihilistic."
    What Have We Got Left? Gears of War and Cyclical History (By Grace and Cole Henry)
    Grace and Cole Henry discuss Gears of War's narrative struggle with the series own business model alongside the character's struggle for survival.
    "You can find beauty in this ugly, cynical world if you can look at where you’ve been, look at what you’re still holding onto, and saying “I can do better”. It’s not about making the past disappear. That’s impossible, and you’ll always have your past deeds weighing you down. But people are complex beings, good and bad. Disco Elysium neatly sums up what makes role playing so powerful. It’s not about unbound freedom. It’s about us shaping our own character arcs."
    Disco Elysium and Finding the Beauty in a Cynical World (By Jeremy Signor)
    Jeremy Signor covers how Disco Elysium handles finding beauty and redemption in a cynical world while showing what makes role playing powerful.
    "Communists and fascists do not do battle in Disco Elysium. Why would they? Power lies within the hands of the moralists and the ultraliberals. Neither the communists nor the fascists are relevant enough to upset this balance of power. The neoliberal grip on the world is too strong, and the historical moment that allowed for the revolution has passed."
    A Spectre is Haunting Martinaise — Detective Fiction and Disco Elysium’s Disappointing Ending (By PJ Judge)
    PJ Judge gives their thoughts on why some people are disappointed by Disco Elysium's ending, why they think it works, looks at the history of detective fiction and how it is portrayed in the game, and examines the power behind the ideologies in the city of Revachol.
    "Some of the game’s most staggering worldbuilding is staged in this little church; it is here we witness the synthesis of Elysium’s spiritual, scientific, artistic, and “para-natural” aspects. Note how Soona, the failed programmer, finally locates the 2mm hole: she surrounds it with its opposite, its antipode. She floods in loud, live, human music. And not just any music: noisy, urgent rave. Youth music. If the old world is leaking, Disco Elysium seems to say, plug it with the new. If there is too much past to bear, make yourself present. Outside, the world is 72% pale, and the ratio is worsening. There is more and more of the stuff each day, growing skyward. A rising tide of past, crashing ceaselessly into our present, threatening to wash us away. Yet a beach still describes the ocean, even as it is consumed by it. And Harry Du Bois provides a living analog of this—its human proof. He cannot run from his past, but he can dance with it."
    A Storm Is Blowing from Paradise: Disco Elysium on the Past and Present (By Alastair Hadden)
    Alastair Hadden examines Disco Elysiums use of amnesia, the desire to become something new without being able to escape the past, opening cynicism as you piece your view of the world together, the role of its police, and sorting through the wreckage of the world of Elysium and how it reckons with its history.
    "A rattling skull. A trashed hostel room. A vacant memory. As Disco Elysium begins, protagonist Harry Du Bois has definitively lost his shit. We can never make him anything other than a man who’s lost his shit, but our choices can shape exactly what sort of shit he’s lost. Planescape Torment asked: What can change the nature of a man? Disco Elysium says, sure, you’ve lost your shit, but of that shit, how much is really worth trying to get back?"
    How Disco Elysium Mocks Fascists By Letting You Play As One (By Nic Reuben)
    Nic Reuben plays through Disco Elysium exploring where the fascist options take your version of the protagonist and where it took the like-minded characters you interact with.
    "How do you tell a story about the horrors of war to players who’ve been trained up in your own virtual proving grounds? Players who can kill eight men with a cinder block? And how do you do it without alienating potential markets (and the Department of Defense)?"
    How Modern Warfare smooths over the horrors of war (By Nick Capozzoli)
    Nick Capozzoli considers how the attempts at realism make this years Call of Duty feel more artificial, how it clearly borrows scenes from films and the importance of what it changes, and the way people view the campaign and multiplayer as separate games with only one deserving critique. Additional thoughts were posted here.
    "The Metro series is one inexplicably drawn to the idea of things. When the end of the world happens, do things serve us similarly?  Do they carry the same weight or are they changed? Do we have any more things or do we need to make new ones? The answers to these questions are difficult ones to come to but one thing’s for sure: everything is invariably changed. Things that were taken advantage of before find new, deeper meaning. The trains people traveled in and the tunnels they flew through became new homes. The bullets we used to wage war now act as both protection and currency. Guitars that were once just instruments bring communities together in song and dance, communities that had nothing before that."
    Metro: Exodus-Home is Where Your Stuff Is (By Moises Taveras)
    Moises Taveras covers how the Metro series uses the things we love to hold on to our humanity.
    "Start from square one and take a deep breath, no matter what – the apocalypse can only happen behind you."
    UNSTOPPING (By Skeleton)
    Skeleton considers the apocalyptic visions of the shoot em up genre and how ZeroRanger allows you to break free.
    "I don't remember the first photograph I took in this generation. But I know I took a lot. Somewhere north of 85 gigabytes (nearly half the space taken up by my conventional photographs) are sitting on an external hard drive, and those are the ones after the culling. If I didn't immediately love the games of this generation, God I sure did love the Share button. Even as I was bored, I couldn't help but shoot."
    How the Photo Mode Became a Homogenized Feature of Commodified Games (By Dia Lacina)
    Dia Lacina on the rise of photography modes in video games over the last few years and where they have ended up.
    "It’s about time we in Western circles more widely grappled with the place that historical dating sims inhabit within this canon. In the remaining days of this year, one already rife with significant anniversaries in video game history, there’s one paradigm-defining entry in the genre that turned 25 this past May, yet has lamentably gone ignored despite its sheer presence in its homeland and its immense legacy remaining in many of today’s chart-topping hits."
    25 Years With an Invisible Elephant in the Room (By Tom James)
    Game translator Tom James looks at a genre defying game for its 25th anniversary, Konami’s Tokimeki Memorial. Why it is seen as a titan in Japanese game history and how and why its influence is felt in some of the most popular games today.
    Game Design
    Articles that focus on game design and the ideas and processes behind it
    "Sure, there are some things I can’t do, and that’s okay; it’s life, for everyone. But for disabled people, we often can’t join in just because no one thought of us. It’s unbearably isolating and sad to be faced with other people’s palpable joy and camaraderie when you have to watch from the sidelines, again. It’s also not always an all-or-nothing situation of can or can’t. Sometimes, doing the thing is painful or extra exhausting (i.e. harder than it should be). So, yes, I completed Bloodborne, but in doing so I was left with hand injuries that took months to heal – and I’m not being hyperbolic. Playing exhausted me, both mentally and physically. It made me hyper-aware of my limitations as a disabled player."
    Sekiro: Accessibility In Games Is About Far More Than 'Difficulty' (By Cherry Thompson)
    Accessibility expert Cherry Thompson discuss the framing of conversations regarding difficulty in games and the variety of elements that go into making games more accessible.
    "Whether or not a player notices, appreciates, or is able to see these details, everything from a pen on a desk to a chair in a room has to be meticulously made, scrutinized, and tested. But at what cost? How does a developer decide how much time to allocate to set dressing a small room versus a game’s main character? How many polygons should an asset in the corner of a players eye get versus something directly in their face?"
    The 18-month fence hop, the six-day chair, and why video games are so hard to make (By Blake Hester)
    Blake Hester speaks with developers about the time and cost of trying to get the little details right in games.
    "When I first spoke to Spencer Yan, I wanted to tell the stories of modders who had poured themselves into passion projects that never saw the light of day. I'd been reading the recent RomChip, and several articles there had made the same, lucid argument: the history of games is also a history of the games that never made it. Not just the big studio failures where everyone, at the very least, ended up with a paycheck, but the hundreds of hours sacrificed by talented amateurs. I wanted to end this piece having told these stories, and maybe finish with some easy, conclusive quotables that might have helped anyone embarking on a creative work in the future. Spencer Yan's story doesn't have any of those, so if you're after a bow to wrap things up, maybe stop reading after this insight from Pi0h1."
    The messy story behind the Hotline Miami mod that never was (By Nic Reuben)
    Nic Reuben interviews the man behind a failed Hotline Miami mod. The life events that inspired and changed it, community reactions, and what can happen behind the projects that never made it.
    "Game designers don’t actually talk that much about difficulty; we talk about things like progression systems and mental load. None of these things are strictly questions of “difficult” versus “easy” — they’re more about how we guide players to greater competency, and what that journey should be like, ideally."
    Difficulty is about trust and communication, not ‘hard’ vs. ‘easy’ (By Jennifer Scheurle)
    Jennifer Scheurle looks at recent discussions around difficulty and Death Stranding to discuss how designers and players talk about the subject of difficulty in very different ways.
    "Before Twitter and its legions of armchair quarterbacks with the luxury of spending much more time reviewing translations than the original translators had in doing them, our main concern was an honest desire to make a fun and entertaining game for a local audience. To this day, I believe the best translators are writers, who take on what is an impossible task and do their best to satisfy several masters: the audience, the original author, and the marketplace."
    The bizarre, true story of Metal Gear Solid’s English translation (By Jeremy Blaustein)
    The man who translated Metal Gear Solid, Jeremy Blaustein, tells the story behind his work.
    "What people outside of the industry don't always appreciate is a game is constructed from so many pieces and you don't see the final product until the very end so it's hard to plan for unforeseen problems," says Szamalek. "When you're working on a play in the theatre, you might not have the costumes or the set, but you can see the actors interpreting the lines, you can imagine what it will look like - in games that's extremely hard. Even if you do have a clear goal and direction, you might end up in a different place because a certain part of the game gets cut or a new mechanic is introduced and this requires you to change the storyline, or it turns out that a tester says the game is lacking this or that."
    The writing of The Witcher 3 (By Keith Stuart)
    Keith Stuart speaks with CD Projekt designers about the challenges behind the writing and location designs of The Witcher 3.
    "Particularly when coupled with its dreamlike story and nightmarish imagery, the experience of playing Pathologic 2 can feel bizarre and obscure. You might stumble upon a solution by accident or receive advice in a dream while you sleep, and around town there are rituals of ambiguous purpose. Does it accomplish anything to bury a doll in the ground at the behest of some children, to buy a bull that allegedly speaks, or to follow the kids’ rules when exchanging items at their hidden stashes? And even if it all means nothing, do you dare not to do these things and risk finding out?"
    A Russian Crucible: Pathologic 2 and the Problem of Video Game Difficulty (By Steven Nguyen Scaife)
    Steven Nguyen Scaife interviews the developers of Pathologic 2 about storytelling, choices, and designing a difficulty when the point is to punish the player.
    "Gather around, curious collectors! Today, we thought it’d be fun to recount the all-encompassing journey of Shovel Knight's development. Let's explore how it all began, and how our original vision evolved into a 6 year development, producing five games in five years forming the multi-game collection known as Shovel Knight: Treasure Trove."
    How Shovel Knight: Treasure Trove Went From Minor DLC to a Collection Built to Last,
    The Making of Shovel Knight: Specter of Torment, Part 1: The Plan, 
    The Making of Shovel Knight: Specter of Torment, Part 2: Froggy Foreshadowing, 
    The Making of Shovel Knight: Specter of Torment, Part 3: Our Favorite Secrets and More, 
    The Making of Shovel Knight: Specter of Torment, Part 4: The Subtle Art of Backgrounds, 
    The Making of Shovel Knight: Specter of Torment, Part 5: Fin (By Yacht Club Games)
    Yacht Club Games recounts how the development of Shovel Knight turned into making five games over the course of six additional years and how the work of creating them was done in this series of guest articles.
    Game Industry
    Articles focused on the industry itself, from what it is like to work in the game industry or in fields connected to the game industry, to the platforms and tech behind it
    “I thought that room would be packed with employers,” he says. “I walked in branded with my IATSE gear. I wanted it to be glaringly obvious that I was a union representative. I went into that room expecting to walk into a lion’s den and be torn apart ... but what I found was 200 games workers absolutely ready to attack the IGDA.”
    Game developers need to unionize (By Tim Colwill)
    Tim Colwill discusses the need for unions, why tech industry leaders have worked to create a culture of hostility towards them, and the work done by Game Workers Unite.
    "At the point when the layoff occurred, I (and many others) had been working overtime for months (10–12 hour days, 6 days a week). My personal life had taken a backseat to the grueling pre-launch schedule that got WoW out the door. This is what we were asked to do, and I did it willingly, without hesitation. A few months later, I found myself jobless. I was loyal to a company that in the end felt no loyalty to me in return."
    Finding a New Path: How I Survived a Game Industry Layoff (By Christine Brownell)
    Christine Brownell tells her story of going through a layoff at Blizzard 14 years ago, how it can effect you, and what she learned from it.
    "I knew that games are built from dreams and tricks, but seeing first-hand how much it hurts a team to not put in a last little detail that might add cohesion to a world because there’s a critical bug elsewhere made me reconsider how I see the rest of the games I play."
    How it feels to release an indie game in 2019 (By Xalavier Nelson Jr.)
    Xalavier Nelson Jr., the narrative designer of Hypnospace Outlaw, discusses the panic and uncertainty that comes with releasing a game and the factors that cause that.
    "The free market is rarely, if ever, actually free, and competition, especially inside a well-oiled money-making machine like Steam, isn’t fair. People game the system precisely because Steam is unfair. Success often comes down to who can ride luck, the wax and wane of genre preferences, timing, gimmicks, algorithmic shifts, and even underhanded tactics like lying about release dates to the top of a select handful of charts that go a disproportionately long way toward determining success or failure. This inherent unfairness is present, too, in the competition between Steam and Epic, and it creates a similar sort of tension that Steam users can only vent through rage. In theory, “fair” competition would involve another service coming along with a better feature set than Steam and winning the day on merit alone. Easy enough. But, nestled within that sleek shell of simplicity is a briar ball of thorny particularities."
    Why People Are So Mad About The Epic Games Store (By Nathan Grayson)
    Nathan Grayson covers how the perception of fairness has been defined by society and major companies and the inevitable unfairness that comes from the scale of competition between Valve and Epic.
    "The popularity of Fortnite has been transformative for Epic Games. But the game’s explosive growth led to months of intense crunch for Epic employees and contractors, some of whom say they felt extreme pressure to work grueling hours to maintain Fortnite’s success and profitability, resulting in a toxic, stressful environment at the company."
    How Fortnite’s success led to months of intense crunch at Epic Games (By Colin Campbell)
    After dozens of employee interviews over the course of months, Colin Cambell reports on the stressful and hostile work environment at Epic after Fortnite's sudden success.
    "I took one day off between Jan 1 [2011] and the day the day 1 patch was approved. It was my birthday, and it was on a Sunday, so it was ok if i was just on call. I was allowed to go to a friends' wedding (on call of course) on a Saturday night, after working an 8 hour shift first. Those were the only two days i didn't work from at least 10 am to at least midnight. We were all doing this. I mean, except the bosses, of course, who would leave after dinner."
    Former devs speak out about 'severe crunch' at Mortal Kombat studio (By Wes Fenlon and Andy Chalk), 
    "This Is How They Get Away With It:" Former NetherRealm Studios Contract Devs Reveal a Troubling Studio Culture (By Matt Kim), 
    NetherRealm's self-sustaining culture of crunch (By Brendan Sinclair)
    During the release of Mortal Kombat 11, multiple former employees of NetherRealm Studios began speaking up about the poor working conditions and culture of the studio, going back as far as MK vs. DC from over 10 years ago. Multiple websites have interviewed their current and former employees and contractors about the culture, involving forced crunch, low and unequal pay, issues with inclusivity, false promises of full time positions for fatality designers, and the mentality in the game industry that has allowed companies to get away with it.
    "The video game association that conceived the industry’s national ratings system, handles all lobbying efforts and runs the massive annual E3 showcase is in disarray. The Entertainment Software Association is still staggered by the departure of its president and what numerous current and past employees tell Variety was a toxic environment rife with internal politics, witch hunts and in-fighting."
    Inside the Disarray Facing the Video Game Organization Behind E3 (By Brian Crecente)
    Brian Crecente speaks with sources and researches leaked documents to uncover the current state of the Entertainment Software Association.
    "The Nintendo Switch is the first time that a mainline Pokemon title has been developed for a home console, and as a result that kind of workforce upscaling has likely occurred a second time. However, the general backlash to Pokemon scaling down its product in order to reach a reasonable development time reveals quite clearly that fans don’t seem to understand how much work goes into each game."
    Pokemon, and Why The Games Industry Needs To Be Less Secretive (By Lilly)
    Lilly uses the anger directed at Pokemon Sword and Shield to talk about how corporate messaging hurts gamers already poor perception of how games are made.
    "One Friday afternoon a few weeks ago, the developers at Treyarch held a happy hour event to welcome the summer interns. There was pizza, beer, and jubilation for everyone at the studio behind Call of Duty: Black Ops 4—except the quality assurance testers, who had to leave shortly after they got there."
    The Human Cost Of Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 (By Jason Schreier)
    Jason Schreier reports on the human cost of Black Ops 4 and the treatment of game contractors and QA.
    "We’ve moved beyond the time of the Atari 2600, when publishers simply saw their games as disposable, and bigger companies are getting somewhat better at archiving and maintaining their own histories, but with live service becoming the business model for the biggest publishers, games can change drastically over the course of their life spans. As Eric Kaltman wrote in his 2016 essay “Current Game Preservation is Not Enough” for Stanford’s How They Got Game program, “The incredible production rates of current games, and the inability to currently preserve them all will lead to a situation where predominantly single player, non-networked games are overrepresented (or in many cases the only representatives) in the playable record.”
    The Uncertain Future of Video Game History (By Michael Goroff)
    Michael Goroff interviews those looking to preserve game history, why it matters and how it effects the future.
    "I still feel it in my bones when I read that 99% of 1980s Japanese PC games are lost, there is no question about that. But at the same time, I feel like we should accept that it is OK. As players, we should reconcile with our nostalgia, cherish our memories but understand that trying to re-live them is futile. Preservation efforts, in my view, should be informed by this counter-intuitive philosophy, accepting that games, art, things, people – disappear, are forgotten, every day. This re-alignment does not mean that efforts to continue finding and preserving video games of the past should cease. Rather, the focus of these efforts should expand to include celebration, interpretation and political action, all driven by an anti-capitalist ethos, an ethos that rejects both profit and immortality as motivators."
    Game preservation and the quest for immortality (By Seva Kritskiy)
    Seva Kritskiy discusses why, despite preservation efforts, most games will continue to disappear, accepting that that is ok, their primary worth being personal and emotional, and rejecting profit and immortality as reasons and motivation for preservation.
    "A lead would walk around the office with a notepad asking how many overtime hours QAs were going to put in, she recalled. If they said none, the lead would ask the reason why. 'There was no extra money on top of your normal wage for overtime, but rather you would be allocated $5 worth of food from the store [across] the road which the leads would go and buy for you.' In her experience, working with smaller studios made for a better experience overall, and having testers embedded with developers really made a difference."
    What It’s Really Like to Be a QA Tester (By Diego Argüello)
    Diego Argüello spent months interviewing current and former QA testers to learn about the industry exploitative practices.
    "Ghosting stories like these are common when it comes to Nicalis, a game developer and publisher that has grown big in the independent scene thanks to smash hits like Cave Story and Binding of Isaac but also has cultivated a reputation for mistreating employees and outside developers. Nicalis, based in Orange County, California, employs a staff of around 20 and handles a number of ports, re-releases, and original games, usually developed with external partners. In recent years, fans have noticed some public scuffles between Nicalis and game developers, but the extent of Nicalis’s troubled history has not yet been revealed."
    Inside The Ghosting, Racism, And Exploitation At Game Publisher Nicalis (By Jason Schreier)
    Jason Schreier speaks with former employees and developers that have worked with publisher Nicalis about their experiences with the company and its founder Tyrone Rodriguez.
    "A frequent question that gets brought up is “why now”. I would like people to understand that I tried. I spent years trying. When I did try, closer to when it happened, I couldn’t even speak ill of him. I was completely shot down. Every E3 I would post a thread talking about how hard it is to see him in the open, to be confronted with his work, and nobody knowing what happened. I talked extensively how you can’t do anything about this unless you are famous too, and matter to people. I spent years building up a reputation, and standing in this community. I wanted to say something. I didn’t think I mattered enough to be believed."
    my follow up post (By Nathalie Lawhead)
    In the later part of the year multiple men in the game industry (Jeremy Soule, Alec Holowka, Ben Judd, Alexis Kennedy, etc) were called out for sexual assault, creating hostile working conditions, and/or for their abusive behavior by multiple former and current acquaintances, business partners, and co-workers. Nathalie Lawhead wrote the initial blog post, calling out my rapist, about her interactions with Jeremy Soule. A few days later, after many others had joined her in exposing the actions of other industry veterans and they all received the normal backlash, she wrote the above blog about coming forward, the toll of abuse, and the need for a cultural and community shift away from abusive behavior being tolerated and rewarded instead of corrected.
    "Still, I understand why many readers feel this way. I think that game review sites spent too many years treating game criticism as an exercise in raw consumer advocacy. I count myself among those responsible. Reviewing Diablo 3 for such a site, I gave it a positive review because it struck me as a game that “the audience” would like. In actuality, it’s a game I find gross and off-putting in its constant, blatant efforts to make you feel powerful and to stroke your ego. But I was inside that professional world, where the kind of approach I took to that review and many others was expected of me, was, in fact, the only acceptable approach, and at the time, I didn’t question this. I believed in it myself to some degree. Writing this now, I think of the Mandalorian, unquestioningly asserting “This is the way,” or perhaps Joe Pesci’s crime boss Russell Bufalino in The Irishman, saying with some measure of regret about an unchangeable truth, “It’s what it is.”
    Ruthless Individuality: Criticism’s Past, and Hopefully Its Future (By Carolyn Petit)
    Carolyn Petit shares her thoughts on the perception of critics, how that has shifted over time, working as a critic in a professional environment, and how reactions towards Death Stranding lead to thoughts of there being nothing more useful than ruthlessly individual perspectives outside the hive mind.
    "However, one of the lessons we learn growing up is that matter cannot be created or destroyed. Santa Clause had no part in the development, sale, and delivery of Spider-Man for the Nintendo 64; Mom and Dad had to work, get paid, budget, plan, travel, and purchase that cherry-red cartridge so that I could mash C buttons and web-up thugs into squirming cocoons. All things begin and end with labor, even magical video games."
    Games are Not Magic (By James Frierson)
    James Frierson on the work behind the magic and when your passion becomes a product.
    Life, Culture, and Games
    Articles on the meaning that games and the industry can have for people, connections they help create, how we look at them, how they influence people, how they have changed over time, and why they matter
    "Mats would not live what they considered a "normal life". He would die young and be taken away from them - without having set his mark on the world. They were so completely mistaken."
    My disabled son’s amazing gaming life in the World of Warcraft (By Vicky Schaubert)
    Vicky Schaubert interviews Robert Steen who learned about the life his disabled son lived through online gaming after his death.
    "Behind one of the most iconic computer games of all time is a theory of how cities die—one that has proven dangerously influential."
    Model Metropolis (By Kevin T. Baker)
    Kevin T. Baker looks at the book and theories that influenced Will Wright's ideas on city design and the implications of the politics of SimCity.
    "Though no creative feat is achieved without inspiration, the manner in which Fortnite has transplanted the creative output of these men into its brightly colored marionettes, without permission, credit, or compensation feels particularly egregious. After all, the direction that this creativity travels is from those with less, those who spark viral brilliance from nothing, to those with so much more, absorbing whatever they can, erasing the past in the process."
    Fortnite's Appropriation Issue Isn't About Copyright Law, It's About Ethics (By Yussef Cole)
    Yussef Cole ‏gives historical context to the moral issues surrounding Fortnite's dance appropriation.
    "Mae’s world treats her as she really is. There’s no saccharine lie about everything being ok now that she’s upended her life trajectory and put her family out. Coming home isn’t a symphony of sympathy and a line of open arms. She left as a ticking bomb and came home detonated and there’s a mess to clean up. The clean up crew love her and want to help, but there’s no simple fix and no absconding from her own role in things. That too, I recognize."
    Years In the Woods (By Ethel)
    Ethel works through their thoughts on identifying with the characters of Night in the Woods, seeing yourself in the media you consume compared to stories focused on escapism, and seeing others identifying with characters in the same way you are.
    “When games are discussed in purely mechanical terms, as these kinds of games inevitably are, any evaluation of what they actually achieve (or fail to achieve) on other fronts is always going to feel besides-the-point or navel-gazey. The accepted approach is to say that Anthem does not have “enough to do,” foregoing a look at whether what there is “to do” is worthwhile.”
    “Consuming the World,” by Reid McCarter (By Reid McCarter)
    Reid McCarter writes about consumption and the reductive discourse surrounding games like Anthem when the focus is almost solely on mechanics and the amount of content rather than if what there is to do is worthwhile in the first place.
    "Symbols aflame can feel more real than real. They put “fire in the minds of men“. And I could see it now: we are all on fire, all the time. Notre Dame’s billowing flames were my wake-up call."
    The Cathedral and the Simulacrum (By Gilles Roy)
    After the Notre-Dame fire, Gilles Roy explores in Assassins Creed Unity while considering how virtual spaces can carry the memory of real ones and wonders what will carry the memory of the digital.
    "This key feature of historical games, interactivity and, as a result, counterfactual outcomes, makes games potentially a very powerful medium for exploring the past. Historical games, in short, can do a very good job presenting the past in terms of systems and interactions, the causal connections that made past societies and people act the way they did. They can also represent the past, to a certain extent, as it seemed to agents at the time, as a contextualized world of possibilities where agents make choices in the hopes of achieving or avoiding certain outcomes, without any certainty how everything will come out in the end. Indeed, this is how life is experienced for most of us, past and present. Interestingly, however, as Copplestone (2017) noted, the standard form of representing the past, textual history, tends to present the past as anything but open-ended, as simply a linear set of events destined to turn out the way they did. Games offer a sense of exploration, of control, of possibility, possibly a sense of sober consideration, not just passive determinism. As such they can helpfully move history education beyond the archetypal monotony of “one damned thing after another.”"
    Playing with the past: history and video games (and why it might matter) (By Jeremiah McCall)
    Jeremiah McCall discusses how and why games are a powerful tool for teaching and learning history.
    "The Hero’s Journey is not a laudable goal to reach, nor a reference sheet for format, but a set of handcuffs we tighten around our wrists with every iteration. The Hero dies at 40, and I am glad he is dead, memento mori, for the heroics are not for me. They are for you, a salve to slap on the mind, to deaden the horror of life, to give meaning to a cycle of absurdity through projection, a cycle that one should frame so that it can be broken."
    Theater of Mechanics, and in Mechanics, a Movement (By Mx. Medea)
    Mx. Medea suggests that people discussing whether or not games are art don't have an understanding of what art is in the first place.
    "While the open worlds of Minecraft and Roblox are sometimes touted as an opportunity for children to learn programming skills and develop an aesthetic sensibility, they have also become indoctrination into entrepreneurship for children, shaping their creativity and passion before they have enough life experience to know the alternatives or the consequences of it. Almost every game on Roblox is free to play, but there are opportunities to spend Robux, the game’s universal currency, at every corner."
    Open Worlds How we became nostalgic for Minecraft (By Alexi Alario)
    Alexi Alario on how we became nostalgic for Minecraft and how players have been urged to monetize their creativity.
    "At this scale, games have become both tremendously risk-averse and brutally neoliberal. They require a vast, heterogeneous player base to pay off their massive investment but are more intent than ever on accommodating their zealous orthodox wing. They attempt to be everything to everyone, while still maintaining their necessarily conservative core. Designed as accessory slot machines, neverending serials, and forever games-as-a-service, they’re meant to generate revenue indefinitely. Some of them are meticulously crafted, incredible experiences — this is the industry that still made The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild — but even so, their visions are filtered through scores of people, layers of market considerations, and always those persistent assumptions about what gamers are and what they want out of games."
    No shit, video games are political. They’re conservative (By Josh Tucker)
    Josh Tucker examines the lies that the game industry tells and how it got like this.
    "Like a drug store or a supermarket, GameStop has become more of a utility provider than something a teen might wrap their identity around. Games, too. Playing Fortnite doesn’t furnish a special identity so much as a communion with pop culture at large, eating a tasteless wafer with an image of Ninja pressed into it. The games industry generated $135 billion in 2019, and not purely off the backs of outcasts and idiosyncratics. In 2019, the fact that a person plays video games doesn’t say a lot about them. The escapist tendency is strong in most of us, no stronger in gamers than in those who compulsively use Instagram or comment on New York Times articles. We can’t pretend anymore that the places online we escape to are entirely separate from what we’re escaping from when escapism itself has become an industry optimized to distort these base desires."
    Confessions Of A Teenaged Strip-Mall GameStop Delinquent (By Cecilia D'Anastasio)
    Cecilia D'Anastasio looks at the rise of GameStop, strip mall culture, and former ideas of online and offline identities through the lens of adolescent escapism.
    "The rancorous consumer movement of the 2009-2014 period originally was built on a well-reasoned foundation of a demand for quality and fair practice. Rising launch prices, intensive pre-order campaigns with gated content for specific retailers, communal investment in decentralized spaces overrun with mandatory matchmaking, and exploitation of talent via burnout. There was no immediately obvious reason at the time why any of this grounded protest would prove toxic in the long run, but some PR firms and ‘guerilla marketing’ professionals increasingly grew seduced by the notion of taming the dark side energy emanating from this consumer fury and the numerous ways to harness it."
    The Art Of Letting Go – The End Of Nostalgia Bait (By Emily Rose)
    With the release of Rise of Skywalker Emily Rose considers the effects of mining nostalgia for nostalgia’s sake, how modern film discourse relates to the current state of games, and how we got to games as a service business models.
    Game Industry Abroad
    Articles covering the game industry of different countries, mostly focused on the ones that we don't often associate with video games, or covering how the industry is growing and effecting people and places worldwide
    "It’s uncertain whether people would venture to a gaming museum in the heart of Marvila, halfway between social housing and hipster hotspots. No one knows if this will address the district’s greater needs or be a stepping stone on the path to gentrification. And if it does pan out, there’s still lots of red tape between Silva and success. To someone else it might be a moonshot, but the librarian’s boundless energy and unshakable faith are what brought them here."
    The Gaming Library That Helped a Neglected Neighborhood Find a New Identity (By Kimberly Koenig)
    Kimberly Koenig reports on a gaming library that helped a small neighborhood in Portugal find a new identity after its only outside reputation caused it to be known as one of the city’s most dangerous areas.
    "The five-story mega-arcade was the brainchild of Taishiro Hoshino, a set designer for kabuki theater, who opened it in 2009. Far from a simple collection of games, Anata no Warehouse (“Your Warehouse”) was a recreation of the Kowloon Walled City in Hong Kong’s New Territories, a gravity-defying mega-slum that had captured the world’s imagination until it was torn down in 1993."
    The Final Days Of Japan's Most Incredible Arcade (By Alexis Ong)
    Alexis Ong on the creation and final days of a Japanese arcade modeled after The Kowloon Walled City.
    "So players head to Steam, and the government, so far, just doesn't seem to care. The huge blind spot is surprising, to say the least - but more surprising still is that the government isn't just turning a blind eye to Steam; it's turning a blind eye to gaming in China as a whole. For all the talk of harsh censorship in games, and president Xi Jinping's desire to "care for the children's eyes" and protect their "bright future", the lack of meaningful enforcement of those rules is striking. Tell that to Monster Hunter: World, you might be thinking - but that's just one incident, on the surface. Dig just a little deeper and there's a world of gaming in China where it can feel like the regulators just don't exist."
    Video games in China: beyond the great firewall (By Chris Tapsell)
    Chris Tapsell travels to Shanghai to speak with developers, publishers, analysts, Valve, and local gamers to get an understanding of the gaming market of China and what it means for everyone else.
    Articles focused on the world of competitive gaming and companies and players involved in it
    "The mainstream narrative of esports has been lovingly crafted by those who benefit from its success. There’s big money in esports, they say. You’ve heard the stories. Teenaged gamers flown overseas to sunny mansions with live-in chefs. The erection of $50 million arenas for Enders Game-esque sci-fi battles. League of Legends pros pulling down seven-figure salaries. Yet there’s a reason why these narratives are provocative enough to attract lip-licking headlines in business news and have accrued colossal amounts of venture capital. More and more, esports is looking like a bubble ready to pop."
    Shady Numbers And Bad Business: Inside The Esports Bubble (By Cecilia D'Anastasio)
    Cecilia D'Anastasio talks to esports experts about the shady numbers and business of the industry and if and when they think the bubble will burst.
    "If skill demands training, but training itself is not profitable, then who is obligated to support the labor of learning until accumulated skill can start to pay for itself? This is the heart of what’s often called a pipeline problem. Skill-building is time-consuming and expensive, and yet it must take place in order for skilled industries to survive."
    The esports pipeline problem (By Will Partin)
    Will Partin looks into the challenge of developing talent in the world of esports.
  3. Blackadder2549 liked a article by Legolas_Katarn, This Week In Gaming 10-1-19   
    Supergiant's 10th Anniversary Orchestral Show, previews of The Last of Us 2, Cameron Kunzelman responds to the criticism of Control's gun detailing what they find interesting about what the game says about violence, Razbuten's informal experiment to see how people learn the language of games by having someone who never plays them try nine different titles, Jacob Geller discusses potential effects of being in a real or virtual space designed with violence in mind, Seva Kritskiy on why most games will continue to disappear despite preservation efforts and rejecting profit and immortality as motivation for preservation, HeavyEyed's Ethics of Buying games series covers the impact buying games has on different aspects of life, Jennifer Scheurle looks at Death Stranding to discuss how designers and players talk about the subject of difficulty in different ways, The Game Overanalyser examines how games can explore morality and guilt through their mechanics and systems, and more.
    Gaming News (Announcements, previews, release dates, interviews and writing on upcoming games, DLC and game updates, company and developer news, country news, tech, mods)
    The Last of Us Part II - Inside the Demo | PS4
    Three Hours With The Last Of Us Part II
    The Last of Us: Part 2 hands-on – virtual murder never felt so bad
    The Last Of Us Part II Will Not Include A Multiplayer Mode
    The Last of Us 2 is "a story about the cycle of violence", says co-writer Halley Gross
    Help Will Come Tomorrow is a story-driven survival game set in pre-revolution Russia
    Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order — “Cal’s Mission” Trailer
    Shenmue 3's Demo Is 1999 In A Bottle
    Shenmue 3 does not disappoint
    Heavy metal platformer Valfaris gets October release date
    Check out a full 10-minute match of Project Resistance
    Thrones of Britannia was “a valuable lesson” for A Total War Saga: Troy

    Willing to Risk Anything: How Streets of Rage 4 Aims to Revive a Beloved Franchise

    Indivisible - Combat & Character Trailer
    System Shock 3 Has A Clear Vision: Playstyle Matters

    Rebel Inc: Escalation expands into Early Access in October
    Build your own Hogwarts-style magic school in this charming management sim
    Ghost Recon Breakpoint: 10 Survival Tips from Beta Players
    Ghost Recon Breakpoint’s open beta has players frustrated but hopeful
    Ghost Recon: Breakpoint Open Beta Highlights a Battle Pass and Other Microtransactions
    Ghost Recon Breakpoint’s Microtransactions Explained
    Pokémon Sword And Shield Have Mechanics To Let You Use Your Favorite Pokémon Competitively

    Exp. Share Is Baked Into Pokémon Sword And Shield
    Sword And Shield's Max Raid Battles Could Be Among Pokémon's Most Challenging Encounters
    Intriguing indie RPG Death Trash hits Steam Early Access next year
    TGS Encounters - Yoshiro Kimura Interview, moon phases
    Encased: A Sci-Fi Post-Apocalyptic RPG could be the modern Fallout we need
    Respawn Is Reviving Medal Of Honor… As An Oculus VR Exclusive
    Villains, lawmen, businesses, photography, and heists – the future of Red Dead Online, a Rockstar interview
    Guilty Gear’s new trailer shows off May, and confirms Axl Low as a playable fighter
    Apex Legends Season 3 map World’s Edge takes you to a new planet
    Half-Life 2's downtrodden NPCs have been unable to blink for five years, until now

    Frogwares claims Focus Home Interactive is delisting its games without approval
    Twitch Is Making Ads Less Annoying

    The Epic Games store has some new features and slimmer patch sizes

    Judge: Streamer who didn’t read contract can sue Twitch for over $50K

    Joy-Con drift lawsuit adds Switch Lite to class-action complaint

    Breaking: PlayStation Worldwide Studios boss Shawn Layden is ‘departing’

    Duke Nukem 3D composer sues Randy Pitchford, Gearbox and Valve

    Nvidia's RTX Broadcast Engine boasts AI accelerated streaming and improved quality
    The GoldenEye N64 fan remake is coming along nicely
    Esports News
    How France Became Competitive Soulcalibur's Global Superpower

    The Shock and esports triumphed at the Overwatch League 2019 final

    Crowdfunding News (not sharing everything I find, just ones that look interesting, have known talent behind them, and a chance to succeed)
    Kickstarter’s Year of Turmoil
    Content I found interesting this week (interviews, recommendations, think pieces, history, music, culture, design, art, documentaries, criticism, etc)
    Game preservation and the quest for immortality

    Difficulty is about trust and communication, not ‘hard’ vs. ‘easy’
    I want to play your game but I can't: Overland and its journey with dyslexia
    How a joke about the milkman inspired Psychonauts' best level

    Supergiant's Greg Kasavin on Hades' Development and Why Epic Games Store Was the "Obvious Choice"

    Video Game Preservationist Finds Rare Prototype N64 Controller and the Joystick That Should Have Been
    Designing the varied control schemes of multi-animal wonder Lost Ember

    Having a Guinness with Troy Baker and Nolan North
    “They wouldn’t go union” – Troy Baker on why Gearbox didn’t use him for Rhys in Borderlands 3
    Creative leadership: The pitch (Part 1 of 3)


    Gone for Good: The Phantom Pain of Peace in Metal Gear Solid V

    “The Banality of Control,” by Cameron Kunzelman

    How Greedfall’s RPG framework exacerbates its colonialist impulses

    What Games Are Like For Someone Who Doesn't Play Games
    Games, Schools, and Worlds Designed for Violence
    The Environmental Impact of Physical Games - The Ethics of Buying Games
    Morality and Guilt in Video Games | How Game Designers Reveal our Heart of Darkness using Mechanics
    Final Fantasy IV | Warriors of Leitmotif
    The History of Enslaved: Odyssey to the West
    Astral Chain Analysis | Platinum Game's Evolving Design
    Untitled Goose Game and Player-Driven Comedy
    Catherine Full Body - Analyzing Rin's Story | PostMesmeric
    How Pathologic 2 Sets a New Standard for Psychological Horror Games
    IndieWatch: Top 15 "Don't Miss!" Indie Games (September 2019)
    Blips 3: Cyberpunk Stealth, Digital Therapy, and Road Trips!
    Supergiant in Concert - LIVE 10th Anniversary Orchestral Show
    Things I found entertaining throughout the week relating to the game industry
    A Large Group Of Red Dead Online Players Tried To Carry Bowls Of Soup Across The Entire Map
  4. DoctorEvil liked a article by Legolas_Katarn, This Week In Gaming 5-28-19   
    Super Bunnyhop looks into the job of a QA tester, Cameron Kunzelman on fantasy narratives and how Dragon's Dogma does something different, LeeRoy Lewin on the reasons behind the 1983 game crash and how the people that want or think that one is coming revise the history around it, Charlie Hall talks to the Vampire Bloodlines 2 writers about reinvigorating a cult classic, Cecilia D'Anastasio's investigation into the business of esports, how the US anti-loot box bill could change how games are sold, Richard Moss speaks with the Sega executive behind the efforts to bring in more female players in the mid 90s, former Rockstar Lincoln studio head on dealing with the regret of embracing crunch culture, THQ says Epic store results exceeded their expectations, Morgan Park recalls a strange year spent in a strictly regimented Day Of Defeat troop, Kevin Snow on the localization of Pathologic 2, and more.
    Gaming News (Announcements, previews, release dates, interviews and writing on upcoming games, DLC and game updates, company and developer news, country news, tech, mods)
    Nioh 2 closed alpha test set for May 24 to June 2, gameplay trailer
    Ancestors: The Humankind Odyssey - Expand Trailer
    Vampire: The Masquerade—Bloodlines 2 welcomes the bossy Ventrue clan
    The writers of Vampire: The Masquerade — Bloodlines 2 on reinvigorating a cult classic
    Missing Game Dead Island 2 Is Still In Development, Publisher Says

    Paradox will announce a new grand strategy game at PDXCON in Berlin
    Matthew Mercer and Crispin Freeman Talk About Voicing Judgment Characters
    Travis Strikes Again: No More Heroes is coming to Steam

    Persona 5 Royal Videos Introduce New Confidant Takuto Maruki And New Places To Check Out
    Blaster Master Zero is heading to Steam in June
    Exclusive Gameplay Of Venom Boss Fight In Marvel Ultimate Alliance 3
    Marvel Games' Bill Rosemann On Marvel Ultimate Alliance 3: The Black Order
    Marvel Ultimate Alliance 3: The Black Order X-Men trailer
    Super Mario Maker 2’s story mode isn’t just a level pack – it’s a brilliant stage design masterclass
    Warhammer: Chaosbane’s story trailer sets the stage for hacking and slashing
    Death Stranding ‘Help Us Reconnect’ teaser video
    The Trailer For Upcoming 80s Arcade Era Throwback 198X is Totally Rad
    Dark With A Shot Of Whimsy: Necrobarista Comes To PC This August
    Why Beyond Blue is shaping up to be much more than Blue Planet: The Game
    Sea Of Solitude sets sail for launch on July 5th
    Action Puzzle-Platformer AeternoBlade II Is Coming To PS4, Xbox One, Switch In Fall 2019
    Star Ocean: First Departure R Remasters A Remake On PS4 And Switch

    Catherine: Full Body English gameplay
    Meowtroidvania Gato Roboto pounces into stores next week
    Utawarerumono Zan Release Date Set For September 2019 In North America And Europe
    Human Head's Viking RPG Rune renamed again, will be an Epic exclusive at launch
    Advance Wars-inspired Tiny Metal: Full Metal Rumble is coming to Steam
    Final Fantasy 14: Shadowbringers Will Bring Huge Changes to Jobs, Combat, and Quests
    Overwatch’s new replay system is a powerful tool for photography, bragging

    Pathfinder: Kingmaker is getting an Enhanced Edition in June

    Stellaris unveils new archaeology themed Ancient Relics story pack DLC
    Battlefield 5's stunning new Mediterranean map arrives this week
    Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night to get $10 day one DLC followed by seven free game modes

    Mutant Year Zero is getting a new DLC with a flame-throwing moose
    More Telltale Games Are Disappearing From Digital Storefronts

    ‘Witcher’ Developer Debuts GOG Galaxy 2.0 App

    Metro Exodus recoups all costs, boosts Q1 revenue at THQ Nordic

    The Epic Games Store exceeded THQ Nordic's expectations, says CEO
    Former Rockstar Designer Says Former Top Executive Groped Him

    How Total War conquered China to break franchise records

    Twitch suspends streaming for new users as it fights off Artifact trolls

    Frostbite's hot new hair technology puts Geralt's finger-lickin' locks to shame
    Anti-loot box bill could radically change how video games are sold

    From Candy Crush to Hearthstone: How the Loot Box Bill Could Affect Some of the Industry's Biggest Games
    Proposed anti-loot box bill has big implications for devs and publishers
    Censorship, Steam, and the explosive rise of PC gaming in China

    'Gaming Disorder' officially recognized as disease by World Health Organization

    Survey data, case studies suggest gaming addiction rampant among Japan's young
    South Korean government split on gaming disorder
    Trump administration 25 percent tariff proposal targets U.S. board game, game console imports

    Modder Explains How He Created That Cool Bloodborne Mod That Lets You Control Enemies

    Esports News
    Shady Numbers And Bad Business: Inside The Esports Bubble
    Scar defeats SonicFox in Mortal Kombat 11 Grand Finals at Combo Breaker 2019
    Riot Forms Scholastic Association to Oversee School Esports Efforts

    Dota 2 pro won’t play unless Valve confronts hate speech

    Why We Still Need a Women-Only 'Counter-Strike' Tournament

    Overwatch League commissioner to leave Blizzard for Epic Games

    Content I found interesting this week (interviews, recommendations, think pieces, history, music, culture, design, art, documentaries, criticism, etc)
    What happened when Sega courted female players in the mid-’90s

    From Rockstar Lincoln studio head to anti-crunch advocate

    Leigh Alexander: "Power fantasies are boring"

    My Strange Year In A Strictly-Regimented Day Of Defeat Troop

    How Video Games Let Me Go Back Home

    Designing for horror and hope in A Plague Tale: Innocence

    Pathologic 2 Localization
    Technicolor Dystopias: Why the Colorful Wastelands of Rage 2, Far Cry New Dawn, and Fallout 76 Are Suddenly Popular

    Years Later, the Ending of 'Dragon's Dogma' Remains Wonderfully Weird and Subversive


    How the Video Game Industry Treats its Testers
    History Respawned: Tom Clancy's The Division 2
    Dynamic Dialogue System of Horizon: Zero Dawn | Farlands In Focus
    Devil May Cry 5's Director On Making An Unforgettable Action Game | Audio Logs
    Game Journalism Of Thrones (The Jimquisition)
    Things I Missed From Previous Weeks
    Pitfall II: Scene 1: The Great Video Game Crash of 1983

  5. DoctorEvil liked a article by Legolas_Katarn, This Week In Gaming 4-30-19   
    NetherRealm employees speak out about months of forced crunch and low pay during the development of multiple titles, People Make Games' new series The Games I Made has Peter Molyneux walking us through his entire career one game at a time, Satchell Drakes' short film on Night in the Woods, Jeremiah McCall discusses how and why games are a powerful tool for teaching and learning history, Megan Farokhmanesh learns of the second Stranger Things game Telltale was working on, Persona 5 The Royal receives first trailer and Cian Maher explores the mythology of the series, Riot files motion to block employees from taking legal action against them prompting employees to prepare to walk out, Writing on Games' Exploration of Star Citizen, Kate Willaert looks into the origin of the term gamer, and more.
    Gaming News (Announcements, previews, release dates, interviews and writing on upcoming games, DLC and game updates, company and developer news, country news, tech, mods)
    Here are the Thinblood abilities coming to Vampire The Masquerade – Bloodlines 2
    Persona 5 The Royal - Official Japanese Trailer
    Fire Emblem: Three Houses Introduces The Garreg Mach Monastery, Geralt, Sothis, Edelgard, Dimitri, And Claude

    Episode 2: The Heroes of Total War: Three Kingdoms
    Borderlands 3 trailer shows Amara’s skill tree
    A Personal Exploration of Star Citizen
    Nowpunk and the politics of the personal in Neo Cab

    How the Command & Conquer devs tamed the Barbarian for Conan Unconquered

    Hideo Kojima and Norman Reedus spill some intriguing new Death Stranding details

    Fell Seal: Arbiter's Mark finally, fantastically and tactically exits early acccess
    A Plague Tale: Innocence - Uncut Gameplay Trailer
    6 reasons we're excited for A Plague Tale Innocence
    The Sinking City ‘A Delicate Matter’ gameplay
    Vambrace: Cold Soul story trailer
    Escape zombies or become one in this 30-player FPS
    Madden NFL 20's new career mode will take players from college to the pros
    Observation isolates the player by turning you into HAL 9000

    Warhammer Underworlds: Online is bringing the tabletop game to PC
    Root Letter: Last Answer Sends Its Way Westward For PS4, Switch, And Steam In 2019
    Premature Evaluation - Sigma Theory: Global Cold War

    This new narrative noir adventure stars a 1950s private dick who is also a housecat
    Car combat game Dark Future has a release date and trailer
    Mordhau sounds the charge into stores
    Mordhau Is A Clunky Game For Swordplay Nerds That I Can't Put Down
    Hitman 2 expands its competitive Ghost Mode today
    Risk of Rain 2's roadmap lays out plans for 4 new characters and even more bosses by spring 2020

    Mortal Kombat 11's Microtransactions, Explained

    Respawn Details Its Plan To Keep Apex Legends Fresh, But Avoid Employee Burnout

    Valve officially unveil the Index VR headset, shipping June 28th

    Riot Files Motions To Block Current Employees From Taking Legal Action

    'League of Legends' Studio Faces Employee Walkout, Promises Changes
    Google CEO: Publishers "want to see our commitment" to Stadia

    ‘Minecraft’ Creator Excluded From Anniversary Due to ‘Comments and Opinions’ (EXCLUSIVE)

    AbleGamers reveals plan to get accessibility experts into AAA studios

    Esports News
    Why games like LoL and Hearthstone produce so few women pro players

    Report: Rick Fox is leaving Echo Fox over shareholder's use of racist language

    Content I found interesting this week (interviews, recommendations, think pieces, history, music, culture, design, art, documentaries, criticism, etc)
    Playing with the past: history and video games (and why it might matter)


    A Video Game Developed To Detect Alzheimer’s Disease Seems To Be Working

    How Bullet Hell Games Helped Me Work Through Anxiety

    How Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice and Devil May Cry 5 Are Empowering For Those Who Live With Prosthetics

    Former devs speak out about 'severe crunch' at Mortal Kombat studio
    'I just broke down crying': Canadian video game creators face gruelling 'crunch' hours
    A Story of Crunch
    Swery's White Owls is building a better work culture for Japan

    The heavy toll of making games in the San Francisco Bay Area

    'My Childhood Dream Had Come True': A Belated Interview With Skies Of Arcadia's Producer
    X-COM creator Julian Gollop discusses his most important games

    Red Dead Redemption 2: six months later

    Making history about the mass grave of the Obra Dinn

    “New Game Plus,” by Daniel Fries

    Exploring the vast mythology of the Persona series

    'Dreams' Is A Powerful Tool to Create Anything and Own Nothing

    Work Is Hell and the Dark Comedy 'Yuppie Psycho' Revels in It

    Spending A Night In The Woods
    Creating a Likable Video Game Villain
    The Tragedy of Halo 3: ODST | Game Maker's Toolkit
    Augmented Reaction: Vanquish - 9 Years Later | Design Dive
    We showed Peter Molyneux every game he's ever made
    "Games as a service" is fraud.
    "Games as a Service" is NOT FRAUD*
    Supergiant Games Answers Our Patron's Questions
    The Brilliant Design of Left 4 Dead
    Hollow Knight DLC - Swansong for Silksong
    SHOVEL KNIGHT IS A 3D GAME?! Its Own Developer Explains - Boundary Break
    Games From Underground | Horror #1
    The Rise and Fall of Lost Planet
    Games as Lit. 101 - Literary Analysis: The World Ends With You (Part 6 - Conclusion)
    Glass Rose - Hidden Capcom Murder Mystery | Back From the Dead
    Final Fight: How the West was Worse (ft. Matt McMuscles) [SSFF]
    The Missing: An Attempt at Complete Cohesion of Gameplay and Narrative
    Put Your Name on Your Game, a Talk by Bennett Foddy and Zach Gage
    The Making of the Xbox Adaptive Controller
  6. DoctorEvil liked a article by Legolas_Katarn, This Week In Gaming 4-2-19   
    Dan Olson combines an April Fools video with an essay on the exploitative design of Fortnight and how it gives a glimpse of a hostile future, Jason Schreier interviews Bioware employees to report on the troubled development of Anthem and a studio facing an epidemic of burnout and depression, Alex Kane and Morrowind's developers tell the history of the game's creation, Gameumentary's documentary on Shirley Curry The Gaming Grandma, PAX East, Lana Polansky explores the history and use of empathy in games since 2008, Kimimi on accessibility options and how having easier difficulty options can better allow for a game to be made more difficult, gameplay of The Outer Worlds and Darkborn, Carolyn Petit on the lost magic and melancholy of Diablo, April Fools videos and articles, Writing on Games discusses the themes of Sekiro, and more.
    Gaming News (Announcements, previews, release dates, interviews and writing on upcoming games, DLC and game updates, company and developer news, country news, tech, mods)
    15 Games That Grabbed My Attention At PAX East

    Divinity: Fallen Heroes continues Original Sin 2’s story, but with XCOM-style combat
    Divinity: Fallen Heroes
    Wolfenstein: Youngblood releases this summer, and lets your friends play for free
    Her Story follow-up takes place on a stolen NSA hard drive
    This new detective game is all about listening to solve mysteries
    A trailer teasing Lilith, Claptrap, and Tiny Tina can only be for Borderlands 3, surely?
    Borderlands 3 Official Developer Trailer
    The Borderlands 3 reveal was a hot mess – and we loved every second of it
    Borderlands 1 gets remastered with four-player co-op next week
    Borderlands 3 might be an Epic Store exclusive, deleted tweets tease September release
    Heaven's Vault unearths evidence of an April 16th release date
    New Gameplay Today – Heaven's Vault
    Project Sakura Wars announced for PS4
    Gameplay Reveal: Watch 16 Minutes Of Darkborn
    Auditioning with live ammo in Obsidian's The Outer Worlds PAX demo
    Mount & Blade 2: Bannerlord is going to have a closed beta

    Super Meat Boy Forever won't meet you this April, boy
    Conglomerate 451 is a cyberpunk first-person dungeon crawler in an unhappy future
    Windjammers 2 Is A Lot Of Fun
    You won’t hit a game over in Cyberpunk 2077 no matter how badly you fail a mission

    Yakuza Kiwami 2 rated for PC

    SEGA Announces Mario & Sonic At The Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 For Switch & Arcades
    Cyber Shadow
    Persona Q2’s New Trailer Highlights The Phantom Thieves From Persona 5
    Anno 1800 is going to the Epic store, but you can still buy it on Steam for now
    Panzer Paladin Draws Inspiration From 8-Bit "Black Sheep" Like Zelda 2: The Adventure of Link

    Pathologic 2 gets down with the sickness on May 23rd
    Large-scale World War 2 shooter Hell Let Loose releases in June
    Moons of Madness - Reveal Trailer | PS4
    Othercide promises a stylish blend of turn-based tactics and monochrome horrors
    Command & Conquer meets the Hyborian Age in Conan Unconquered

    Unbound: Worlds Apart warps from frying pan to fire
    World War Z

    We Are The Caretakers is an afrofuturist anti-poaching strategy RPG
    6 things you need to know about Control
    Hands-On With Tactical RPG Mistover

    They Are Billions leaves early access in June with a large branching campaign

    Love Thyself - A Horatio Story is a free, real, Endless Space dating sim
    Far Cry 4 Director's New Game Is About Exploration And Commercialism

    Valve Breaks Silence Around Artifact, Says It Plans To Fix 'Deep-Rooted' Issues

    Could Everquest come to the Epic store? “Well, f*** it, yeah”

    Sony veteran Kaz Hirai has left the company after 35 years

    Sony’s new PlayStation Store refund policy allows for refunds within 14 days

    Humble Bundle co-founders stepping down after best year ever

    GameStop posts $673m full-year loss

    Video Game News Subreddit Closes For 24 Hours To Protest Bigotry

    Record year for UK games market as spending nears $6bn

    Latest batch of Chinese game approvals includes 30 foreign titles

    Esports News
    Watch Out For Smash Balls In This Weekend's Nintendo-Sanctioned Tournament

    First-Time Tournament Attendee Beats Dragon Ball FighterZ World Champ

    Content I found interesting this week (interviews, recommendations, think pieces, history, music, culture, design, art, documentaries, criticism, etc)
    Morrowind: An oral history

    How BioWare's Anthem Went Wrong
    Empathy is Not Enough, part 1

    Epic and Steam
    The Rules

    The Difficulty With Difficulty
    An Easy Mode Has Never Ruined A Game
    How A Sekiro Easy Mode Could Work
    The Underground, Activist Gaming Scene In Communist Czechoslovakia

    'Value pithiness over lushness' - Weather Factory's Alexis Kennedy on crafting exquisite narrative

    “The Master Swordsman,” by Reid McCarter

    How Anthem explores the relationship between your Javelin and the world itself

    “Today, I Felt Nothing,” by Tara Hillegeist
    Grow Up: Why We Need Young Adult Games

    Hypnospace Outlaw Finds the Horror in Viruses

    Manhunt Hates You And Wants You To Suffer

    Folding Ideas Pivots To Fortnite
    The Lost Magic, Menace, and Melancholy of Diablo
    Shirley Curry: The Gaming Grandma Documentary | Gameumentary
    Examining the Themes and Story of Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice
    Dishonored: A Bloody Tempting Game
    The Rise and Fall of Prince of Persia
    Hypnospace Outlaw Review | Virtual Cop
    Sonic's Secret Genesis Games | Gaming Historian
    Street Fighter and Bad Localization (Ft. Ben from PortsCenter) [SSFF]
    Building a Battle Theme: Final Fantasy V's Battle at the Big Bridge
    15 Docs Coming Soon to Noclip
    April Fools
    Sniper Elite: Love In Your Sights

    Total War Three Kingdoms Mobile Mode

    Introducing People Make Gravy
    The NBA Jam announcer can call the action in Rage 2
    Rainbow Six Siege: Rainbow is Magic Event | Trailer | Ubisoft [NA]
    Everything Coming To Switch - April Fools 2019
    Presenting Omega, Your New Smart Home Assistant - FINAL FANTASY XIV Online
    Turn Based Yakuza Leak
    Splatoon Island - Announcement Trailer
  7. DoctorEvil liked a article by Legolas_Katarn, This Week In Gaming 1-8-19   
    Imran Khan talks to Yoko Taro, Takahisa Taura, and Keiichi Okabe about life, death, and opportunity. Jacob Geller's Love Letter to Beat Saber, Noclip starts podcast series to discuss games and industry culture with developers, previews for Sekiro and Anthem, Charlie Hall covers Elite's upcoming eight month expedition, part three of Ludocriticism's look at Arkane Studio's games, Game Maker's Toolkit on why 98' was the year of stealth games, designing Mutant Year Zero, Lee Yancy on the year long plot to blow up a notorious EVE Online space station, Paradox buys Prison Architect, and more.
    The best writing and the best videos of the year lists were recently posted.
    Gaming News (Announcements, previews, release dates, interviews and writing on upcoming games, DLC and game updates, company and developer news, country news, tech, mods)
    We Translate The Yakuza Creators' New Game As We Play It
    In Afterparty you can get drunk with Satan and vomit up your conscience

    Anthem: 15 Minutes of Lost Arcanist Gameplay (Interceptor, Storm, Colossus) - IGN First
    Anthem CES 2019 trailer
    Discussing My First Time Playing ANTHEM
    Persona Q2 Dungeons And Bosses Are Packed With Personality

    Open world paint 'em up Eastshade arrives February 13th
    Bright Memory is a stylish Chinese shooter/melee hybrid coming to Steam next week
    Demon's Tilt battles hell with the power of pinball this month
    Shenmue 3 double the length of prior games, side quests no longer separate from main story
    Tropico 6 delayed again because it's "not outstanding - yet"

    How Progression Works In Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice
    Metro Exodus - Story Trailer
    The next episode of The Walking Dead: The Final Season has got a new trailer
    Olympic-style volleyball hits consoles, PC with Spike Volleyball
    Hitman HD Enhanced Collection announced for PS4, Xbox One

    A Bunch Of Former Top Hearthstone Designers Are Making A Marvel Game

    Cultist Simulator expands beyond immortality January 22nd

    DMCA Injunction DENIED in Stardock's Star Control Lawsuit
    Star Control makers defend DMCA takedown against Star Control: Origins
    Paradox buy Prison Architect, might make their own Architect games

    Lego: The Hobbit and Lego: The Lord of the Rings pulled from digital stores

    Independent Games Festival 2019 Finalists Announced, Return Of The Obra Dinn Leads The Pack

    Undertale Creator and Game Theory’s MatPat Clash on Twitter Over Misleading Heartbound Stream
    Past history and a lot of threads and posts going around of MatPat not crediting games or people involved with the videos he makes.
    More Shakeup At Activision Blizzard, As Blizzard CFO Leaves For A New Job
    GRIS Advertisement Rejected By Facebook For "Sexually Suggestive" Content
    Twitch Re-Suspends Alleged Domestic Abuser After Fan Outcry

    Top Smash Player Gets Temporary Twitch Ban For Drinking Too Much On Stream
    Games After January 1, 2019 Must Have Accessible Communications Under CVAA Legislation
    LGBTQ Video Game Exhibition Opens In Berlin

    Blizzard names and shames 18,000 South Korean Overwatch accounts banned for toxicity

    Japan makes it illegal to resell game keys or distribute save editors

    Esports News
    Overwatch Team Says Player Questioned About Identity Was Impostor After All

    Overwatch Contenders controversy has once again made things more difficult for women in esports
    ‘Overwatch’ Contenders Ellie controversy angers gaming community
    PUBG suspends cheating pro players, but most of the teams will stay in PEL

    Pro tennis embraces videogames as the Australian Open hosts a $500K Fortnite event

    Crowdfunding News (not sharing everything I find, just ones that look interesting, have known talent behind them, and a chance to succeed)
    One Step From Eden - Deckbuilding Action Roguelike
    Content I found interesting this week (interviews, recommendations, think pieces, history, music, culture, design, art, documentaries, criticism, etc)
    Talking To Yoko Taro, PlatinumGames' Takahisa Taura, And Composer Keiichi Okabe About Life, Death, And Opportunity
    The Roots of Compile – 1998 Developer Interview

    Everyday bisexuality in video games

    Ducking up the game design of Mutant: Year Zero

    Good For What Ails You

    Cowboys, Cowardice, and Contradictions
    Far Cry 5 ignores both Montana's real history of fascism and its victims

    I think I like Below the most when I'm not actually playing it

    Worry less about children's screen use, parents told
    Diversity is important because a video game is much more than its gameplay

    The Year-Long, Undercover Plot To Blow Up EVE Online's Most Notorious Space Station

    I Unexpectedly Made A Lot Of Money Telling Fortunes In Final Fantasy XIV

    Elite’s Distant Worlds 2 expedition: Packing for a trip to the edge of the Milky Way

    “Richly Deserved,” by Reid McCarter

    A Love Letter to Beat Saber
    Smashing It: Dishonored & Arkane | Arkane Ludography 3/5 | CRITIQUE/REVIEW
    Resident Evil: Code Veronica Design | Road to the Rocket Launcher
    The Year Stealth Games Got Serious | Game Maker's Toolkit
    The History of Star Wars: Republic Commando
    Top 5 character designs in gaming of 2018 || [error corrected]
    Behaviour Trees: The Cornerstone of Modern Game AI (AI 101) | AI and Games
    Noclip Podcast #01 (Story) - The Steam Spy
    Noclip Podcast #02 (Story) - The Return of Theme Hospital
    Noclip Podcast #03 (Story) - The Dunes of Arabistan
    The Fans Reviving the Halo PC Experience - Installation 01 | Gameumentary
    Why Did Geoff Keighley Create The Game Awards?
  8. DoctorEvil liked a article by Legolas_Katarn, Best Videos and Video Series of 2018   
    Included in this article are some of the best and most interesting game related videos that I've seen throughout 2018. Put together with the goal of highlighting some of the best content creators and videos that can enhance your knowledge of or bring up interesting viewpoints on the industry, developers, events that happened this year, or on individual games.
    Each section might include a single video, a single video series, or videos that might be from different people but focus on a similar idea or subject. The ordering does not signify better or worse quality. All mentioned creators are worth following and all of them were likely to have produced other content worth viewing on their channel this year. Some videos are from older channels with a large number of followers and supporters, while some are new and could use more support. Many of them are able to work due to the donations of their Patreon supporters, if you enjoy the content and would like to donate this can usually be found in their Youtube video description or linked social media profile.
    The Best Games Writing of 2018 can be found here.
    Previous Best Video and Video Series Articles
    Videos focused on analyzing and discussing the stories of games, their themes, the way they are told, and how and if their mechanics and interaction with the player helps to tell those stories
    "It's still relatively rare to see a game use their mechanical foundation the combination of interactivity and repetitive action to deliver an explicit message to the player, which is why NieR Automata is one of the most meaningful and moving games I've ever played. This game has already gotten lots of praise and even more analysis and critique, but 18 months after release I still haven't seen anyone fully explain just what makes this game so special. So here I am, I'm Michael Saba and I produce video essays about the transformative potential of games, movies, and pop culture, a series I call Dreaming In Neon. Come with me if you want to live, because this is a story about the joy of being alive, a story that could only be told by a video game."
    How NieR: Automata Tells the Ultimate Humanist Fable (By Michael Saba)
    Michael Saba's analysis on how a game of clashing tonal elements, references to and subversions of eastern and western philosophy, themes of attempting to find the meaning in existence, and an understanding that its perspective could only be expressed through video games became one of the best games ever made.
    "In this video, I'd like to take Rule of Rose and its convoluted and controversial narrative apart piece by piece. To unravel just how well thought-out, how consistent and coherent its narrative if, if you look at it up close and how much understanding and respect it actually shows for the disturbing themes at the heart of its melancholy tale. I'd like to show you that Rule of Rose is truly an underrated masterpiece of psychological horror storytelling that never stoops to exploitation of dark topics for mere shock value, but that was written with a message of compassion at heart; a message to survivors, to those who, themselves, might have been mistreated, disenfranchised or ostracized at any point in their lives. A message to all those who can find even a little bit of themselves in Jennifer." 
    A Journey Through Rule of Rose | Monsters of the Week (By RagnarRox)
    RagnarRox explains why Rule of Rose, one of the rarest PS2 games after a moral panic in Europe, is an underrated masterpiece telling a story through its design, writing, and world building focused on exploitative societal structures, bullying, and power abuse. A Lord of the Flies that not only shows the how but why.
    "Iconoclasts serves as a reminder of what Celeste aims to say. Celeste takes the player on a pilgrimage through which its protagonist comes to a realization of their personal spirit. Iconoclasts reminds the player that religion is really about that spiritual fulfillment on a person-to-person level."
    Peering Into Celeste and Iconoclasts | Expressions of Faith (By Hepyrian)
    Hepyrian on the ways that Celeste and Iconoclast explore the nature of faith.
    "So this frickin banana picker has no value to anyone in the game, it's all just the principle of the thing, and that's the entire plot of The Secret of Monkey Island."
    Three Short Arguments on The Secret of Monkey Island (By Innuendo Studios)
    Innuendo Studios on the narrative themes and philosophy of The Secret of Monkey Island.
    "So seldom does a game aim to make the player feel a complex negative emotion. And I often think that this is what hold back a lot of video game writing, why video game writing has a reputation as being less serious than other mediums. Video games will often go for big operatic moments of loss and grief but they will almost never explore the tremendous damage that an empty promise in a misplaced trust can cause."
    Scars & Stories [Planescape: Torment vs. Torment: Tides of Numenera] (By Noah Caldwell-Gervais)
    Noah Caldwell-Gervais covers the themes and characters of the Torment games. 
    "Far Cry 5 doesn't have a view from nowhere, it's not a completely vacuous nothing, even though it's clear it wants to be that with how much it pulls its punches on its subject matter. But by focusing on empty surface level player empowerment and refusing to take a stance on anything, either through narrative or gameplay, Far Cry 5's more incidental ideas come to define the game's worldview."
    Far Cry 5 and the Art of Saying Nothing (Spoilers) (By Errant Signal)
    Errant Signal looks at Far Cry 2 and 5 and the things that a game ends up saying when it desperately tries to say nothing.
    "But in the end, ultimately, this is yet another testament to the author's ability to effectively draw horror from real world issues most games would never dare to tackle. Because why invent monsters, when life is already full of them."
    The Cat Lady and the Parasites of Mental Health | Monsters of the Week (By RagnarRox)
    RagnarRox on the psychological horror game The Cat Lady. He covers the story, themes of depression and anxiety, how the game's villains and fear inducing elements are grounded in modern society, and the design choices that improve the mood and narrative of the game.
    "David Cage is a bad, thoughtless, irresponsible writer. He takes ideas and imagery with deep history and meaning behind them and incorporates them into his story at the most surface level possible and then turns around and says that it doesn't mean anything at all because he's not actively trying to send a message. The problem is he's sending one anyway, a muddled one to be sure, but a really really bad one, precisely because there's no thought put into it."
    Detroit: Become Human - The Worst Civil Rights Allegory (By Mother's Basement)
    Mother's Basement covers the themes, misuse of imagery, irresponsible messages, simplicity of gameplay, and general lack of understanding of world events both in game and in real life found in Detroit Become Human, as well as examining David Cage's own contradictory words regarding his work and the need for writers to have some understanding of the context of what they are writing.
    "Where we live will always define our lives to a sizable degree, one way or another, and cloud bank is begging us to ask the question, 'What would happen if the culture of where we live were democratized?' And the answer it comes back with is that culture of such a place would always be changing on a dime to suit the majority, but that also means, by definition, the culture will always be ephemeral, just a temporary distraction before the next thing takes its place. Imagine how often culture changes over decades in the real world, building and expanding on itself until the public fascination with it begins to fade before being inevitable lost to time. Then picture all of that occurring within days of each other. We don't know how many different cloud banks there have been. This is a town that has no history because everything that could denote its history has been painted over a million times."
    Transistor & How Change Prevents Change // Codex Entry (By Codex Entry)
    Codex Entry discusses the narrative, themes, and setting of Transistor and what you have left in a world where nothing ever changes.
    "We are granted intimate knowledge of Nico's life and it breaks down normal barriers we may find in a game that doesn't break the fourth wall at all. The lines between the reality of the game and what you're doing sitting behind the computer are rather blurred at this point, making it easy to find ourselves incredibly attached to young Niko after the time we've spent with them. This is similar to how people have grown attached to characters like Sans in Undertale or the Judge in OFF, often growing attached to characters that they've spent a lot of time with. This can even help change a person's perspective on the world at large if your media is far reaching enough."
    Parasocial Relationships in OFF, Undertale and OneShot (By Red Angel)
    Red Angel explores the topic of Parasocial Relationships. How players and characters develop their relationship with each other and the world they inhabit in games that address the player as a separate entity from the controllable protagonist.
    Interviews and Documentaries
    "Intrigued Stein tried the game for himself, he wasn't a gamer, but he couldn't stop playing Tetris. It was a surefire hit, he immediately went to the director of the institute and inquired about licensing. But the director sheepishly admitted that the game wasn't theirs. If Stein wanted to license Tetris, he would have to make a deal with the Soviet Union, but that was easier said than done."
    The Story of Tetris | Gaming Historian (By The Gaming Historian)
    The Gaming Historian tells the story of the creation of Tetris, how the game spread, and the battle to secure the rights.
    "The crunch on Darksiders 1 was something I don't ever really want to repeat. Now I look back on it certainly with some fond memories because it was, it was a bit like going to war and winning the war. I think that's what it had felt like, if we had shipped a game that didn't do well or flopped or wasn't something that everybody as a group was collectively proud of it might have felt like going to war and losing and maybe the complete opposite feeling. I think that's always what kept us going was even in the darkest busiest dreary eyed hour was ok it's gonna be a good game we just got to get it out the door."
    Darksiders: The Documentary | Gameumentary (By Gameumentary)
    Gameumentary's Darksider documentary looks at the making of Darksiders 1 and 2, the creation and concepts behind them, how members of the team got into games, the art, and the long hours spent by the young team to ship the final product.
    "It seems the government is content to let the people of Havana operate SNET as long as it doesn't abuse its privileges. The "alcohol in a paper bag" of connectivity."
    Cuba's Underground Gaming Network (By Cloth Map)
    Cloth Map travels to Cuba to learn about their internet and the free home made and maintained network that gamers have created.
    "At that same time I remember one of those guys, they came to the studio, they did the tour, they looked at what we'd been building, and his reaction was interesting. It was, this is the best looking free to play game I've ever seen, you will fail."
    Warframe Documentary Series (By Noclip)
    Noclip's documentary on the history and survival of studio Digital Extremes and the creation of the sci-fi phenomenon that nobody wanted.
    "The first Larian team was built in '97 in a small electronics shop which had no windows but one, the entrance window, I wouldn't want to go back there. And our furniture was made of Coca-Cola boxes with the wooden planks on top of it. That was the benches, and we always joked that that was our reserve cash, because you could take the bottles and bring them to the supermarket and they would give you some money for it, and we actually had to use it once."
    Divinity: Original Sin Documentary | Gameumentary (By Gameumentary)
    Gameumentary's documentary focuses on the struggles faced by Larian Studios and their work on the Divinity series over the years before moving onto detailing the creation of Original Sin 2.
    "Behind closed doors, Nintendo knew the end would be near for the 8-bit Family Computer and NES, but that the 16-bit machine was not yet ready. So Nintendo of America, with a completed game in hand, spent 1989 rolling out a plan to promote Super Mario Bros 3, in sever stages, for an entire year and release the game in 1990, by which time awareness of the game would be very high and demand for a video game, would be the highest ever."
    The Story Of Super Mario Bros. 3: 30th Anniversary Retrospective - Gaijillionaire’s Club - GTV (By Gaijillionaire)
    Gaijillionaire researches the history and stories surrounding a variety of games, consoles, and other forms of entertainment. For the 30th Anniversary of Super Mario Bros 3 he talks about the game's development, Nintendo's brief switch to disks instead of cartridges in the mid 80s, how it was marketed in Japan and in the US, its original US appearance on the PlayChoice-10 arcade system, Japanese myths that influenced parts of the game, and the game's legacy over the past 30 years.
    "I reach out to Valve a few times but never heard back. Nobody responded, but I got the message. Half-Life is a difficult topic for them, unfinished business, a story left untold, and asterisks that qualifies everything the company has achieved since. It sort of hangs over their legacy like a rotten smell that just won't go away but the influence of this series won't go away either. It radiates outwards from the blast 20 years ago and its effects can still be felt today in the design of countless games, the work of modders, the legacy of eSports, and the passions of a fandom that still persists today, in spite of the deafening radio silence from its creators. So then i thought, "To hell with it," let's just do the documentary anyway. If we can't talk to Valve then let's talk to all of those people whose lives were changed by Half-Life, the contemporary developers whose work was inspired by Half-Life, and the crazy ones who are attempting to finish the story themselves."
    Unforeseen Consequences: A Half-Life Documentary (By Noclip)
    For the game's 20th anniversary Noclip dives into the legacy of Half Life and the community it created that was inspired by it and that keeps it alive.
    Systems, Level, and World Design
    Videos focused on the design, mechanics, and worlds of games and how they get the player to interact with them
    "Not only do I think title is a reflection on a grief told through the story of a world you failed to save, but it also presents an optimistic vision of a post-post apocalyptic world you could choose to build - in one of the games finest side quests From the Ground Up. Of all opportunities in the game this is one that guarantees that, even once you're gone, there is a piece of you in Hyrule left behind."
    A Tale of Tarrey Town (How Breath of the Wild Builds a Better Future) (By GAMESD)
    GAMESD looks at how Breath of the Wild bucks the trend of post-apocalyptic fiction with its most thoughtful side-quest.
    "And this is where I hope the epiphany occurs, in Getting Over It with Bennett Foddy frustration is the intended aesthetic goal. You play Getting over It to experience frustration in the same way you read a tragic novel to experience sadness or watch a scary movie to experience fear. Negative emotions are a integral part of artistic experiences, so why can't frustration be as well?"
    Getting Over It | An Exercise in Compassion (By Patricia Taxxon)
    Patricia Taxxon on the games Getting Over It with Bennett Foddy and Celeste, player experienced frustration being a part of the artistic experience, and the message of Getting Over It and how it motivated and inspired them.
    "The remake changes the tone, both in the sense of changing the quality of the colors in hue and shade and in terms of the more evasive mood in melancholy. The remake is warmer, more inviting, it asks you to be in awe of it, to photograph it and to share it. To be a tourist in The Forbidden Land."
    What the Shadow of the Colossus Remake Doesn't Understand About Art [siegarettes] (By siegarettes)
    Amr Al-Aaser on how the changes to mechanics, collectibles, controls, and art style frame the world and characters of Shadow of the Colossuss (2018) in a different way than the original game, how it causes you to experience the game with a different mindset, and what obsession with new tech and remakes can mean for art history.
    "And it feels so hollow. And the game does all this to be honest with you, and to show you just how fragile you are. What these fantasies are built on is so simple, so easy to exploit. So if everything about the player stays the game but the game just doesn't pat you on the head, what does that effect, what changes? Well, pretty much everything, it would seem. What reward can you give yourself? Can you provide your own reinforcement if one of the of this scale just stops pretending? Can you do this on your own? To say that this gets to me is an understatement; this game scares me. While barely ever breaking the fourth wall, it aims right at me. It feels so intimate, so personal. It understand me and how precious I am with this medium. It feels like it looks me dead in the eye while it covers us both in gasoline, lights a match and says it won't flinch if I don't. And, my God, I think I'm a coward."
    Ico and Mechanical Connection, Colossus and Narrative Construction, and What Walt Williams Taught Me (By Micah Edmonds)
    Micah Edmonds' series of videos on the connections games make with the player, both through mechanics and control and through narrative. He covers the mechanical connection the player has to the characters of Ico and the narrative construction for games and the premise and approach Shadow of the Colossus takes to connect the player to the game's world and its character. Micah also talks about game writer (Spec Ops The Line) and author (Significant Zero) Walt William and what he learned about game creation, player fantasy, and the relationship between player and designer from his work and book.
    "It's at this moment you realize that the world of Dark Souls is very different to most other games. It's not a linear series of zones - but a complex, maze-like world that branches off into different areas, than loops back around on itself through shortcuts and elevators. It seems to snap together like a fancy 3D jigsaw puzzle, and exploring this world feels like navigating a Metroid map, or a Zelda dungeon."
    The World Design of Dark Souls | Boss Keys (By Mark Brown)
    Mark Brown talks about the world design of the first Dark Souls and how it causes the player to explore and get to know the world that they inhabit and the advantages and disadvantages of this kind of world design.
    "In each situation, you're presented with an inherently comedic contradiction, meaning that the game's sense of humour isn't purely a product of Peter's charming witticisms-it's in your actions as well, how you physically navigate Spidey through these moments, serving as a reminder that writing in games goes beyond the text on a screen; it's in how everything surrounding those words is contextualized."
    Spider-Man: Bringing Joy Back to Games (By Writing on Games)
    Writing on Games discusses how Marvel's Spider-Man and the way that you traverse its world helped rekindle his love for a medium that he had been growing tired of.
    "For many people, videos games are one of, if not the, primary source of their media consumption and in-turn is a critical pillar of their cultural awareness. When we consider that games could be the first medium through which younger generations are informed about the events that transpired in the great wars - plus the likes of Vietnam or even the Gulf conflicts - there is a responsibility to acknowledge the very politics of those events and make an assertion as to the ethical and moral issues throughout. This industry's adoration of violence can be problematic, but if it is framed to better inform us of the consequences of such action that can be progressive and in-time a positive for our cultural understanding. While I was rather surprised by how well some of these games managed to address this, I fear it's something that will only get worse over time."
    Disposable Heroes: Designing AI Characters for War Games | Design Dive (By AI and Games)
    With the arrival of the 100th armistice day, AI and Games looked at the depiction of AI controlled characters in games based off of real world military conflicts and discusses how these kind of depictions can be framed in a way that can enrich cultural understanding. 
    "Places carry the weight of their past in their architecture and, somehow, Ueda has imbued a wordless history within his own surreal and inhospitable worlds."
    The Architecture of Fumito Ueda (By Jacob Geller)
    Jacob Geller heartfelt video on the architecture of the games of Fumito Ueda. Feelings evoked by the games, what they might say about the world, the longing for places that never existed, and why everything crumbles into the sea.
    Music and Sound Design
    "You experience Madeline's struggle in climbing the mountain through the challenging platforming, but the theme of anxiety is also explored in perhaps a less obvious way: the music. Composer Lena Raine has put so much of herself and her own personal struggle with anxiety into the soundtrack in order to tell Celeste's story through its music."
    The Anxiety of Celeste and its Music | Game Score Fanfare (By Game Score Fanfare)
    Game Score Fanfare on the music of Celeste and how it is used to enhance the themes of the game, the physiological effects of music and how Celeste creates a balance between being stressful and peaceful, and how the game's composer relates to the game's main character.
    "In a game, if we want to have the player thin more abstractly, a low frequency is going to be best. Hyper Light Drifter's soundtrack is electric and bassy, the low pitches invite you to reflect on what the wordless story is all about. Is it a statement on society, on the human condition, or simply a sad tale. It's up to you to decide, but the soundtrack will only encourage you to think abstractly about it. On the other hand, Braid's higher pitched violin might simply prime you to think concretely about its mechanics and focus solely on their utility."
    Why Frequency is the Secret of Adaptive Music | Psych of Play (By Daryl Talks Games)
    Daryl Talks Games channel focuses on the interaction between psychology and video game design. Here he covers the effect that adaptive music and frequency can have on how you play a game and what your focus is on while playing.
    "Known for scoring every Final Fantasy game up until 11, I would consider Uematsu to be right up there with Koji Kondo as the two pillars on which the entire culture of video game music rests. Basically, if Koji Kondo is video game Mozart, Nobuo Uematsu would be video game Beethoven. And like Beethoven, Uematsu music feels meticulously crafted to the point where every note feels like it's been placed exactly where it's supposed to be."
    Final Fantasy VI Analysis Series PART 1: Development of Melodic Ideas (By 8-bit Music Theory)
    8-bit Music Theory's covers the work of self taught composer Nobuo Uematsu (Final Fantasy, Chrono Trigger, Smash Bros Brawl, Blue Dragon, Lost Odyssey) in this three part series. Earlier this year, Uematsu stepped away from work to deal with an illness he has been suffering from.
    Designing Games
    Videos discussing the processes and theories behind game design
    "Miyamoto was one of the first great game designers to see Nishikado's breakthrough for what it was. In an interview with Time magazine, Miyamoto was asked which one game revolutionized the video game industry. His response was: "Space Invaders. Before I saw it I was never particularly interested in video games, and certainly never thought I would make video games." In his first game, Donkey Kong, Miyamoto put Nishikado's design structure to work, but he also made his own important discovery."
    The History and Evolution of Videogame Design - The Game Design Extracts (By Patrick Holleman)
    Cadences: Finding the Voice of Any Level's Design - The Game Design Extracts Episode 2
    Patrick Holleman spent seven years researching and writing six books on game design, this series looks to put the ideas that he discussed in those books into more easily accessible videos.
    "But your strongest frames are always the key frames, which act as the foundation for the structure of your animations."
    The Importance of Key Frames // 3-Frame Run Cycles (By Dan Root)
    Dan Root's channel focuses on discussing game animation, the above video focuses on the importance of key frames and how they can relay a feeling of energy and excitement that can be lost with more detailed animation.
    "Because when developers offer certain options or make certain design choices, disabled people can suddenly find themselves able to enjoy a game that would be otherwise impossible to play. Which means these often cheap and simple choice can open a game up to an entirely new audience of players."
    Designing for Disability (By Mark Brown)
    Mark Brown's Designing for Disability series focuses around ways to develop games that will make them more inclusive to people with disabilities. 
    Long Form Analysis
    Videos covering multiple facets of a game from its design, ideas behind and history of their creation, legacy, themes, narrative, and mechanics
    "Far cry 2 is not a game about Africa, so much as the amorphous Western idea of a mono Africa. Hazy and anxious and soaked to the bone in blood and sunlight. Not naming the country helps to solidify that dreams-cape sense of where you are, not a real place, but an artificial concept of a place. In this frame, the chaos of combat systems make perfect sense. Of course there are no civilians. Of course every car you encounter on the road pulls a screeching 180 to chase you down until you're dead or they are. Of course nothing you do makes a positive impact on the war if any impact is made at all. Of course your character choice doesn't matter, it could be anybody, it will always be somebody. We see Africa on the news, and it's always on fire, here in the digital dream world of Far Cry 2 we sit among the flames and burn with it."
    A Thorough Look At Far Cry (By Noah Caldwell-Gervais)
    Noah Caldwell-Gervais looks at the entire Far Cry series, covering Far Cry 1-5 and the spin offs Blood Dragon and Primal. He cover the ideas the games explore with their mechanics, design focuses, stories, antagonists, and by their stated authorial intent. How Far Cry and its Xbox port served as the foundation for Crysis and elements of it being a product of its time. The uniqueness and attention to environment detail in the programming of Far Cry 2, its subversive design, and why it ends up being the subject of academic papers and developer presentations. What happens when you blend the serious and subversive FC 2 with the fun focus of FC 1 to get a more easily marketable title with Far Cry 3, one where the developers now want to use the fun as the uncomfortable and subversive element rather than the mechanics. What the game says about masculinity, what it uses the game of Poker to say about its characters, and how it is remembered vs how the developers wanted it to be remembered. Blood Dragon's shift to a sincere 80's action nostalgia that allows you to have fun while maintaining a harmony of tone and action. How Far Cry 4 is the least ambitious but the most thematically consistent. The pulp horror of the Valley of the Yetis DLC. Why Primal is his favorite of the series, how it makes a graceful transition mechanically to its setting, the enthusiasm behind the game, and what you can do with the limitations of the medium. How Far Cry 5 attempts to bring together all elements of the past games which leads to a disjointed game that fixates on a broken America while refusing to name its subject.
    "Games with stories to tell - and I suppose it is a change of pace. No substitute for action, but there's no harm in an alternative. After all, the original Monkey Island came out at a time where most preferred the instant gratification of arcade-style games. The very idea of going for 10 minutes without shooting something was alien - until the precipitation of a new acceptance of adventure games. Ultimately, it's all thanks to Monkey Island, SCUMM, Maniac Mansion - and their creator."
    RetroAhoy: The Secret of Monkey Island (By Ahoy)
    Ahoy covers the adventure game genre, with a large focus on The Secret of Monkey Island and LucasArts, but also covering game development, sales and markets, developers, engines, companies starting to borrow from LucasArts' influences rather than Sierra's in their own adventure games and even in other genres, and gives some history on the rise and fall of genre and technological advancements.
    The Game Industry, Connected Industries, and Culture
    Videos looking into different aspects of the game industry, companies associated with it, discourse, Youtube, funding, hiring practices, etc
    "We keep hearing stories like this over and over again."
    Getting into the games industry (By Chris Bratt)
    People Make Games tells the story of one man's difficult journey into the games industry and where he ended up.
    "Gaming culture is largely unable to conceive of this level of socio-economic criticism, of analysis of systemic problems and wider issues with society beyond one person's individual failings, and therefore cannot accurately fathom exactly what is damaging the things they love. Instead, they have to fantasize about their very own Lisa hiding somewhere in EA, trying to kill art like some kind of fucking Disney villain. This is why people hate CAD so much. Not because it's bad, no, bad things come and go all day every day. CAD is such a focus and aggression with millions and millions of words written about how awful it and its creator is because it's an embarrassment, it makes everyone else near it look bad, because as bad as it is, it managed to be honest."
    CTRL+ALT+DEL | SLA:3 (By hbomberguy)
    While being hunted by an axe wielding creature, hbomberguy reflects on what art says to and about the people that consume it and the need for self criticism to be a part of media critique. He talks about gaming webcomics, how they can be written and consumed while often holding similar attitudes found in films like The Room, EA's business model, and the unreflective nature of gaming culture and what can be learned from it.
    "So, establishing the character isn't the same this as establishing a theme and, similarly, communicating the event of the story isn't the same thing as communicating a theme. Again, themes are the main ideas that text is trying to communicate, to use these terms interchangeably is simply bad practice and it predictably leads to this kind of confusion."
    The Most Abused Term in Videogame Criticism (By SolePorpoise)
    SolePorpoise discusses the original article that lead to the popularity of the term ludonarrative dissonance, what it meant in its original context, how it was frequently misused afterwards, how it contrasts with ludonarrative harmony, and asks if the term is now beyond redemption.
    "The true strength of Pathologic's nonlinear storytelling is how it manages to render "The Plague" itself, this ungraspable catastrophe of seminal proportions; a villain that utters no word and can never be confronted in a conversation or a confrontation. Pathologic makes this the actual central figure, the true protagonist and antagonist of the story."
    The Plague (and how it Scarred our Myths and Culture) ✯ Monsters of the Week (By RagnarRox)
    RagnarRox covers the history and effects of plagues and how they have influences our myths, cultures, games, and movies.
    "They've all made the same fuckin video. There were more Youtube videos made about these tweets than there were tweets. This outrage isn't real, it was constructed to get clicks using the oldest advertising trick in the book, 'Do what I say because someone you don't like doesn't want you to do it.' The psychology behind this meta outrage industry is pretty sad really."
    DOOM: The Fake Outrage (By Shaun)
    Shaun covers a topic similar to his Cuphead video that was included in last year's best of list. The industry of Youtubers and tabloid sites attempting to create fake outrage narratives surrounding gaming products, how they all copy each other, why they do it, what it leads to, and how games are marketed. Always a useful thing to be able to spot with Youtube's terrible search and recommendation algorithms. Those kind of videos best summed up by Venture Beat's Jeffrey Grubb, "This has led to a large group of creators on YouTube jumping from one controversy to the next. If they find a topic that reliably gets views, they stick with it until their audience grows old. Then they move on to the next one. If the next controversy doesn’t exist, YouTube creators manufacture one."
    "What is this "Great Assumption" I keep antagonizing you with? I hope it's obvious now that it's the paradigm of received knowledge which states that video games are first and foremost supposed to be ludologically gratifying and that a failure to uphold that promise is invalidating. But the more important thing, its consequence, is the inability to deal with the growing number of deviations video games are displaying which the universally accepted paradigm can't explain."
    Critical Values: In Defense of Prey and Those Who Made It | REVIEW/CRITIQUE (By Ludocriticism)
    Ludocriticism's critique and defense of Prey (2017) and how it manages to weave together the ludonarrative in a way that hasn't been done in the genre before and the culture of criticism that ends up hurting the ability of critics, players, and developers to critique, engage with, and create games.
    "One important thing to remember about art, in my opinion, is that it is not a passive reflection or document of history, but it is rather an agent of history, and the connection between the Hudson River School and Manifest Destiny is a prime example of that."
    How Red Dead Redemption 2's landscapes are connected to 19th century art (By Clayton Ashley)
    Polygon looks at the way art has influenced the romanticized image of the American West and how that influences games like Red Dead Redemption 2 by discussing The Hudson River School of Art, Luminism, and philosophy of the sublime with the associate curator of American Art at the New York Historical Society. This was done in the above video by Clayton Ashley as well as in an article by Arthur Gies.
  9. DoctorEvil liked a article by Legolas_Katarn, Best Games Writing of 2018   
    2018 is coming to a close and I've put together a list of some of the best writing I saw throughout the year. Created with the goal of highlighting the work of some of the best writers and journalists in the industry and to share topics that can enhance understanding of the game industry, events of the previous year, and of the games themselves.

    These articles might focus on developer and game history, what working in the industry is like, what games make us think and feel, things that have effected the industry this year, the effects of games on people and culture, entertaining stories, and the lessons learned and connections that can be established through games. Links are included to author's social media accounts and it is worth following them and their work if you are interested in games and the industry. Many of these have been shared in my weekly This Week In Gaming articles throughout the year.
    The Best Videos of 2018 can be found here.
    Previous Best Games Writing Articles
    History of the Industry, Developers, and Games
    Research and interviews examining the life and work of developers and studios and the games and franchises they created
    "From the Sword Coast to the Deadfire archipelago, Beneath a Starless Sky explores the making of the Infinity Engine RPGs, the history of Black Isle Studios, and the development of Obsidian Entertainment's Pillars of Eternity franchise."
    Beneath a Starless Sky: Pillars of Eternity and the Infinity Engine Era of RPGs (By David L Craddock)
    David L Craddock's 200,000 word feature chronicles the history of Black Isle Studios, the making of the Infinity Engine, and the games that they lead to and inspired. Book length and splint between 28 chapters, just some of what it covers includes engine design, studio culture, multiple classic games and their legacies, music, writing for the D&D settings, and multiple interviews with the lead designers and studio heads.
    “I remember sitting there with about 10 people watching Sony’s press conference and the $599 and laughing. Then the motion control thing. We were laughing about it at first and then it dawned on us, ‘Shit, [Sony is] going to make us use this,’” says designer Dubrofsky."
    Lair: What went wrong (By Matt Paprocki)
    Matt Paprocki covers the events that lead Factor 5 to working with Sony after their deals with Lucasarts and Microsoft fell through, the games that were shelved, the original pitch and ideas behind Lair as an anti-war game, the mistake of rewriting their old tools for the new console generation, trying to make use of motion controls, and the culture of the studio. Matt also talked a bit about the difficulty of writing pieces like this, finding places that will feature them, and the need for people to share and support quality content.
    "When Ken Williams, the chief executive of Sierra On-Line, brought the company's newest game designer to the office, some staff stayed home. Better to get in trouble with management than meet the man accused of fostering a culture of police brutality on a city-wide scale."
    How Sierra and a Disgraced Cop Made the Most Reactionary Game of the 90s (By Duncan Fyfe)
    Duncan Fyfe on the backstory of Police Quest: Open Season, how and why the studio head chose to work with a disgraced former police chief while ignoring the protests of his staff, and the final product being a piece of wish fulfillment from a man in disgrace.
    "‘Panzer Dragoon Saga’ remains one of the greatest video games of all time. Twenty years after its creation, it also remains nearly impossible to play, a cult classic whose elusiveness mirrors the misery that suffused its development, setting, and story."
    The Ruinous Road of Gaming’s Missing Masterpiece and Panzer Dragoon Saga: An oral history (By Ben Lindbergh and James Mielke)
    Ben Lindbergh talks to some of the people behind the development of Panzer Dragoon Saga and talks about his experience playing it for the first time 20 years after its release. James Mielke covers the oral history of Panzer Dragoon Saga and the studio behind it as told by 13 of the people that worked on it.
    "If it isn’t the women of Atari who paint a bad picture of Nolan Bushnell, it’s the culture he created there that, decades later, has mushroomed into something else. It’s a culture where bragging about “stacked” secretaries as late as 2012 garnishes Atari’s mythos instead of muddying it. It’s a culture where Carol Kantor’s groundbreaking research isn’t evoked as often as a hot tub purchased to lure in new talent. It’s a culture that, today, celebrates the sexiness of Atari’s early women employees more loudly than their contributions. If it isn’t the women of Atari who paint a bad picture of Nolan Bushnell, it is his braggadocio attitude, his carnival-barker hype with a chauvinist tinge, that does."
    Sex, Pong, And Pioneers: What Atari Was Really Like, According To Women Who Were There (By Cecilia D'Anastasio)
    Cecilia D'Anastasio discusses and interviews former employees about the culture of Atari in the 70s.
    "We don’t think of popular video games—the kinds that sell millions of copies—as peaceful or intimate. But with the beloved Stardew Valley, Eric Barone discovered the alchemy of quiet gamemaking. All it took was nearly life-ruining levels of obsessiveness."
    Valley Forged: How One Man Made the Indie Video Game Sensation Stardew Valley (By Sam White)
    Sam White profiles the developer of Stardew Valley, Eric Barone, and learns what it was like for him to develop Stardew Valley as a one person team.
    "It wasn't until her conversations with Xbox architect Seamus Blackley, J Allard (the "father" of the console's follow-up, the Xbox 360) and her now ex-husband Rob Wyatt that Chaudhari realized the hand she'd been dealt: The circuit boards, already manufactured and ready to go, were comically oversized."
    The story of the Duke, the Xbox pad that existed because it had to (By Timothy J. Seppala)
    Timothy J. Seppala on the origins of the original Xbox controller, the people that worked on it, designing it for comfort even with forced technical constraints, and Japanese companies and a Japanese translator's refusal to work with them.
    "On one bleary day among many during the development of StarCraft, Blizzard VP of research and development Patrick Wyatt, who ranked third in the company’s hierarchy, walked into the office of StarCraft lead designer James Phinney. “I came to ask him for some design clarification on something, and he’s like, ‘Hang on a second,’” Wyatt says. “He leans over, and he vomits in a trash can because he’s been working so hard. And then he’s like, ‘OK, what was your question?’ So yeah, it was pretty physically taxing.”
    Good Game Well Played: The Story of the Staying Power of ‘StarCraft’ (By Ben Lindbergh)
    Ben Lindbergh writes about the creation and staying power of StarCraft to celebrate its 20th anniversary. What got the team started on the game, the E3 presentations that made them redesign everything, the long hours and delays during production, and finding success in Korea and with esports.
    "What happened? How did such a promising studio hit so many roadblocks? Since February, I’ve interviewed a dozen people familiar with goings-on at Hangar 13, all of whom spoke under condition of anonymity in order to protect their careers. They’ve told stories of Mafia III’s rocky development, of the studio’s troubled 2017, and of visions of a canceled Berlin spy game that might have made for a fascinating successor to Mafia III, if it weren’t reworked into something else entirely."
    How The Makers Of Mafia III Lost Their Way (By Jason Schreier)
    After developing a game that pushed the boundaries of game storytelling and acting with Mafia 3, Hanger 13 has lost much of their team and scraped ideas for future projects. Jason Schreier talks to Hangar 13 employees to learn about what has happened to the company in the last two years, as well as covering the creation of the company and their time and issues with developing Mafia 3.
    "Former BottleRocket associate producer Dan Tovar, who had been with the project from its earliest point, recalls that day: “What followed was one of the most unpleasant experiences I have had to date in my professional career.” Tovar continues, “There were grown men crying. [...] ‘Hellish’ doesn’t quite summarize it.”
    Splatterhouse 2010: What went wrong (By Matt Paprocki)
    Matt Paprocki learns about the origins and troubled development of 2010's Splatterhouse game.
    "When Laidlaw first joined Bell's call centre, he worked the phones. Later, he got promoted to lead a team on the phones, "which was somehow way worse than being on the phones," Laidlaw told me last March, the day after his star turn at the Game Developers Conference in San Francisco. "I went in and said, I'm sorry, I'm quitting. I'm not coming in tomorrow. They said, 'you can't quit two days before Christmas! If you quit you'll never work here again!' I said, 'that is pretty much the plan, yes.' So I walked out, and a bunch of people high-fived me because - yay! - I got out."
    Being the boss of Dragon Age (By Wesley Yin-Poole)
    Wesley Yin-Poole profiles former Bioware employee and Dragon Age lead Mike Laidlaw.
    "It’s 2000. A shiny new Ferrari pulls into the parking lot of Retro Studios’ enormous Austin, Texas headquarters. Founder Jeff Spangenberg steps out of the car. It’s the first time he’s been to the studio in months. He’s there to lay off people. A lot of people. He’s there to lay off half of the company’s employees. It’s not the only time this will happen."
    The rocky story of Retro Studios before Metroid Prime (By Blake Hester)
    Blake Hester tells the story of Retro Studios' early days.
    "The first time that Cyberdreams producer David Mullich showed author Harlan Ellison a page of the dialogue he’d written for the 1995 game based on his short story “I Have No Mouth, And I Must Scream,” Ellison asked, “Who wrote this shit?” When Mullich replied that he had, Ellison got visibly embarrassed and apologized. “No, that’s all right,” Mullich replied. “It is shit compared to your writing. So, take it and make it better.”
    How Harlan Ellison’s Most Famous Short Story Became An Amazing Video Game (By Peter Tieryas)
    Peter Tieryas tells the story of the work done by David Mullich and Harlan Ellison to make a game based on I Have No Mouth, And I Must Scream that would honor Ellison's original short story.
    "Myst really was outselling Quake; and the industry’s fear of the reality that this truth represented grew by the day. To many insiders, this was the reality of non-gamers, outsiders, people who didn’t understand quality, idiots, the unwashed masses banging on the hallowed gates. Reflecting on the 1997 performance of Myst and its sequel, a nameless staff writer for PC Gamer commented that “the hard-core gamers here at PC Gamer are still trying to figure out how the gruesome twosome of Riven and Myst continue to sell in phenomenal amounts.”
    Two histories of Myst (By John Gabriel Adkins)
    John Gabriel Adkins on the importance of Myst and the dueling narratives that arose in an attempt to explain the game's success.
    "The community view was, 'What the fuck is some American guy doing coming in and destroying our game?' I was even getting death threats on a daily basis from the community," Sharpe says. "We had one THQ actually turned over to the authorities because it was pretty violent what it said was going to be done to me." For a long time there was caricature of him going around the internet with the slogan "The Castration of Stalker". I see why Sharpe prefers life off the radar."
    The Californian sent to save Stalker: Shadow of Chernobyl from development hell (By Robert Purchese)
    Robert Purchese tells how Californian, Dean Sharpe, was sent to save development of Stalker: Shadow of Chernobyl.
    "Fans were happy, reviews were great, awards were given, and sales were strong. Obviously the team behind the game were elated, right? Well, not really. See, Blizzard Entertainment has shipped games before, like Warcraft 3, Starcraft, and Diablo. The difference between those game and World of Warcraft is they were done once shipped. Sure, Blizzard would offer patches and the occasional expansion, but the team had the ability to take a breather. All the WoW team had was panic."
    How World of Warcraft Was Made: The Definitive Inside Story of Nearly 20 Years of Development (By Mike Williams)
    Mike Williams speaks with the developers of World of Warcraft to tell the story of the game's development from beta to the modern day.
    "Sure, it made a lot of money. But it also rewrote the rules for what a superhero game could be. Here’s the story behind Treyarch's 2004 masterpiece."
    The Oral History of Treyarch's Spider-Man 2: One of the Best Superhero Games Ever (By Alex Kane)
    Alex Kane speaks with some of the developers of what is often the most fondly remembered and influential of the Spider-Man games.
    "It’s perhaps fitting that a game with the tagline “nothing is true; everything is permitted” emerged from creative director Patrice Désilets bending the rules. Assassin’s Creed began life as a Prince of Persia game, expanded and reimagined for a new generation of consoles. You might say it even ended up feeling like one, though Désilets’ creative interpretation of Ubisoft’s mandate layered on many additional challenges for the team at Ubisoft Montreal."
    Assassin’s Creed: An oral history (By Richard Moss)
    Richard Moss learns the history of the original Assassin's Creed from the team that created it.
    "Over the coming months, this series will explore the history and evolution of computer and console RPGs by documenting the milestones of the genre. The goal: To understand what it means to be an “RPG,” precisely, and how different designers have reinterpreted the concepts that D&D laid down. When possible, we’ve spoken to the people behind these landmark games to better appreciate the reasons they made the choices they did, and to better understand their relationship with the genre."
    History Of Rpgs (By Jeremy Parish)
    A monthly series of articles by Retronauts co-host Jeremy Parish that seeks to explore the evolution of the RPG genre and the effects they have had on the wider industry. So far he has taken a look at Ultima, Wizardry, The Bard's Tale, Dragon Quest, and Wasteland.
    Writing On Games
    Articles on the games themselves, effects they had on the industry, the stories they tell, how gameplay is used, deeper meanings of titles, etc.
    "To defend himself from Ruvik, he made an unacknowledged alliance with another presence in STEM: the player. Sebastian and the player met through a virtual environment. To him, it was STEM. To the player, it was the game The Evil Within. Sebastian shared his mind and behavior with the player in every way that he rejected Ruvik's influence."
    A Memory of Fire (By James Howell)
    This long-form essay by James Howell discusses the meta-narrative of The Evil Within 2 and healing through reenactment.
    "There is a deep tragedy at the heart of the story of video games, an attempt at transcendence born from a tacky, clunky, consumer-based digital frame. We may have armies of employee footsoldiers working long hours to build robust digital infrastructures and simulated worlds in extreme detail. We might have incredibly smooth framerates and 4K definition. But there is no game maker who doesn't still struggle with how to make their game mean something."
    The Doom Mod That Best Describes Our Uncanny Reality (By Liz Ryerson)
    Liz Ryerson uses Doom and obscure mods as a starting point to discuss the medium and art subcultures.
    "When John Carmack coined the phrase “game engine” to describe the original DOOM‘s programming code, he meant it to evoke a car: a manufactured thing, assembled in sequence by multiple hands. Much like the rest of Carmack’s career, it was a deliberate attempt at image and tone control, as much a piece of social engineering as the game was computer engineering. It reflected his endless pursuit of building impressive hardware architecture to create super-efficient ways of thinking about very old representational problems and presenting them as innovative solutions. The small size of id Software’s team during DOOM‘s development means his ideas about engineering linger vividly in the game’s architecture to this day."
    “All Their Engines,” by Tara Hillegeist (By Tara Hillegeist)
    Tara Hillegeist writes about corporate branding and the use of the term engine as it relates to the Doom series.
    "These are important things to note and critique, but there is an additional element many players forget. While its basic themes are universal in nature, the presentation and dialogue of the characters in Catherine (as well as other titles headed by director Katsura Hashino, who’s become quite infamous among fans for his distasteful portrayals of minorities) is deeply Japanese. Despite the Western “flavor” of the almost six-year-old puzzler, the themes of these games are intrinsically Japanese and the reflection of Japanese ideologies are deeply written into the narrative."
    [Discourse] Catherine, Trans Identities, and Representation in Japan and Looking back at Yakuza 3 and its rare portrayal of orphans in Japan (By Kazuma Hashimoto)
    Kazuma Hashimoto looks at media through the lens of the culture that created it by talking about how Japanese society and cultural norms are reflected by the narrative of Catherine when it comes to transgender rights and the Yakuza series when it comes to orphans and what those series do with these topics. The website hosting the second article has gone down so it is represented by a screenshot I took before removal.
    "Imagine yourself in the shoes of a designer who’s just decided to make a game about everything. How do you even begin? What rules, what mechanics, what interface can you possibly employ? It is, needless to say, a daunting prospect. Game design being an art of the possible, you inevitably begin to pare away at your grand vision, trying to arrive at some core which you can actually hope to implement. In the process, though, you also begin cutting into the soul of the idea, until you arrive at a dispiriting shadow of it like Global Conquest or The Global Dilemma. Sid Meier, by contrast, never really decided to make a game about everything at all; his design just kind of went there on its own. Thus while Bunten and Crawford were cutting back on their ambitions, Meier was expanding on his."
    The Game of Everything, Part 1: Making Civilization (By Jimmy Maher)
    Jimmy Maher covers a variety of games, developers, and companies on his blog The Digital Antiquarian and it is well worth a look if you want to read more articles like this. In this series of ten articles, he talks about the creation and people behind the development of Civilization and how the games deal with the concept of progress, politics, geography, gameplay, religion, government, etc.
    "Eat Create Sleep aims to ‘ask tough questions with their games’; in this piece, then, I will turn the tables and ask tough questions of the developer, but also of myself, and my role as a critic in the West."
    On the Afrofuturism, Representation and Intent of Crest (By Seva Kritskiy)
    Seva Kritskiy on the problems with Crest claim to having an Afrofuturist aesthetic.
    "It’s alluring to escape into that world. To be transported to a place where you can completely invest yourself but still be safe, where there aren’t really consequences outside of a passing feeling of triumph or the bittersweet feeling of loss. The Show games let us do that better than just about any other sports game I’ve ever played, perhaps because the simplicity of baseball lends itself to convincing simulation in a way that football or soccer do not."
    'MLB The Show 18' Dreams of Escape from Politics, And Damn, It's Tempting (By Rob Zacny)
    Rob Zacny writes about the allure of escaping from the world and the portrayal and action of baseball that gives it the feel of a save haven.
    "Where Joseph Seed reacts to the futility of Far Cry's on-going war with righteous sorrow, the Jackal with grim horror and Vaas with a train of expletives, Far Cry 4's dapper tyrant Pagan Min is alone in seeing the funny side."
    Far Cry's villains are sick of Far Cry (By Edwin Evans-Thirlwell)
    Edwin Evans-Thirlwell on the villains of the Far Cry series representing the definition of insanity and your and the Jackal's failure in Far Cry 2.
    "Everyone, from the patriots of the US Army to the patriots of the militias to the patriot that is the cult-killing, order-restoring Deputy, has blended into a single, malevolent sickness that the game makes clear is distinctly American in character."
    “Far Cry 5 Militarizes Faith in America,” by Reid McCarter (Reid McCarter)
    Reid McCarter covers the only fully formed and compelling argument that Far Cry 5 makes by looking at the origins of the ideology of both the game's cult and the militia fighting them.
    "God of War begins with a handprint. A testament to where a woman—a mother—once stood and thought about her child. It’s a marker, we learn, that says “I was here to keep you safe,” as much as it hides “I was here to restrict you.” It’s our first taste of how, in God of War, mothers are interchangeably flat, and come in two varieties: dead or alive. But one thing remains constant—mothers keep secrets. In fairness, everyone in God of War is keeping some kind of secret. The narrative overemphasizes Kratos’ secret, but it is the secrets mothers keep that form its core."
    In 'God of War,' Moms Come Last (By Dia Lacina)
    Dia Lacina on the portrayals of motherhood found in God of War and her experiences with her own mother.
    "There are so many example of creators tackling new and challenging aspects of what robots and artificial intelligence mean for humanity, so many marginal and unheard voices struggling to carve a space out of a market crowded with stale ones, that all of the extra attached pain and humiliation that fueled the creation of Detroit feels that much more needless, and so that much more cruel."
    'Detroit' Siphons and Squanders a History of Marginalized Struggle (By Yussef Cole)
    Yussef Cole writes about Detroit's subject matter in relation to real world movements as well as the culture of the studio that created the game and the poor understanding and use of civil rights movements, stereotypical characters, and pop-culture caricatures of historic figures that Detroit takes from in order to tell its story.
    "The franchise was quite rare in that while it seemed like just more male gaze centered media that objectified women, it celebrated women’s sexuality in a way that hasn’t been replicated much. In a world that crucifies women for having lots of consensual sex while men who commit sexual assault get forgiven for it in less time than sending an email? Seeing a game that let a woman character off scot-free for casual sex was refreshing, and even the briefest of lovers were still treated like human beings."
    The Surprising Feminist Overtures of a Leisure Suit Larry Retrospective (By Rachel Presser)
    Rachel Presser finds more positive messages about the agency of female characters, consent, and the way sex in games is portrayed in a series usually looked back at more negatively.
    "Long before I sat down to play Shadow of the Tomb Raider, I was skeptical. But when I found out Jill Murray was tapped as Lead Writer, I remembered how impressed I was by Assassin’s Creed: Freedom Cry, which set players as the leader of a slave rebellion in the Caribbean. Hearing that the developers had added “Contact Resistant Peoples” to their vocabulary? That this game would feature an “immersive language” option where Spanish, Quechua, and Yucatec would be spoken by NPCs, and Lara Croft would finally have to wrestle with her actions—it gave me hope. Not much, but a glimmer."
    'Shadow of the Tomb Raider' Tries, but Fails, to Tackle Its Own Colonialism (By Dia Lacina)
    Dia Lacina's review of Shadow of the Tomb Raider covers the way the developers marketed the game and if they were able to tackle Lara's legacy and handling of other cultures better than her previous games.
    "The model of the humanoid used in modeling nonhuman life forms, as is the case with my Mass Effect crushes, strikingly tends to appear like a certain kind of human. A human upright with proper stature, fine and narrow facial features, a slim frame, uses standardized English, overly able. Gendered in a binary, too, and if a woman oversexualized, and if a man hypermasculine. Heterosexual, usually. This is not all humanity, these features of body and anatomy and desire presents no real universal. What, then, does my choice in romancing Tali say about my own desires?"
    All Too Human (By Marcos Gonsalez)
    Marcos Gonsalez thoughts on what compelled him as a gay man to romance Tali, unknown possibilities, and the limits of imagination when human aspirational norm is the model.
    "The denouement, in which the player learns that Henry was wrong (and doesn't even get the consolation prize of winning Delilah, the game's princess stand-in), can feel disappointing. Or, to frame it the way this article will, it feels emasculating within the context of traditional videogame constructions of masculinity. Here we have a hero living a modern version of cowboy life: a rugged loner in the Wyoming woods, an unacknowledged alcoholic trying to escape a tragic past, essentially a videogame John Wayne. But Henry's hypermasculine presentation is continuously undermined by the game's mechanics, story and genre. The character exists in an interesting relationship with his masculinity—he performs the motions but is thwarted by a game that disrupts hypermasculine performance at every turn."
    Walking, Talking and Playing with Masculinities in Firewatch (By Melissa Kagen)
    Melissa Kagen on how Firewatch problematizes toxic hypermasculinity through its use of a hypermasculine protagonist in a walking simulator, how masculinity is typically performed in video games, and how walking simulators in general reject or undermine power fantasies.
    "Life Is Strange effectively operates the same logic. Like this globalised 21st century capitalism, it places us in a world whose systems and rules we don’t fully comprehend. It continuously saddles us with ambiguous dilemmas that may or may not be significant. It claims to give us access to the insight and agency necessary to make wise decisions. It uses the concept of agency and free choice to make us responsible for problematic results. And, underneath it all, it ensures that the decisions which plague our conscience actually rarely matter."
    Choice, Guilt and Life Is Strange (By Jon Bailes)
    Jon Bailes reflects on how the design and choices in Life Is Strange mirror the real world beliefs that we are responsible for things that are out of our control.
    "It is defiantly slow-paced, exuberantly unfun, and wholly unconcerned with catering to the needs or wants of its players. It is also captivating, poignant, and at times shockingly entertaining. It moves with the clumsy heaviness of a 19th century locomotive, but like that locomotive becomes unstoppable once it builds up a head of steam. Whether intentionally or not, its tale of failure and doom reflects the tribulations of its own creation, as a charismatic and self-deluded leader tries ever more desperately to convince his underlings to follow him off a cliff. Paradise awaits, he promises. Just push a little bit further; sacrifice a little bit more; hang in there a little bit longer."
    Red Dead Redemption 2: The Kotaku Review (By Kirk Hamilton)
    Kirk Hamilton's eloquent review of Red Dead Redemption 2 focusing on the themes, gameplay, and feel of the final product and how it can be read as a critique of Rockstar's own culture and the human cost of making games.
    "To be clear, I don’t think that these little mini-quests (the man with the snakebite, the wagon with the broken wheel, the woman whose horse died miles from home) offer any interesting choices. But friction doesn’t need to be about choice, only effect and resistance. And like Kotaku’s Heather Alexandra, I think that, despite all of the marketing pretense about the game being a hyper-detailed wild west simulation, Red Dead Redemption 2 is actually more of a theme park totally all centered on you, the player. Unlike something like Crusader Kings 2, the S.T.A.L.K.E.R. series (especially when modded), or Dwarf Fortress, RDR2’s NPCs aren’t independent agents operating on the same “level” of the game as you are. If the game is a theme park, they’re the ride attendants. The thing is, the rides they operate are all about getting you into trouble, all about causing friction."
    'Red Dead Redemption 2' Is Defined By Its Rough Edges, It's Worth Keeping 'Red Dead Redemption 2' at a Distance, and 'Red Dead Redemption 2' Is a Game of Big Mistakes and Little Victories (By Austin Walker, Patrick Klepek, and Robert Zacny)
    Instead of a more conventional review, the editors of Waypoint (Austin Walker, Patrick Klepek, and Robert Zacny) share their thoughts on Red Dead Redemption 2 through a series of letters to each other. Through their thoughts on the games they each decide on one word to best sum up their experience, those words being friction, distance, and excess.
    "The contradictions of outlaw and institutional American violence are never resolved by the game because, ultimately, it’s honest enough not to offer a pat resolution for the horrors that birthed the United States and characterize the nation to this day. Still, Red Dead 2 is not content simply to wallow in the misery it’s quite right to identify as central to any Western story—or to let its protagonist reach the end of the plot simply as a melancholy sad sack, resigned to despondency because he’s recognized his part in it."
    “A Good Man,” by Reid McCarter (By Reid McCarter)
    Reid McCarter on the characterization of Red Dead Redemption 2's Arthur Morgan as a man wanting to do good in a setting that makes it seem impossible.
    "To make stories out of that type of pain is to accept them as true, and important, because they’re ours. Swery is not an openly queer creator, but through consultation and work with various queer people and a desire to tell a story that accepts people where they are, he and White Owls Inc. have crafted an experience that encapsulates everything I find valuable about depicting queer pain. This is not to praise Swery, exactly, or to elevate his work above the countless queer creators working in the same spaces with powerful intimacy. It’s simply to recognize when a story flirts so close to the mainstream while retaining these transgressive, powerful themes, whether those themes are broached on purpose or not."
    This queer horror game forces you to literally tear yourself apart (By Julie Muncy)
    Julie Muncy on the story and themes of Swery's The Missing: J.J. Macfield and the Island of Memories.
    "One reason I would encourage people to sometimes spill the beans on where their narratives are going is that only stories with plot points we know in advance can speak to the experience of encountering the inevitable in our own lives. The most unavoidable and perhaps most meaningful of these fatalistic events in our lives is death, and a story which lets any character cheat death or which cuts off before we see them have to face down their mortality can never speak to our experiences with the end of life. This is why, to be a game that stares death unflinchingly in the face, What Remains of Edith Finch must let its protagonist, and by extension, us, know that there's only one place they and the other characters can ultimately end up, and its the grave. What Remains is, for a perfectly good reason, a game which spoils itself."
    Epitaph: What Remains of Edith Finch and Death and Bonus Observations on What Remains of Edith Finch (By Gamer_152)
    Giant Bomb moderator, Gamer_152, on how spoilers and death are viewed and how What Remains of Edith Finch talks about death instead of just featuring it.
    "If you’re interested in understanding Valve, and, how, in turn, this led them to make Artifact the way they did, you need to look at the history and, in particular, its knack for finding novel ways to make money. Valve—which is not publicly traded, maintains one of the smallest workforces of any firm of its prestige, and is thought to have the highest profit per employee of any American company—is not like other game companies, and operates according to a different, but specific, set of principles. That fact makes Valve both fascinating and predictable."
    'Artifact' Isn't a Game on Steam, It's Steam in a Game (By Will Partin)
    Will Partin examines Valve's Artifact, not just as a game, but as a service, "a machine for capturing metagames."
    "Despite its superficial antiwar message, the game is obscenely pro-war. Each ‘War Story’ is showcases a highly specific way for a soldier to attain glory, the most important thing to achieve on the battlefield. Auxiliary to this are colonialism in Tirailleur and Nazism in The Last Tiger, mere narrative devices through which more soldiers get to experience the glory of war."
    Battlefield V: A corruption of history (By Ruben Ferdinand)
    Ruben Ferdinand on how we remember war and the way Battlefield 5 presents a war glorifying an apolitical history devoid of meaningful context. Inspired by one of last years best articles, Watching History Fade Away in 'Call of Duty: WWII' by Rob Zacny.
    "It's also revealing that battles about "historical accuracy" so often about race and gender, and never about things like armies of Ptolemaic Egypt looking more like they belong in Age of Mythology than Total War, or the fact that Battlefield V shows V-1 rockets being used as tactical support weapons in 1940? What's being protected here is not the actual reality of the past (few players complain when ancient combat is made so fantastical it looks more like Lord of the Rings or The 300) but a popular historical memory that has consistently valorized Great Men and Martial Glory and ignored just about everything and everyone else."
    How Historical Accuracy Became a Euphemism (By Justin Reeve)
    Archaeologist Justin Reeve discusses multiple games taking place in the past, what and who is represented, why that can be the case, the biases of recorded history and discovery new information, and how most historic liberties get completely ignored by the people most frequently complaining about historical accuracy.
    Game Design
    Articles that focus on game design and the ideas and processes behind it
    "He runs what some call a “concept team,” a small, independent group that generates game ideas and designs, and then partners with other studios to see those plans through. While not a new approach, this type of team has become more common in recent years — especially among developers who have established a bit of celebrity, and especially in Japan."
    Directing from the sidelines (By Matt Leone)
    Matt Leone looks at the rise of concept teams in the Japanese game industry, focusing on developers such as Tetsuya Mizuguchi, Yoko Taro, Swery65, and Fumito Ueda.
    "From the animation to the art, from the gameplay to online infrastructure, from concept to marketing, there are many disciplines involved. That’s why we’ve put together this resource after chatting with people from all over the industry, so we can all better understand what it takes to make a video game and release it into the world."
    “Game design is like architecture” – video game jobs described by those who do them (By Kirk McKeand)
    Kirk McKeand talks to developers, from a wide variety of disciplines, about their role in a game's creation.
    "A writer's job is basically putting out fires every single day," Will Porter, one of the writers behind No Man's Sky (pre-patch) and Alien: Isolation tells me over coffee during this year's Game Developers Conference. "Everyone always assumes that like the end product is just the straight line. [...] [When] it's basically an ever-moving puzzle board, then someone shouts 'stop!' and you just have to hope that everything is in the right place." He likens writing for games, big budget ones at least, more to being a puzzle designer; the steward of spreadsheets."
    Out of the Wild West: Inside the Evolution of Games Writing (By Caty McCarthy)
    Caty McCarthy speaks to multiple writers about how games writing has evolved over the years in this three part article.
    "I know from working as a Lead Designer how much games rely on individual team members taking ownership over the parts they are given and making it their own. We all find it more expedient to credit entire projects to the figureheads in the media, but isn’t it fascinating to think that videogames are actually a huge melting pot of creative people? All making personal choices, all leaving their mark, all sneaking something that is uniquely theirs into the game. Just because it means something to them. Just because they think it’s fun and cool."
    Sneaking Things into Games (By Steven Thornton)
    Steven Thornton talks to developers about the kinds of things they sneak into games during development and why they do it.
    Working In the Game Industry
    Articles focused on what it is like to work in the game industry or in fields connected to the game industry.
    "Since I started nine years ago, finding audiences for games criticism has not gotten any easier – in fact, it might now be harder than ever. I say this after spending almost three years curating it every week for Critical Distance. So I’m going to use a series of blog posts to articulate some of the factors that make “real” games criticism relatively invisible."
    Hampering the search for real criticism: Discourse Empress of the World (By Zoyander Street)
    Zoyander Street, the Director of Content at Critical Distance, wrote a series of five articles about game criticism, why it can be more difficult to find quality criticism, barriers to critical writing, keeping publication going, and how the culture and algorithms of Youtube shape discourse.
    "These practices and attitudes that are so prevalent at the managerial level happen to fit hand in glove with the infamously poisonous behaviour of many gamers, who as a group have earned a reputation for their harassment of critics, dissident employees and anyone else they can target for blame for real or imagined slights. Harmful company practices, from crunch to mass layoffs, are so common as to be considered routine in the industry, whereas the incandescent rage that became so apparent during the height of Gamergate, is treated more like an embarrassing indiscretion of consumers that isn’t sanctioned by respectable corporate figures in the industry. But that’s a lie that has only become more obvious over time, especially as workers and marginalized people in the subculture have made their voices louder. Angry gamers can easily be understood as a pool of reactionary scabs that serve as a resource for videogame companies that prefer it when its workforce is afraid, quiet, and deprived of the leverage it needs."
    Worse than Scabs: Gamer Rage as Anti-Union Violence (By Lana Polansky)
    Lana Polansky reports about working conditions in the game industry using past events, developer stories, company statements, and other reports to discuss the usual tactics companies have to exploit employees, how companies make use of angry gamers against developers, and how the now frequent exposure to this has helped to unite more workers.
    "Work had become rote, and his coworkers’ persistent skepticism had eaten away at his own excitement to be working in the games industry. When he joined Virtuos in 2007, he was surprised to learn his first assignment would be working on EA’s Medal of Honor: Airborne, the same project his Russian employer had been working on, though there he was working on the game’s military uniforms and in Shanghai he’d be responsible for making the game’s vintage gun models. He’d come halfway around the world only to end up working on the same game."
    Michael Thomsen talks to employees at one of the biggest outsourcing companies in the games industry.
    "I went to meet with another former colleague on the board," Kennedy added, "and said 'you're telling the team it's okay but it's not, this is the terrain warning on the plane saying 'pull up', and you have to do something. The response I got was 'everything's fine, everything will be great when we go to full launch, you don't understand how the company works any more'.
    Behind the sunless scenes (By Tom Phillips)
    Tom Phillips speaks to Failbetter employees about the complex picture of life inside the studio before and after a surprising announcement lead to layoffs at the small company.
    "The story of Telltale — its rise, decline, and potential reformation — is not just the story of the missteps of one studio. It’s a shocking window into the $36 billion video game industry (which is now so large and lucrative that it rivals the film industry), and how its worst practices can grind down and burn out even the most devoted and valuable employees."
    Back in March, Megan Farokhmanesh reported on how toxic management cost Telltale its best developers and how their story is also a window into the workings of the larger game industry. Six months later, after the sudden closure of the studio, she talks to former employees about the abrupt closure.
    "The aim of this post is to take stock of the current situation, briefly explore the history of unionisation in games and adjacent industries, identify the lessons that could be learned from this history, and propose a set of goals that the movement should aspire to."
    On the Path towards Unionising the Games Industry (By Seva Kritskiy)
    Seva Kritskiy on the path to unionizing the game industry, past attempts at unionization in the early days of the tech industry, and links to other stories with information on other countries, hiring practices, etc.
    "Every time, someone says something that makes me go think, puts into words a feeling I couldn’t articulate, or argues in a way that forces a re-examination of conclusions. The opinions of others help me better form my own. It’s a process built on my reaction, and the result is a delightful mixture. What’s important is the fluidity, keeping one’s mind open to the possibility of not only challenging a personal reaction, but willing to admit you could be wrong."
    I Really Like 'God of War,' But Reserve The Right to Change My Mind (By Patrick Klepek)
    Patrick Klepek on changing your mind about a game as you process your thoughts and the views of others and how a review can often only reflect a fixed moment in time.
    "For all the media talk of how much money the video game industry makes, the number of major studios in America is vanishingly small, and far flung. When it comes to blockbuster studios most towns, so the saying goes, aren’t big enough for the both of them. In five years, D’Angelo was forced to move between states no fewer than four times. “Some folks might be more comfortable with this type of lifestyle, bouncing around the country every year, but it wasn’t for me,” he says. At one low point, D’Angelo relocated his family to a more expensive part of the country for a contract role only to be laid off two months after arriving, in a sweep of cost-cutting redundancies. Locked into a rental agreement based on previous earnings, he burned through the family’s savings. In the twelve months it took to find another position in the area, he was forced to moonlight at a job in a local warehouse."
    The great video game exodus (By Simon Parkin)
    Simon Parkin talks to developers about the realities of working in the game industry and how it causes people to leave it behind.
    "So the problems our team of moderators faced were on multiple fronts. We had players who felt it was their right to offend and/or didn’t respect the rules that they agreed to upon making their account. On the other end we had our hands tied by management. We weren’t there to serve players, or deal with bad actors. We were there to service and maintain—“embiggen”—the Money Hose."
    Game Companies Can Serve Communities or Customers, But Rarely Both (By Christopher Williams)
    Former moderator Christopher Williams talks about his experiences working in the community management side of game companies.
    "It’s not unusual for a tech or gaming company to struggle with sexism and lack of diversity. In recent years, some studios have tried to reckon with that reality, taking steps to hire more women and making games that showcase more diverse characters. But at Riot, the fundamental values fueling its celebrated culture of “core gamers” and Riot devotees over the past decade may also be the root causes of an ingrained sexism that manifests in both blatant and subtle ways."
    Inside The Culture Of Sexism At Riot Games, 'We're Sorry': Riot Pledges Sweeping Changes To Address Accusations Of Sexism, and Riot Games Says It Wants To Clean Up Its Mess, But The People Who Made It Are Still There (By Cecilia D'Anastasio)
    Cecilia D'Anastasio speaks to current and former Riot employees about the culture of the studio. Her second article covers the response by Riot and links to former Riot employees (Meagan Marie, Yonah Bex Gerber, Katie De Sousa, Kristen Fuller, Barry Hawkins, and Zoë Curnoe) that expand on Cecilia's report by detailing their own experiences with the company. Her final article covers company actions shortly after and the problem with addressing problems when the people that caused them are all still there. Cecilia's initial article was nominated for a WGA award and Riot is currently being sued for gender discrimination and has had their COO suspended for misconduct.
    "They're our best — and often only — record of the human labor that goes into game development, serving not only as a reminder that games are made by people — sometimes lots of them — but also as a tool for developers to advance their careers."
    How bad crediting hurts the game industry and muddles history (By Richard Moss)
    Richard Moss on the way crediting is treated in the industry and its importance when it comes to issues of labor, history, and authorship.
    "Rockstar is usually a fortress of silence, a company which lets its games do the talking. But these past few weeks have seen the dam break and its staff speak out - some for the first time in their careers - about the sacrifices they have made and the fear they may have to do this again."
    Inside Rockstar Games' Culture Of Crunch and The human cost of Red Dead Redemption 2 (By Jason Schreier and Tom Phillips)
    Jason Schreier speaks with over 70 current and former Rockstar employees and reports his findings on the company's culture. Tom Phillips later spoke to some additional employees and posits that it is up to us to listen to them to change how games are made.
    Life, Culture, and Games
    Articles on the meaning that games can have for people, connections they help create, how we look at them, how they influence people, and why they matter.
    "By successfully convincing video game writing of its automatic importance and making the former dependent on its existence, the blockbuster circumvents any need to justify its own existence. Safe from reproach, it laughs at any form of game lesser than itself for daring to think it has value. Only the blockbuster is deserving of any real attention, regardless of what it does to warrant that attention. “Behold!”, it announces to all it has forced to listen. “The nothing I proclaim is more important than anything you will ever say. My easily predicted failures will always be more deserving of discussion than the greatest success you could possibly muster.”
    The imagined importance of the blockbuster game (By Brian Crimmins)
    Brian Crimmins' essay on the unearned significance people give to blockbuster games and the historical importance of mods and bootlegs to both the companies that create them and the course of gaming's history.
    "In his talk, Cranford mentioned that people had sometimes approached him over the years and told him that The Bard’s Tale had really impacted their lives. This didn’t surprise me at all, of course. They were extraordinary games for their time, taking the barebones foundation of the early Wizardry games and bringing it to life. Cranford said that he wanted his talk to convey to attendees his philosophy for how to create games that might change people’s lives. I was intrigued. But by the time he was done speaking, I felt that his ideas about this were narrow, and belonged back in 1985 alongside his innovative masterpiece."
    The Past, the Present, and the Absent: Reflections on GDC 2018 (By Carolyn Petit)
    Carolyn Petit on GDC, gaming's past and present, a game she loved in 1985, a game she loved in 2017, and the games that don't get created.
    "God of War didn’t give me the numbness I’d wanted, but it turned out I needed the non-numbness more. When my dad died, I didn’t have any actual ashes to scatter or cathartic quests to undertake. I had a controller, and Kratos, and Kratos’s son."
    The Ghosts of ‘God of War’ (By Ben Lindbergh)
    Ben Lindbergh tells a personal story about his father and of his experience playing God of War.
    "For me, this is maybe the ultimate takeaway of this extended ramble through the history of the the critic and the reviewer. We don’t need help finding more good games—many of us have a virtual stack larger than we could ever play. What we do need is help figuring out what to do with this panoply of digital delights."
    The Reviewer and The Critic (By Eron Rauch)
    Eron Rauch looks at the history of review and criticism in a variety of areas and how it relates to video games.
    "I think the thing I really wanted from the Wii, more than motion controls or Miis or the ability to very slowly check the forecast, was a chance to feel like I was adequate. If Sony and Microsoft treated the “console wars” like an athletic competition, Nintendo saw it as more of a challenge in identity."
    What the Wii Meant for Me (By Matthew Koester)
    Matthew Koester on what the Wii meant to him and finding beauty in its limitations.
    "When one of World of Warcraft’s top ten guilds recruited Cam as their chief hunter, his suicidal thoughts surged. To earn the enviable invitation, Cam had spent 16 hours a day grinding on WoW, to the detriment of everything else. He told his father he’d scored a job at a local restaurant, but every day after his dad dropped him off at the McDonald’s across the street, Cam would hop the first bus home and log back on. There was no job. There would be no paycheck. Cam’s only obligation was to his night elf hunter, and it was an all-consuming commitment."
    The Truth About 'Video Game Addiction' (By Cecilia D'Anastasio)
    The World Health Organization’s recently approved the classification of gaming disorder, Cecilia interviews former gamers about their addiction to playing games and a psychologist that has been researching gaming addiction since 1999 to learn their stories and whether or not declaring someone addicting to games is likely to overlook larger issues that can be the root cause of their behavior.
    "It eventually became evident that I wasn’t looking for escapism with this video game, but rather enlightenment."
    How Night in the Woods Guided Me in Mourning a Friend (By Chris Compendio)
    Chris Compendio on how Night in the Woods helped them to navigate through the trauma of losing a friend.
    "What many who have invested their careers and identities into indie games fail to face is that legitimacy is never something that the dominant culture just gives to you. It’s something that’s earned over years and years of fights to change culture and values. Videogames may still be mostly associated with mindless and soul-sucking escapism for many, but in the meantime they’ve become an increasingly ever-present part of our culture. Youtubers and livestreamers who primarily play videogames easily have more viewers than any of the major networks or streaming services. Many on the outside will decry this as the end of culture, but they ignore that this just how culture works."
    There Are Not “Too Many Games”: What The Indiepocalypse Panic Ignores (By Liz Ryerson)
    Liz Ryerson's response to the article, "There are too many video games. What now?". Ryerson covers why the modern day industry is not like the industry of 1983, the wave of creativity that is taking games to places that weren't thought of or possible in the past, making games for the art of it, legitimacy, and games becoming an increasingly relevant and present part of culture.
    "A ComicBook.com article about Soulcalibur VI refers to Ivy as a “scantily clad boob monster” not once but twice. Metro’s coverage of the game described Ivy’s “design and attire” as “problematic” without mentioning the other female fighters, presumably because Ivy is the go-to example. In one Twitch stream that I watched of Soulcalibur VI, the hosts joked that Ivy Valentine was “not stream-appropriate” and didn’t select her, although characters like Talim and Seong Mi-Na didn’t seem to embarrass them."
    The Inexplicable Sexiness Of Ivy Valentine (By Maddy Myers)
    Maddy Myers on the attire of the women of Soulcalibur and how her feelings on the character Ivy have changed over time as conversations surrounding Ivy tended to be based around body shaming.
    "Mastering Pac-Man was more useful to me. I was becoming, years later, a scholar of mazes. This is the way out, Mr. Uston’s book said. It taught me that there was, in fact, a safe path through the labyrinth; that there was an opaque logic beneath the pixels. All I had to do was put in the time to study; study and learn, and eventually I’d be okay again. Study and learn, and maybe, against all odds, I’d find my way out of this."
    Video games saved my life (By Scott C. Jones)
    Scott C. Jones tells a personal story of childhood traumas and how games helped to guide him through them and to heal in adulthood.
    "I walk around the Solace and realize that all of this is now mine. I have a spacious office for business, a hanger with ships, a massive bridge full of consoles, and even a small bar. I am the lord of my very own castle. The proud owner of a huge starship. And I have nothing to do with it. All I can do is sit down in my lonely office and remember my now-absent friends."
    Looking Back On My Former Life In Star Wars: The Old Republic (By Heather Alexandra)
    Heather Alexandra revisits an old home in Star Wars The Old Republic and reminisces on what the game meant to her and the meaningful connections we forge in games.
    Articles focused on the world of competitive gaming and companies and players involved in it
    "Tran doesn’t live in the mansion; he has his own apartment. Roston Yoo, the team manager, lives upstairs in a bedroom of his own. Yoo’s bedroom is the only one with a fully stocked liquor cabinet. “That,” Tran says, gesturing towards the bottles, “is how you make it four months with four days off.” Yoo, for his part, joked that whenever he’s had a drink in the past, he has “walked it off” whenever any of the pro gamers comes to his room in the middle of the night to tell him they had a nightmare."
    How Pro Gamers Live Now: Curfews, Personal Chefs, And All Of It On Camera (By Maddy Myers)
    Maddy Myers tours three esports organizations and interviews players about how they live, their schedules, how they keep healthy, their thoughts on unions and burnout, and how they can grow to see each other as family.
    "The complete story of how one of esports’s biggest franchises, rose, fell, and may yet live again"
    ‘StarCraft II’: How Blizzard Brought the King of Esports Back From the Dead (By Will Partin)
    Will Partin tells the story of the game that made him love esports.
    Game Industry Abroad
    Articles covering the game industry of different countries, mostly focused on the ones that we don't often associate with video games, or covering how the industry is growing and effecting people and places worldwide.
    "In Poland, being a supporter of the environment has been a [concern] of the Left. If you are pro-environment, you are a leftist, you are a hippy. We noticed that a lot of people are supporting the Polish government logging the forest, just because they don’t want to be connected to the leftists. The scientific community supports leaving the forest alone. We wanted to reach out to kids. They don’t have this polarised view of reality yet. We wanted to create a neutral ground.”
    How Minecraft helped save one of the world's biggest primeval forests (By Kirk McKeand)
    Kirk McKeand on how Minecraft helped to stop logging in the Białowieża forest in Poland.
    "Having traveled widely in Asia, I’ve yet to find a country where games don’t have a foothold. I’ve chatted about Overwatch with tour guides in Vietnam, and watched novice monks play Candy Crush in Thailand. In Namche Bazaar, a supply town sitting at 11,286 feet in the Khumbu region of Nepal, I met a young man who plays Clash of Clans. Mobile titles fit well into a life spent walking between mountain villages. But this Vietnamese poster was the first time I’d detected a religious backlash to video games. Intrigued, I started to dig, reading internet comments about phone-addicted monks. I studied interviews with the Karmapa Lama, the second-highest ranked Lama in Tibetan Buddhism—and an avid FPS player."
    In Thailand, Buddhist Monks Grapple with the Meaning of Video Games (By Robert Rath)
    Robert Rath discusses life, games, and reincarnation with Buddhist monks in Thailand.
    "As GDC approached, Ismail posted updates on Facebook asking if anyone could contribute. Soon, the fourth of his six panelists was prevented from entering the United States. #1ReasonToBe was quickly turning into #NotEnoughPanelistsToExist."
    Trump’s travel ban knocks more game developers out of this year’s GDC and #ThirdWorldProblems: How to not get a visa for GDC (By Imad Khan and Gwendelyn Foster)
    Imad Khan reports on the struggles of developers attempting to attend GDC and how the panel that was focusing on having developers from around the world telling their stories had more than half of its original panelists prevented from entering the United States. Gwendelyn Foster, one of the GDC speakers denied a visa, on being treated with diplomatic hostility in a global industry.
    "For two years, vigilante swarms of gamers have been picking through South Korean games professionals’ social media profiles, sniffing out the slightest hint of feminist ideology. Anything from innocuous Twitter “likes” to public pleas for gender equality have provoked harassment from these hostile freelance detectives. It doesn’t end at hate mail and online pile-ons; jobs have been put in jeopardy."
    In South Korea, Gamers Stage An Inquisition Against Feminists (By Cecilia D'Anastasio and Seung Park)
    Cecilia D'Anastasio and Seung Park report on human rights organizations findings in South Korea, the targeting of game developers that are found talking about women's rights by South Korean gamers, and the companies that give into gamer's threats.
    "Ecuador is not a place known for its gaming culture. Only larger cities like Guayaquil, Manta and the capital, Quito, have any substantial cyber cafe presence. And although these small, family-run establishments offer rental time on PCs and consoles, they pale in comparison to the massive, hundred-person LAN cafes and esports arenas that exist in many parts of Europe and Asia, where gamers pack in elbow to elbow for marathon sessions on high-end machines in smoky rooms."
    The video games of Ecuadorean fishing village Santa Marianita (By Kimberly Koenig)
    Kimberly Koenig visitis Ecuadorian fishing village Santa Marianita, discovering how people find ways to play games everywhere.
  10. romando liked a article by Legolas_Katarn, This Week In Gaming 12-18-18   
    Epic store to make use of free to use cross platform tools for cross platform logins and cloud saves, Steve Gaynor starts thread leading to many game development stories filled with unusual workarounds, Discord store to offer developers a 90/10 revenue split, top Riot executive suspended over multiple misconduct violations, Kotaku's series of articles on the state of the industry, RagnarRox's Journey Through Rule of Rose, Will Partin's Artifact review describing it as Steam in a game instead of a game on Steam, Game Score Fanfare on the hype of Octopath Traveler's boss battles, Seva Kritskiy and Nadia M on the importance of The Missing, Arthur Gies and Clayton Ashley on the painted world of Red Dead Redemption 2, Micah Edmonds on Tomb Raider and Self Hate, HeavyEyed on The Cultural Impact of Tony Hawks Pro Skater, and more.
    Gaming News (Announcements, previews, release dates, interviews and writing on upcoming games, DLC and game updates, company and developer news, country news, tech, mods)
    Don't Expect The Outer Worlds To Be As Gigantic As Fallout: New Vegas

    You can’t have sex with your companions in The Outer Worlds
    Druidstone: The Secret Of The Menhir Forest is making me take RPG battles seriously
    Unheard's "Acoustic Detectives" are great listeners
    Planetside Arena, featuring battle royale and a 250v250 mode, arrives in January
    The full PlanetSide Arena interview: can the quintessential MMO shooter go battle royale?
    Arc System Works is making a Granblue Fantasy fighting game
    Pagan Online's MOBA-inspired action RPG combat in action
    Pillars of Eternity 2 will still come to consoles, including Switch, in 2019

    The Latest Devil May Cry 5 Trailer Focuses On V’s Summoning Abilities
    Degrees of Separation ‘Features’ trailer
    Metro Exodus - Title Sequence (Official 4K)
    Senran Kagura Burst Re:Newal launches January 22, 2019 in North America
    Escape From Tarkov team barrages YouTuber with DMCA takedowns over `misinformation`

    Marvel’s Spider-Man’s Silver Linings DLC releases next week
    Dishonored 2 update adds new modes and removes Denuvo

    Civilization 6 expansion adds Canada and all things Canadian
    The Inca return in Civ 6: Gathering Storm to build a mountain empire
    Battlefield 5 TTK will revert to normal tomorrow – “Clearly we didn’t get it right”

    Street Fighter V adds adverts
    Beat the 'crunch': new union for video games workers launches

    Epic to roll out free cross-platform online services for all through 2019

    Why even avid Steam gamers should celebrate Epic's new store
    Discord’s store offers devs 90% revenue because “it doesn’t cost 30% to distribute games”

    Hajime Tabata Talks About His Departure From Square Enix, More On His New Company JP Games

    Get free Assassin’s Creed Odyssey on PC for testing Google’s Project Stream

    Top Riot Executive Suspended Without Pay Following Investigation Over Workplace Misconduct

    Twitch Sale Of Curse Media Will Combine Two Popular Gaming Wikis

    343 Industries head Bonnie Ross to be inducted into the AIAS Hall of Fame

    Fresh Prince's Alfonso Ribeiro Is Suing Fortnite Over The Carlton Dance

    Activision halts auction of Leisure Suit Larry’s source code despite not owning the IP

    Infinity Ward evacuated its office this morning because of a bomb threat

    Esports News
    Blizzard scales back Heroes of the Storm development, cancels 2019 esports events

    Electronic Arts Hires New Head of Esports Commercialization

    Street Fighter V Competitors Carry An Otherwise Messy Capcom Cup

    Japan’s Esports Market Sees Substantial Growth in 2018

    Crowdfunding News (not sharing everything I find, just ones that look interesting, have known talent behind them, and a chance to succeed)
    Shareware Heroes

    Content I found interesting this week (interviews, recommendations, think pieces, history, music, culture, design, art, documentaries, criticism, etc)
    The State Of PC Gaming In 2018

    The State Of The PS4 In 2018
    The State Of Xbox One In 2018
    The State Of The Nintendo Switch In 2018
    The State Of Nintendo 3DS In 2018
    The State Of Twitch In 2018
    The State Of Fandom In 2018
    *Press A* 2018 ~ The Year’s Best Videogame Soundtracks

    People of the Year: Rami Ismail

    People of the Year: Phil Spencer
    GamesIndustry.biz presents... The Year In Numbers 2018
    In 2018, Video Game Developers Took Unionization Seriously

    Making a game in the world’s busiest crosswalk: The story behind 428

    Invisible washing machines and squirrel timers: developers reveal their weirdest game dev tricks
    Character Models
    Amid Talk of Violent Influence, Video Games as Therapy Often Goes Unnoticed

    The painted world of Red Dead Redemption 2

    Cancer, OCD, Spider-Man & Me

    On The Missing and what we choose to ignore

    The Missing: J.J. Macfield and the Ownership of Identity
    'Artifact' Isn't a Game on Steam, It's Steam in a Game

    Gris mirrors the stages of grief through art, sound and design

    Wot I Think: Gris
    A Journey Through Rule of Rose | Monsters of the Week
    How Octopath Traveler Hypes its Boss Battles | Game Score Fanfare
    How Octopath Traveler Changes Key
    How Return of the Obra Dinn Works | Game Maker's Toolkit
    Games as Lit. 101 - Literary Analysis: The World Ends With You (Part 3 - Week 2)
    How Red Dead Redemption 2's landscapes are connected to 19th century art
    Kevin VanOrd - From Games Journalism to Game Development | Gameumentary Extended
    The Cultural Impact of Tony Hawks Pro Skater // HeavyEyed
    Staying With Power: 35 Years of NES History - Museum Tour
    Celeste: The Story of Matt Thorson (Matt Makes Games)
    50 Best Out of Bounds Discoveries from 30 Nintendo Games
    Things I Missed From Previous Weeks
    Random Randomizers Randomizing Random Things Randomly - Design Documentary
    Things I found entertaining throughout the week relating to the game industry
    The voices of Liquid and Solid Snake reunite to perform The Night Before Metal Gear
  11. AtlasX liked a article by Legolas_Katarn, This Week In Gaming 12-11-18   
    The Game Awards winners, announcements, and previews. Kinda Funny Games Showcase looks at 69 upcoming games and what playing games means to people in the industry, Ahoy looks at the history of the Amiga, John Romero's new Doom mod, Noclip's Half-Life documentary, Scott C. Jones tells a personal story of childhood trauma and how games helped to guide him through them and to heal in adulthood, some Epic Store games delaying or cancelling Steam release, PewDiePie promotes racist anti-Semitic Youtuber's content (again) as other top gaming Youtubers desperately try to get more people to subscribe to him, Starbreeze HQ raided by police, Monster Hunter World's new expansion, author Dmitry Glukhovsky discusses the politics of his Metro books and games, Panzer Dragoon remakes in development, Noah Caldwell-Gervais on Fallout 76 and how it is rooted in choices Bethesda has been making since Fallout 3, and more.
    Gaming News (Announcements, previews, release dates, interviews and writing on upcoming games, DLC and game updates, company and developer news, country news, tech, mods)
    Here are all the biggest announcements from The Game Awards 2018
    The Game Awards Winners 2018: Full List
    SonicFox Steals The Show At The Game Awards
    Music From Red Dead Redemption 2 Performed Live | The Game Awards 2018
    The making of The Game Awards 2018
    Kinda Funny Games Showcase: Judgment, The Walking Dead, and 67 More Games
    Yakuza Dev's Judge Eyes Has A New Name, Western Release Date
    After five years in development, Capybara's Below will release next week
    The Full Story Behind Below's Long Development
    Obsidian’s The Outer Worlds might just be the New Vegas follow-up you’ve wanted
    The Outer Worlds Looks A Lot Like Fallout, But That's Only Half The Story
    Get a closer look at Obsidian’s The Outer Worlds with 15 minutes of gameplay footage
    The Outer Worlds: Interview with Senior Narrative Designer Kathryn Megan Starks
    Obsidian's The Outer Worlds blends Firefly and Fallout into a bold, open-ended sci-fi RPG
    John Romero’s new project is an enormous Doom mod called Sigil
    Tales of Vesperia: Definitive Edition system trailer
    Super Meat Boy Forever release window set, will be Epic Store exclusive for a year
    Kingdom Hearts III - Official Opening Movie | Hikaru Utada, Skrillex
    Ace Combat 7: Skies Unknown ‘F/A-18F’ trailer
    Marvel Ultimate Alliance 3: The Black Order Coming To Nintendo Switch In 2019
    Psychonauts 2’s first story trailer introduces the Motherlobe
    Psychonauts 2: Tim Schafer Reveals New Details in New Trailer - IGN First
    Watch 25 minutes of Beyond Good and Evil 2
    Left Alive’s New Trailer Shows How You Can Make Choices Every Step Of The Way
    Jon Shafer's At The Gates launches next month
    Danganronpa Trilogy Heading To The PlayStation 4 In 2019

    Toejam and Earl: Back in the Groove is now set for release in March
    Lapis x Labyrinth Coming To The West In 2019 For PS4 And Switch

    New Stranger Things Game Announced, Set Around Upcoming Season 3
    Anthem’s Game Awards trailer doubles down on story and reveals the villain
    Anthem director details Game Awards story trailer, addresses Destiny comparisons
    No Man’s Sky developer Hello announces its next game, The Last Campfire
    Panzer Dragoon remakes in development

    Sayonara Wild Hearts is a motorcycle dance party for Switch
    Ape Out, the ultra-violent ape escape game, finally has a release date
    Surreal indie RPG YIIK is finally out next month
    Skater XL is a realistic skateboard sim coming to Early Access this month
    Biomutant - Gameplay Sizzle Trailer
    Hades is the next game from the creators of Bastion, it’s out tonight
    Hades is already a killer combat game in early access
    BioWare confirms the next Dragon Age with a Game Awards trailer – sort of
    RTS Conan Unconquered out next year, developed by C&C veterans
    Far Cry: New Dawn takes you to post-apocalyptic Montana this February
    Far Cry: New Dawn builds better co-op from the nuclear ruins of Far Cry 5
    The full Far Cry: New Dawn interview: building the super bloom of a post-nuclear Hope County
    Far Cry New Dawn: A Deeper Look at the Surprise Follow-Up to Far Cry 5
    The Walking Dead: The Final Season continues in January
    Zen Studios on Developing Its First Dungeon-Crawler, Its Pursuit of Hungary's "Witcher" Moment

    Journey is coming to PC

    The Pathless is a supernatural forest adventure from the makers of Abzu
    Mortal Kombat 11 launches in April, here's the first trailer
    Jenny LeClue: Detectivu launches in Q1 2019 for PS4, Xbox One, Switch, and PC

    Tactical RPG Fae Tactics announced for PC
    Journey to the Savage Planet is an indie sci-fi game from the Far Cry 4 director
    Super Smash Bros. Ultimate Is Getting A Persona 5 DLC
    The Messenger free DLC ‘Picnic Panic’ announced
    Monster Hunter World: Iceborne expansion announced
    Play as Geralt in Monster Hunter: World with 2019's The Witcher 3 collaboration

    Unlicensed casino websites are being streamed on Twitch, UK gambling watchdog confirms
    What indies think of Valve giving more money to big sellers
    Valve explains Steam Discovery bug that made indie games harder to find
    Some Epic Store games are pushing back or scrapping Steam releases

    Tim Sweeney Answers Questions About The New Epic Games Store
    CS:GO receives 14,000 negative Steam reviews in a single day after going free to play

    YouTube’s Biggest Personality Promoted an Anti-Semite

    Rapper 2 Milly Sues Epic Games For Stealing His Dance
    A Bethesda web glitch revealed everyone’s support tickets, including personal info
    Daybreak Games lays off estimated 70 employees

    Starbreeze HQ has been raided by Swedish authorities, one arrested

    Amy Hennig to receive lifetime achievement award

    Apple Pulls Strategy Game Because It Features The Taliban
    Why the game dev group will benefit from non-U.S. board chair

    China's new Ethics Committee has been reviewing existing titles

    Esports News
    Europe’s Top Counter-Strike Team Eyes $1 Million Grand Slam Prize

    DreamHack’s high school Rainbow Six team “got stomped, but we laughed and smiled the whole way”

    Oh God, Fox Won An Early Super Smash Bros. Ultimate Tournament

    Content I found interesting this week (interviews, recommendations, think pieces, history, music, culture, design, art, documentaries, criticism, etc)
    The 30 Best Videogames of 2018

    The video games that are good for your children

    Writer's Guild
    Author Meagan Marie on Her New Book Women in Gaming: 100 Professionals of Play
    What 'Darksiders 3' Teaches Us About Gaming's Weirdest Company, THQ Nordic

    Spacewar! Creators Didn't Know They Were Making History

    “I’ve always used the opportunity to make political statements in Metro games” – Dmitry Glukhovsky

    Brian Fargo: “I spent 50% of my time raising money”

    How Bad North makes humans out of little soldiers

    'Hitman 2' Makes You The Catastrophe Everyone Is Dreading

    Hitman 2's First Elusive Target Showed What's Great About The Series
    The Thin Blue Webline: Spider-Cops Are Bastards

    Putting On A Tough Face: The Insecurities of Dead Cells

    Battlefield V's First Expansion Is A Gamble That Doesn't Pay Off


    FLATLINE: How The Amiga Languished
    Unforeseen Consequences: A Half-Life Documentary
    What Makes HITMAN's Sapienza So Memorable?
    How Does Fallout 76 Compare to Previous Fallouts? [Spoilers]
    Passage: Dark Messiah & Arkane | Arkane Studios Ludography (2/5) CRITIQUE/REVIEW
    Bad Game Design - NES Games
    Building the Online World of Tom Clancy's The Division (Part 2 of 2) | AI and Games
    The Making of Sonic 3 & Knuckles
    The Cancelled PlayStation Exclusive - Investigating Eight Days
    Super Smash Bros: The Story of Masahiro Sakurai
    Things I Missed From Previous Weeks
    Video games saved my life

  12. Legolas_Katarn liked a article by WITHASTICK, It's Never Goodbye...   
    5 years ago I joined the AJSA as a member much like the majority of you reading this. I had just gotten a PS4 right at its release. A lot of my friends didn’t jump on board right away, and who could blame them it was still a pricey investment. So I had no one to play with, figure I give a gaming community a try, what could go wrong! Joined on the site, became invested with the forums, and found other people looking for others to play games with. I discovered we could make a crude chatroom system with the PS4 messaging feature, and began to bring all kinds of AJSA members into it. That’s where it all started, a single man with a selfish want to have people to play with.
    If I could go back and tell myself all of the things I did in the past 5 years. That he would be a Game Officer, and soon a Commander that represents the PS4. That he would grow to think of these people on the PS4 as friends and family. That he get to run an event series that went on for 4 years. He laugh, he wouldn’t believe it, and hell that’s not even the half of it. But I think he would be proud, that his selfish want helped others out in a strange way.
    I’ve seen a lot of people come and go. Commanders, Game Officers, members, some of my Team over the years. But I stuck around, because I enjoyed the little life we built on the PS4 side. I was told once “Stick you’ll be here till the end at this rate. You’ll out exist ever Commander, watch all the Officers step away, and even see decay before your eyes. At this rate you’ll be the last man standing.” At the time it was a funny joke, born from my determine nature to have the last word. But as the years went on that “joke” got too real for me, and I got tired.
    I don’t know what the future holds. I never been good at predicting it. But I know one thing, as long as someone has one crazy idea others will follow. Like the late Stan Lee said “You know, I guess one person can make a difference.” From the bottom of my heart, thank you everyone. I know I’ve helped others over the past years, but really you all help save me.
    It’s never goodbye, oh no it’s!...
    See you later. - WithaStick
  13. DoctorEvil liked a article by Legolas_Katarn, This Week In Gaming 10-30-18   
    Kirk Hamilton's review of Red Dead Redemption 2 focusing on the themes, gameplay, and feel of the final product and how it can be read as a critique of Rockstar's own culture and the human cost of making games. Liz Ryerson on what the "indiepocalypse" panic ignores, Aron Garst tells the story of Square Enix's failed Latin American division, Codex Entry's analysis of the character Futaba in part four of his series on Persona 5, Bethesda's warning of spectacular bugs and issues in Fallout 76 was true, 2B coming to Soulcalibur 6, Tom Phillips speaks to developers about working on Red Dead Redemption 2, IO Interactive on their breakup with Square Enix, Game Score Fanfare on the best minute of Uncharted 4, Level 5 revives formerly cancelled horror project, Alan Wake is back on Steam, and more.
    Gaming News (Announcements, previews, release dates, interviews and writing on upcoming games, DLC and game updates, company and developer news, country news, tech, mods)
    Fallout 76’s live-action trailer looks like it was made for Fortnite fans
    What Works (And What Doesn't) In Fallout 76
    Fallout 76 shows how hell really is other people
    Fallout 76 desperately needs private servers
    Fallout 76 Bug Accidentally Deletes Entire 50GB Beta
    Battlefield V’s Battle Royale Mode Won't Launch Until 2019

    Battlefield 5 progression detailed – “real-world money should not enable pay-to-win”
    Level 5's cancelled PSP horror Ushiro is confirmed for Nintendo Switch

    Lead the resistance against the Nazis in Through the Darkest of Times
    Hitman 2 ‘Hitman Perfected’ trailer
    One Finger Death Punch 2 due in April, will contain secret cancelled project

    New games: Project Hospital takes healthcare management vertical
    Trine 4: The Nightmare Prince is coming next year

    God Eater 3 PC release date set for February

    Twin Mirror Gameplay Trailer - Paris Games Week
    Total War: Warhammer 2 is getting vampire bloodlines - what are they?
    Nier: Automata’s 2B coming to Soulcalibur 6
    Warhammer: Vermintide 2 brings night mode to every map just in time for Halloween

    The Evil Within 2 adds new difficulty mode and enables cheats

    Alan Wake is back on Steam, and it’s $3

    Ex-IGDA head Kate Edwards now convinced game devs need unions

    Battlefield 5 developer gets banned in Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 for – presumably – being too good
    Can a video game prevent domestic violence?

    Cracking DRM on games is now legal – in these specific cases

    China closes last remaining official game licensing process

    Esports News
    Esports Integrity Coalition issues five-year ban to CS:GO cheater

    Overwatch Contenders League will downsize in 2019

    Michael Jordan is getting into esports – as an investor

    Crowdfunding News (not sharing everything I find, just ones that look interesting, have known talent behind them, and a chance to succeed)
    Hazelnut Bastille, a 16bit Indie Adventure
    Monster Sanctuary - Monster Taming Metroidvania
    Realms Beyond: Ashes of the Fallen
    Boyfriend Dungeon’s $272k Kickstarter Postmortem

    Content I found interesting this week (interviews, recommendations, think pieces, history, music, culture, design, art, documentaries, criticism, etc)
    Red Dead Redemption 2: The inside story of the most lifelike video game ever
    Game Developers Give Advice On How To Make Their Industry a Better Place
    The human cost of Red Dead Redemption 2

    “I've seen sleep disorders, chronic stress fatigue, dissolved relationships, broken marriages..."

    Assassin's Creed Odyssey built without 'massive crunch'
    There Are Not “Too Many Games”: What The Indiepocalypse Panic Ignores

    The Story Behind Square Enix's Failed Latin America Video Game Division

    Reclaiming video games’ queer past before it disappears

    Yakuza 6 Translation
    Hitman 2 Developer Talks About Its Painful Breakup With Square Enix

    Marvel's Spider-Man has thought a lot about accessibility

    Early Access Means Nothing Anymore

    How a struggling artist escaped poverty by designing a Warframe scarf

    "It Was Easier To Do It Than To Not" — Making The Most of The Stanley Parable's Legacy

    The difference between CRPG and tabletop games comes down to pie, according to one Fallout writer

    Video Games Can Make You a Better Writer

    Red Dead Redemption 2: The Kotaku Review
    Red Dead Redemption 2's Puppet-Like NPCs Clash With Its Meticulous World
    The painted world of Red Dead Redemption 2
    Red Dead Redemption 2's Arthur Morgan Is the Wokest Outlaw
    Why is Red Dead Redemption 2 Still Using Rockstar's Ancient Control Scheme?
    Sephiroth and Me: Playing Final Fantasy VII As A Jewish Person

    The Weight of the World: NieR: Automata and Alienation

    Kill Your Past, Remake the World: Dehumanization in The 25th Ward

    How Mega Man 11's Levels Do More With Less | Game Maker's Toolkit
    Persona 5 Analysis [Part 4]: Futaba Breaks Persona 5 // Codex Entry
    Why Resident Evil 2 Could Become the Perfect REmake
    For Better or Worse: Uncharted 4's Best Minute | Game Score Fanfare
    Assassin's Creed: Brotherhood and Revelations | REVIEW/CRITIQUE
    Vampire: The Masquerade - Bloodlines | The Epitome of the RPG
    We Know the Devil (Spoilers)
    Japanese-Only Horror Gems Localized by Fans | Punching Weight [SSFF]
    The Spiritual Successor to BLACK
    Nintendo Meets Diabetes Care: The History of the Glucoboy and Didget Blood Glucose Monitors
    The Untold Story Of Guillermo Del Toro's Canceled Game Insane
  14. DoctorEvil liked a article by Legolas_Katarn, This Week In Gaming 7-24-18   
    Austin Walker and Patrick Klepek interview Sean Murray on the No Man's Sky launch, following harassment, crunch, cut features, how they've spent the last two years improving the game, and what comes next. Brian Crimmins' essay on the imagined importance of the blockbuster game, Gita Jackson reports on the 2018 Game Devs of Color Expo, Matt Bertz interviews longtime Bioware employee James Ohlen on his decision to leave the company and what comes next, Ruben Ferdinand on Metal Gear Solid's focus on masculinity that overlaps with the war fiction of the 80s and homoerotica, new videos of upcoming Tomb Raider and The Walking Dead Final Season, Caty McCarthy starts a series of articles on the evolution of game writing, MML's Commentaries' video Danganronpa Is Its Plot A Series Ludonarrative Analysis, Noclip releases their documentary on GOG, and more.
    Angry Army Weekly (Jayson's Weekly News Video)
    Angry Army Weekly | Updates, Updates, and more Updates
    Check the Youtube page for sources
    Gaming News (Announcements, previews, release dates, interviews and writing on upcoming games, DLC and game updates, company and developer news, country news, tech, mods)
    New Spider-Man trailer introduces Insomniac’s take on Silver Sable
    Pathfinder: Kingmaker Release Teaser
    Black Ops 4 Zombies’ Blood of the Dead episode heads back to Alcatraz
    Darksiders 3 Cutscene: See Fury Get Her Flame Fury Form - IGN First
    End of a Saga: What Stoic learnt from the Mass Effect finale

    Shadow of the Tomb Raider video showcases the series' biggest ever hub
    Shadow of the Tomb Raider's puzzle and combat difficulty can be set separately
    The cramped horror of GTFO hopes to bond people

    Sunless Skies: Eleutheria Trailer
    The First 26 Minutes of Madden NFL 19's Longshot Homecoming Gameplay
    Watch the first 15 minutes of The Walking Dead: The Final Season
    NBA 2K19 Eight Exciting Changes Coming To NBA 2K19's Gameplay

    Guacamelee 2 dropkicks onto Steam in August
    A game about France’s Reign of Terror is, unsurprisingly, quite grim

    The Occupation, an investigative race against the clock, will launch in October

    New Resident Evil 2 Details, Collector's Edition Announced

    Soulcalibur’s lovable weirdo Voldo is back
    Opus Magnum studio Zachtronics unveils its new hacking game Exapunks
    A new game is in the works at Firaxis, and it’s not Civ or XCOM

    FIFA 19 gameplay is all about the animations

    FIFA 19 doesn't have VAR
    Boundless launches September 11
    How Spyro's Creators Feel About the Reignited Trilogy's Updates - Comic Con 2018
    Sable’s developers are trying to capture the spirit of discovery
    Free expansion for Reigns: Her Majesty hops out

    Retro Commodore 64 Mini will launch in U.S. in October

    Enter the Gungeon: Advanced Gungeons & Draguns is out now, so here's a trailer
    Roguelike Deckbuilder Slay the Spire Adds Depth with a Radically Different New Character

    Stardew Valley multiplayer leaves PC beta in August
    Total War: Rome 2's Rise Of The Republic expansion takes us back to 399 BC
    Ghost Recon and Rainbow Six team up for Wildlands Special Operation 2
    Rainbow Six Siege’s anti-cheat ban wave hits today - it’s bigger than we thought
    Why Blizzard decided to give Sombra infinite invisibility in an upcoming Overwatch patch

    Overwatch's Torbjörn is next in line for a major overhaul
    Valve bans over 60,000 Steam accounts to smash its previous record

    Ex-Valve employee describes ruthless internal politics at 'self-organizing' companies
    Layoffs at OnRush dev Evo, Driveclub director Rushy let go

    Twitch streamer’s recording of Uber passengers without consent resurfaces privacy concerns

    'We Just Need More Flavor': An Afternoon With Game Developers Of Color
    The Game Developers of Color Expo Was a Respite From the Hostile Gaming Scene
    GI Show – Our Top 5 Arcade Games, Barcades, Killer Queen Interview
    Guerrilla Games to nearly double its staff with planned office move

    Nintendo sues to shut down two big ROM sites

    GOG could bring classic console games to PC - “We would be able to make them work”

    The European Speedrunner Asssembly charity marathon runs all week

    Shining Force & Golden Sun artist Hiroshi Kajiyama passes away

    Esports News
    Monster Hunter: World stages USA championship next week

    Last Night's Upset Shows Cracks In The Overwatch League's Best Team

    Microsoft is sponsoring a year-long Age of Empires 2 competitive league

    Dragon Ball FighterZ is the most popular game at Evo 2018

    Fortnite’s Summer Skirmish tournament rekindled debate over player vetting

    Super Smash Bros. anti-harassment group faces resistance

    Fortnite Summer Skirmish Winner Accused Of Cheating, Defended By Epic

    Fortnite $130,000 winner cleared by Epic after Reddit's cheating allegations debunked
    Huge upsets send underdog teams into the Overwatch League Grand Finals

    Overwatch League Players To Attend Discussions With Olympic Committee About Esports Opportunities

    Blizzard Accidentally Gives Fans Access To Treasure Trove Of Overwatch League Stats

    Crowdfunding News (not sharing everything I find, just ones that look interesting, have known talent behind them, and a chance to succeed)
    Kingdoms of the Dump is a SNES-style RPG with platforming elements and turn-based combat
    Content I found interesting this week (interviews, recommendations, think pieces, history, music, culture, design, art, documentaries, criticism, etc)
    The imagined importance of the blockbuster game

    Out of the Wild West: Inside the Evolution of Games Writing

    James Ohlen Talks About Leaving BioWare, The State of Anthem, And His Future Prospects

    Porn Game Developers Are Making Big Money Thanks To Crowd-Funding

    No Man’s Sky developer Sean Murray: ‘It was as bad as things can get’

    We Spent an Hour Talking to Hello Games About Everything ‘No Man’s Sky’
    A Researcher Is Digging Up Largely Forgotten Queer Video Games

    The Anatomy of a Stealth Encounter

    Rockfish: Live Steam broadcasting will change the game for indie marketing

    How Wrecking Ball went from junkyard magnet to mech-driving hamster – an Overwatch ‘Making Of’

    Meet the deaf Destiny 2 players who raid using a custom-made comms app

    Metal Gear Solid: Military masculinity and homoerotica

    Metal Gear Solid Has Always Been About The Busywork of War
    The Evolution of Horror

    Nature’s Grasp | Assassin’s Creed: Origins

    How Wolfenstein II Lost Its Head Over Toxic Masculinity

    Does bad archaeology make for the best games?

    The road to video game hell

    Are pro athletes playing too much Fortnite? Some teams are worried.

    GOG: Preserving Gaming's Past & Future
    Sonic Mania Plus: The Story of Tyson Hesse
    Danganronpa Is Its Plot: A Series Ludonarrative Analysis
    Why Are Games So Hard To Balance?
    Atlus Artist Shigenori Soejima Talks About His Work And Designing Catherine Characters
    How Super Smash Bros. Music Sets a Tone for the Series
    Things I Missed From Previous Weeks
    Two histories of Myst

  15. DoctorEvil liked a article by Legolas_Katarn, This Week In Gaming 7-17-18   
    HeavyEyed talks DLC, marketing, and why tragedy works in his video on Mass Effect 3. Megan Farokhmanesh speaks to ArenaNet employees about their reactions to co-worker firings and other developers about how it impacted them, John Teasdale attempts to dissuade his fans from becoming the person he used to be, and Adrian Hon talks about injured sovereigns and the absurdity of siding with corporations for the bought servility of their employees. Kimberly Koenig writes about gaming in an Ecuadorian fishing village, Patrick Klepek on the dad that stole his son's Steam account, Will Partin tells the story of Starcraft 2's history as an Esport, Mark Brown begins series on accessibility design, Mafia 3 developer on how diversifying your team protects you from blind spots and cut opening, Jayson starts up Angry Army Weekly, Rene Haase on how Dark Souls 3 acts as a homage to the ideals behind romanticism, Epic gives asset creators a raise and back pay, and more.
    Angry Army Weekly
    Gaming News (Announcements, previews, release dates, interviews and writing on upcoming games, DLC and game updates, company and developer news, country news, tech, mods)
    Darksiders 3: 11 Minutes of Brand-New Gameplay - IGN First
    5 things we loved about The Bard's Tale 4 Beta (new gameplay)
    A few hours in, The Bard's Tale 4 is a captivating dungeon crawler
    The Bard's Tale 4: Character Creation
    The Bard's Tale IV Four Things You Should Know
    How do characters and classes work in Cyberpunk 2077?
    Cyberpunk 2077’s warning for the world is more important than ever
    Kalypso nab Commandos rights, promises new games

    In 2018, A PC Game Is Being Made In DOS

    Terror terraforming tale Tether placed on indefinite hold
    Heat Maps Of Battlefield V Are Beautiful

    Battlefield 5 open beta hits in September
    Phoenix Point Backer Build Two Narrated Gameplay
    Total War: Warhammer 3 is in pre-production and "it's absolute Chaos"

    DCS Warthog and Lock On flight sim developers announce Modern Air Combat
    How Remedy is taking Control of its own destiny

    Nightdive reveals better-than-expected progress on its troubled System Shock remake

    Slick and sharp, Scythe Digital Edition delivers dreams of turn-based glory

    Nelke & the Legendary Alchemists coming west for PS4, Switch, and PC this winter

    Remnant: From the Ashes - Official Announcement Trailer
    4 ways the Beast of Winter DLC subverts Pillars of Eternity II: Deadfire
    The Council’s third episode is called ‘Ripples,’ and it’s coming out this month

    An In-depth Look At Destiny 2: Forsaken's New Supers And Subclass Branches

    No Man's Sky NEXT trailer teases third-person perspective, multiplayer, visual overhaul
    Amplitude Studios teases new Endless Legend expansion

    Hollow Knight’s biggest free update yet launches next month
    Pillars of Eternity 2 expansion Beast of Winter is coming in August
    Divinity: Original Sin 2 - SQUIRREL KNIGHT (Sir Lora) Trailer
    Shadow of War Is Now Microtransaction-Free

    Rainbow Six Siege players who use slurs are now getting instantly banned
    Rainbow Six Siege players are goading competitors into hate speech auto-bans
    Overwatch toxicity has gone way down since endorsements were added
    Baldur's Gate lead designer James Ohlen has left BioWare after 22 years
    The IndieBeat: ArenaNet’s firings heighten concerns about company policies and harassment
    John Teasdale on language and ArenaNet firings
    The labour of games Injured Sovereigns, Foucault, and Jessica Price
    The ArenaNet Catastrophe Has The Whole Game Industry Rethinking Harassment Policies
    Fortnite creator Epic gives Unreal asset creators a raise and backpay

    YouTube creators reportedly losing accounts over Twitch stream promotions

    Valve temporarily halting new adult game releases on Steam

    Game Devs of Color expo seeks to define a new normal in the industry

    An Inside Look At PUBG Arrests In China

    Star Citizen Backer Sues To Get $4,500 Back, Loses

    Ubisoft Berlin approved for $1.85m subsidy from city government

    Germany bans vague pre-order release dates

    Fixing A Typo Makes Aliens: Colonial Marines Better (But It's Still Bad)

      Konami quashes 17-year-old fan's ambitious attempt to remake Kojima's horror marvel PT

    Silent Hills loses P.T. fan remake, gains a book and Fallout 4 mod
    Resident Evil 4 fan remaster is finally available
    Esports News
    Overwatch League's First-Ever MVP Illustrates Its Support Problem

    Epic's first official Fortnite competition was a total disaster

    ESPN, Disney, ABC Reach Multi-Year Deal to Air Overwatch League

    ‘StarCraft II’: How Blizzard Brought the King of Esports Back From the Dead

    Next year's first CS:GO major will be held in Poland

    Japan is taking steps to legalize paid esports tournaments

    Esports Player's Use Of Homophobic Slur Sets Off Unexpectedly Long Debate

    Crowdfunding News (not sharing everything I find, just ones that look interesting, have known talent behind them, and a chance to succeed)
    Crying Suns
    This Kickstarter Is Seeking Funds For A Pop-up Book About Sega's Arcade History

    Video game Kickstarters have raised almost $10m so far in 2018

    Content I found interesting this week (interviews, recommendations, think pieces, history, music, culture, design, art, documentaries, criticism, etc)
    The video games of Ecuadorean fishing village Santa Marianita

    Rami Ismail: ‘Indie is bigger than ever and also it is dead’

    Ovosonico: Games will be "like the Netflix button on your remote - that easy"

    Brian Shared His Steam Account With His Dad. Then His Dad Stole It.

    Book Excerpt: A behind-the-scenes look at building Ultima Online

    Women Creating A Brighter Future For Games

    Fighting a toxic Steam community - and winning
    The Creator of a GamerGate Subreddit Deserves No Credit for Deleting It

    Meet The Controller Mechanic Who Repairs Smash Pros' Hardware On The Fly

    Dead Space 4 would have been open world, former creative director says

    How to take 7 years to ship a beta.

    Thinking in Systems

    How Wizardry Cast Story Aside in Favor of Casting Spells

    Hangar 13: Diversifying your team protects you from blind spots

    Designing a 'demake' in 2018: The making of PS1 love letter OK/NORMAL

    Screen Sculpture | Doki Doki Literature Club

    The futile search for a single message in Far Cry 5

    Romanticism and the art of Dark Souls III

    The Tragedy of Mass Effect // HeavyEyed
    Character Action Games and How Culture Creates Genres // Codex Entry
    CRITIQUE: Metro: Last Light (Redux)
    inFAMOUS Series Critique
    In Defense of Escape From Monkey Island - A Retrospective
    EcoGaming #1: Purpose and Defining Wilderness
    The Rise and Fall of Silent Hill
    Making Games Better for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing | Designing for Disability
    The Animation of Wonderboy: The Dragon's Trap
    Mega Man 11’s Devs Show Off The Room Sound Effects Are Made
    Check out this coaster calcuator built in Rollercoaster Tycoon 2
    Things I found entertaining throughout the week relating to the game industry
    Nathan Fillion stars as Nathan Drake in Uncharted fan film
    Things I Missed From Previous Weeks
    Mark Cerny and Amy Hennig: A fireside chat with master game makers

    Don’t Mention The Bruises

  16. DoctorEvil liked a article by Legolas_Katarn, This Week In Gaming 7-10-18   
    Peter Tieryas tells the story of how Harlan Ellison's famous short story became a game, Cecilia D'Anastasio's The Truth About Video Game Addiction, firing of two ArenaNet employees leads to worries about the danger caused for employees when large companies immediately cave to mobs and to more discussion about workers rights and the need for unions, Ludocriticism's video on The Forest and how it uses the video game medium to enable instead of show, the Waypoint staff talks to 14 developers about how they deal with crunch, Brendan Sinclair interviews Keita Takahashi and learns how he views his career, Warframe shows off new expansion, AI and Games' Behind the AI and Storytelling of Spec Ops The Line, Johnny Cullen on how Journey only truly made sense when almost everything had been cut, multiple indie games get release dates, Raycevick looks at Need for Speed: Most Wanted 13 Years Later, and more.
    Gaming News (Announcements, previews, release dates, interviews and writing on upcoming games, DLC and game updates, company and developer news, country news, tech, mods)
    From pen and paper to Dying Light 2 – Chris Avellone wants to flip the RPG script

    AI: The Somnium Files announced for PS4, Switch, and PC
    19 minutes of Anthem gameplay, featuring a gross spider boss
    Anthem's characters are voiced and you can choose their gender
    You can turn off Anthem's floating damage numbers
    Anthem executive producer Mark Darrah is answering questions on Twitter
    Talim returns in Soulcalibur 6 after skipping the previous game
    Devotion is hard to come by in Detention’s follow-up
    Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice promises a thrilling evolution of the Souls formula

    NASCAR Heat 3 deals the dirt to consoles this fall

    Darksiders III Release Date, Early Access and Pre-Order Bonus Details

    Dead Island 2 rises from the grave with tower defense tide over
    Death end re;Quest coming west in early 2019
    Dead Cells leaves Early Access on August 7, so let's have a look at the new trailer
    Ghost Parade Is Coming To The Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4 And PC
    Terry Cavanagh's next game is a roll-the-bones roguelike called Dicey Dungeons
    Indivisible, the RPG from the creators of Skullgirls, gets a stunning anime teaser
    Chasm, the procedurally-generated Metroidvania, will arrive at the end of July
    Phantom Doctrine gets a release date and launch trailer
    Code: Realize ~Wintertide Miracles~ Arrives In North America And Europe In 2019

    Override: Mech City Brawl - Announcement Trailer
    God Wars: The Complete Legend ‘The Labyrinth of Yomi’ trailer
    Battle Princess Madelyn, the sidescroller co-created by a 7-year-old, flaunts new gameplay
    Monster Hunter: World comes to PC in a month - here are its system requirements

    Yes, you’ll be able to play Monster Hunter: World on PC at 60fps
    Monster Hunter: World will use Denuvo on PC
    Here’s a first look at the Kill la Kill game
    Zanki Zero Heading To North America And Europe In Spring 2019
    Aksys Bringing Death Mark To North America And Europe

    Warframe's new expansion is a stunning alien landscape full of giant robo-bugs
    Warframe is getting co-op spaceship combat that looks like a third-person FTL
    Warframe is getting hoverboards and yes you can do tricks on them
    Far Cry 5’s second DLC will have you fight Martian spiders next week
    Sonic Mania Plus dev diary teases the new Encore mode
    Xbox: Accessible games can “mean the difference between existing and living” for disabled people

    Valve Shuts Down New Way Of Estimating Game Sales On Steam

    Tencent is taking on Steam with a global version of WeGame

    Guild Wars studio fires two employees after clash with streamer
    ArenaNet throw two Guild Wars 2 writers to the wolves
    ArenaNet sends all the wrong messages
    Ask A Game Dev
    Statement on the ArenaNet Firings
    ArenaNet ‘folded like a cheap card table,’ says fired Guild Wars 2 writer
    Gamers and managers vs workers: the impossible (and gendered) standards imposed on game developers
    Guild Wars 2 Writers Fired For Calling Out Fan On Twitter

      I'm sure all the people having tantrums are also sending 100s of messages to Stardock, Quantic Dream, and Warhorse Studios demanding that their CEOs are removed or leave the company for doing things that are actually bad, repeatedly, for years.
    Todd Howard: Service-based Fallout 76 doesn't mark the future direction of Bethesda

    Controversial streamer Phantoml0rd threatens to sue popular Twitch subreddit mods

    Destiny fans raise $50,000 in 30 minutes, forcing charity stream hosts to tattoo their butts

    We Happy Few's Australian sales ban has been overturned

    France says loot boxes aren't gambling

    Spiritual successor to the original Star Wars Battlefront gets gameplay vid
    The 80s and 90s PC games still unbelievably being updated today

    Esports News
    You can now be paid £1,500 a year to play esports titles at university

    Women in Games launches strategy on improving gender diversity in esports

    Content I found interesting this week (interviews, recommendations, think pieces, history, music, culture, design, art, documentaries, criticism, etc)
    We Asked Nintendo, Microsoft, and 12 Other Devs How They Deal With Crunch

    The Truth About 'Video Game Addiction'

    How Harlan Ellison’s Most Famous Short Story Became An Amazing Video Game

    How Journey only truly made sense when almost everything had been cut

    The negativity of Keita Takahashi

    The New Vid Economy: Making A Living From Crowdfunded Game Analysis
    Rare Finished Making A Battletoads For Game Boy That Never Came Out

    The European TV channel making documentaries with video games

    How one person created the lushly organic world of Ghost Of A Tale

    The Story Behind Ultima’s Morality

    KOTOR II - Hatred & Creativity | Core Ideas
    The Forest Review/Critique: Enable, Don't Show
    Call of Cthulhu: Shadow of the Comet | Forgotten Gems
    Need for Speed: Most Wanted... 13 Years Later
    Klonoa: Door to Phantomile | Legendary
    Kingdom Hearts 2 Retrospective
    Behind the AI and Storytelling of Spec Ops: The Line | AI and Games
    The Music & Sound of Bethesda Game Studios (Skyrim, Oblivion, Fallout)
    New Vegas's Cut Content Shows A Much Different Game
    Famicom Wars! Nintendo Vs. Sharp: The Unknown Copyright Dispute + Twin Famicom Story - GTV
  17. DoctorEvil liked a article by Legolas_Katarn, This Week In Gaming 6-26-18   
    Alanah Pearce spent months conducting interviews with developers to learn if they believe if Twitch is having a negative impact on single player games, GVMERS on The Rise and Fall of SOCOM, Mother's Basement on Detroit Become Human being the worst civil rights allegory, Life Is Strange 2 reveal, Michael Futter tells the story of why the Telltale and Stranger Things deal took two years to happen, former Extra Credits founder and narrator launches New Frame Plus YT channel, Colin Campbell on why companies are afraid of the politics in their games, Maddy Myers toured three esports organizations to see how the teams live, James Dator writes about the life of a Grand Theft Auto role-player, Cameron Kunzelman asks Why Are There So Many Apocalyptic Video Games, Video Game Story Time on the broken heart that inspired Hyper Light Drifter, EU approves copyright law, and more.
    Gaming News (Announcements, previews, release dates, interviews and writing on upcoming games, DLC and game updates, company and developer news, country news, tech, mods)
    Life Is Strange 2
    'The Last of Us' Developers Discuss Realistic Kissing, Queer Fridging, More

    Mutant Year Zero: Road to Eden - Gameplay Trailer
    Mutant World Zero Marries XCOM With Talking Animals
    Red Dead Redemption 2 existence on PC possibly leaked via LinkedIn

    Unavowed: Wadjet Eye’s next game gets launch trailer
    Resident Evil 2 remake looks very dark and scary in newest trailer
    Neo Cab Puts You on a Cyberpunk Adventure as an Uber Driver | The MIX E3 2018
    SRPG City of the Shroud’s first episode launches August
    The Makers Of Dying Light Are Trying Something Very New For The Sequel: Politics

    Where the Bees Make Honey is an Absolutely Gorgeous Puzzle Game | The MIX E3 2018
    Anthem Dev Answers Gameplay Questions - GameSpot Daily
    Chasm's Combat and World are Very Castlevania | The MIX E3 2018
    Darq Is A Zero-Gravity Psychological Horror Game | The MIX E3 2018
    Orphan Age: 12 Minutes of Gameplay of Kids Left Behind in a Dystopian Cyberpunk War
    This Is The Most Ridiculous Golf Game Ever | The MIX E3 2018
    'It can never be that simple': Designing the quests of Cyberpunk 2077

    CD Projekt Red is making a triple-A multiplayer shooter - and it’s probably Cyberpunk 2077
    CD Projekt RED Won't Commit to Gender Fluidity in ‘Cyberpunk 2077’ (Yet)
    What Total War: Three Kingdoms is learning from its Warhammer cousins (and Crusader Kings II)

    The Lord of the Rings card game delivers something we don’t have enough of on PC

    Just Cause 4 Dev on Weather, Wingsuits, and Weapons: "Everything You Love is Back, But More"

    Police Stories is coming along nicely, but taking its time

    Mega Man 11’s Dev Team Goes Into Detail On How Stages Are Made

    Mega Man 11 Video Talks About His 3D Model’s Design
    The team behind Alien: Isolation is working on a first-person tactical shooter

    Catherine: Full Body Trailer - E3 2018
    Norse action adventure game Fimbul coming to PS4, Xbox One, Switch, and PC in November
    Tactics Action Meets Tower-Defense Strategy in Bad North | E3 2018
    How We Happy Few was reinvented: "No one believed we even had a story"

    Mechanicus is Warhammer: 40,000 meets XCOM but with unique ideas of its own

    Death’s Gambit gameplay trailer
    Soulcalibur VI producer teases another major single-player mode in addition to Story Mode

    Zanki Zero: Last Beginning ‘Let’s Shine the Light on Humanity’s Bright Future’ gameplay
    London Detective Mysteria Heading West In Fall 2018

    Inazuma Eleven Ares Anime Coming To Europe In 2018, North America In 2019

    The formerly Wipeout-inspired Redout: Space Assault ditches racetracks for tactical space combat
    Shikhondo: Soul Eater coming to PS4, Xbox One, and Switch this summer

    Friday the 13th gets permanently axed

    Final Fantasy XIV's Director Talks Housing Shortage, PS4 Cross-Play, And Much More
    Divinity: Original Sin 2 Definitive Edition will be a significant, and free, upgrade for PC players
    Riot wants to make "an enormous amount" of new League of Legends champions

    Popular Twitch streamers temporarily banned thanks to DMCA takedowns

    Nintendo And Microsoft Are Rubbing Sony's Face In It

    Summer Games Done Quick 2018: everything you need to know about the first day

    Bethesda sues Warner Bros, calls its Westworld game ‘blatant rip-off’ of Fallout Shelter

    Stardock Responds To Star Control Developers' Claims Over Ownership Of Series

    OpenAI’s Dota 2 bots sets their sights on the big leagues

    Red Shell analytics software causes privacy uproar, over a dozen developers vow to drop it

    Proposed EU Copyright Law Could Cause Problems For Fan Content In Games

    South Korean court sends Overwatch hack creator to jail

    Esports News
    Overwatch League All-Star Game starting lineups revealed

    One Rule For The Dragon Ball FighterZ Championship Is The Most Dragon Ball Thing Ever

    New Rainbow Six Siege tournament aims to find the best players in the US

    Building Overwatch League - Heroes Never Die
    How Pro Gamers Live Now: Curfews, Personal Chefs, And All Of It On Camera

    Crowdfunding News (not sharing everything I find, just ones that look interesting, have known talent behind them, and a chance to succeed)
    XENONAUTS 2 : Strategic Planetary Defence Simulator
    Content I found interesting this week (interviews, recommendations, think pieces, history, music, culture, design, art, documentaries, criticism, etc)
    The life of a Grand Theft Auto role-player

    Prominent Final Fantasy 14 community leader accused of blackmail and sexual harassment by over a dozen women

    Why Are There So Many Apocalyptic Video Games?

    Why are game companies so afraid of the politics in their games?

    If Ubisoft wants to cling on to Clancy, it's time to talk politics
    Ubisoft games are political, says CEO - just not the way you think
    Good and bad at all times: Adriel Wallick on jamming for a year

    Dream Hard as queer brawler defense

    Netflix, Telltale and ‘Stranger Things’: Why the Deal Took Two Years to Happen
    Coping With War: Where Video Games And The Lives Of Soldiers Intersect
    Katamari Damacy was way darker than you thought

    Descending Into Madness with Cultist Simulator

    The Rise and Fall of SOCOM
    Detroit: Become Human - The Worst Civil Rights Allegory
    Designing Elder Scrolls' Dark Brotherhood (Oblivion / Skyrim) - Noclip Short
    Hyper Light Drifter: The Story of Alx Preston
    Finding the Fun in Failure
    "You're Playing It Wrong" - Examining Intention in Games | PostMesmeric
    Primal Rage II from Heartbreak to Resurrection: The Journey After Cancellation
    New Frame Plus - Channel Trailer
    Things I found entertaining throughout the week relating to the game industry
    NBA Rookie Also Video Game Marketing Rookie
    Things I Missed From Previous Weeks
    An Animated Storybook Is The Best Way To Learn Dark Souls Lore
  18. DoctorEvil liked a article by Legolas_Katarn, This Week In Gaming 6-12-18   
    Reveals, reporting, and gameplay from E3, Game Informer's detailed coverage of Cyberpunk 2077 and Anthem, Micah Edmonds on what game writer Walt Williams taught him, Yussef Cole on how Detroit siphons and squanders the subjects it tries to talk about, Adam Millard examines morality systems in games and how most games have you base your decisions on factors outside of morality, Harebrained Schemes (Shadowrun/Battletech) designer resigns after multiple victims come forward about sexual harassment, talk of Harebrained Schemes developer also leads former Extra Credits staff member to talk about how co-creator James Portnow harassed her out of the job, gameplay for Total War Three Kingdoms and some info on Spelunky 2, Valve on what gets to be on the Steam store and reactions to their blog post, Luke Winkie looks into and interviews modders about the latent and at times blatant racism in Paradox modding communities and the studio's response, and more.
    Gaming News (Announcements, previews, release dates, interviews and writing on upcoming games, DLC and game updates, company and developer news, country news, tech, mods)
    EA Play Live Press Conference 2018. Featuring Anthem, Battlefield 5, EA SPORTS and more…
    Everything EA Showed At E3 2018
    Xbox E3 briefing
    Everything Microsoft Showed At E3 2018
    A chat with Phil Spencer about next gen Xbox consoles
    Why Ninja Theory has joined Microsoft Studios
    Halo Infinite brings the series back to PC
    Bethesda E3 2018 Press Conference
    Bethesda at E3 2018: trailers, news and announcements
    Fallout 76's Approach To Nukes Seems Like A Shift For The Series
    FULL Square Enix E3 2018 Press Conference
    Everything Square Enix Showed At E3 2018
    FULL Ubisoft Press Conference - E3 2018
    Everything Ubisoft Showed At E3 2018
    Ubisoft’s Crowdsourcing Scheme Asks for Hard Work, Promises Little Pay
    The PC Gaming Show at E3 2018
    Watch The PC Gaming Show here
    Every game at E3 2018 and its PC outlook
    FULL Sony E3 2018 Press Conference
    Everything Sony Showed At E3 2018
    Nintendo Direct: E3 2018
    Everything Nintendo Showed At E3 2018
    Devolver Digital - E3 2018 Full Press Conference [HD]
    Metal Wolf Chaos XD, a lost From Software classic from 2004, is getting a remaster
    Slow-mo shooter My Friend Pedro coming to Nintendo Switch and PC
    SCUM - Early Access Teaser Trailer
    Cyberpunk 2077

    Battlefield 5 Gameplay Grand Operations
    Battlefield 5 cosmetics 'need to be believable, need to fit with the era', says EA
    'This is not okay': EA minces no words on backlash against women in Battlefield
    Hitman 2 | E3 2018 Official Reveal Trailer
    Hitman 2 - E3 2018 Online Multiplayer Co-Op Trailer (Official) | Sniper Assassin Mode
    A Deadly Walk Through Hitman 2's Miami Level
    The Last Of Us Part II’s Violence Is Designed To Be Repulsive

    Days Gone - E3 2018 Gameplay Demo | PlayStation Live from E3
    Resident Evil 2 - PS4 Gameplay Demo | PlayStation Live From E3 2018
    The Walking Dead - The Final Season | E3 2018 Teaser Trailer
    We Played Anthem, And It’s Pretty Fun
    17 Minutes of Starlink Starfox Arwing Gameplay on Nintendo Switch
    The Awesome Adventures of Captain Spirit Gameplay Demo - IGN Live E3 2018
    Ori and the Will of the Wisps Developer Walkthrough Gameplay - IGN Live E3 2018
    THE SINKING CITY Gameplay Demo (E3 2018) Cthulhu H.P Lovecraft Open World Game
    Stormland - Official Announcement Trailer
    Assassin's Creed Odyssey Gameplay E3 2018
    Assassin's Creed Odyssey Impressions
    New Gameplay Today – Assassin’s Creed Odyssey
    Assassin’s Creed: Odyssey is even more of a traditional RPG than last year’s Origins
    Dead or Alive 6 announced for PC, due 2019
    Metro Exodus - E3 2018 4K Gameplay Demo (EU)
    Metro Exodus is all the better for leaving tunnels behind
    Metro Exodus is beautiful, punishing, and a bit buggy
    There are no classes, stats, or souls in Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice

    Hands on with the romantic battles of Total War: Three Kingdoms
    Total War: THREE KINGDOMS – E3 Gameplay Reveal
    We Happy Few Gameplay Walkthrough - IGN Live E3 2018
    Jump Force Gameplay Demo - IGN Live E3 2018
    [E3 2018] Fear The Wolves - E3 Trailer
    Phantom Doctrine has a new trailer full of Cold War spy-on-spy action
    New Gundam Breaker delayed on PC
    Overkill's The Walking Dead trailer reveals the game's final survivor
    Monster Boy And The Cursed Kingdom Gets Shown Off In Brand New E3 Trailer
    Rollcage-inspired racing game Grip will be out this autumn

    We played an hour of Spider-Man, and it feels like the best Spidey game

    Swinging Through New York City As Spidey Feels Effortless
    A new Strange Brigade trailer showcases pulpy co-op combat
    10 minutes of The Division 2 Gameplay - The Division 2 4K Gameplay E3 2018
    The Division 2 Feels Like An Apology To Those Burned By The Last Game
    The Division 2 Is Political, Despite What Its Developers Say
    The Base of Operations is coming back for The Division 2
    You can call in a civilian militia in The Division 2
    Tetris Effect - Announce Trailer | PS4
    Derek Yu says a tiny bit about Spelunky 2

    Twin Mirror is a 'story-driven investigation game' from Life is Strange studio Dontnod
    Persona 3: Dancing in Moonlight - Announcement Trailer | PS4, PS Vita
    Persona 5: Dancing in Starlight - Announcement Trailer | PS4, PS Vita
    Wargroove reveals its final three commanders, and one is a dog in uniform

    Just Cause 4 confirmed, thanks to early Steam advertisement

    Graveyard Keeper is a glorious, sinister game about dealing with the dead
    Mad Max developer Avalanche is working on an open-world shooter set in 1980s Sweden
    Star Wars Battlefront 2 is heading to the Clone Wars

    Sea of Thieves - E3 2018 - Cursed Sails and Forsaken Shores Announce
    Conan Exiles Struggles With Unmoderated Griefing, Racism

    Who Gets To Be On The Steam Store?

    Steam's Irresponsible Hands-Off Policy Is Proof That Valve Still Hasn't Learned Its Lesson
    The games industry reacts to Valve's divisive Steam Store curation policy
    Steam's content policy is both arrogant and cowardly
    Itch.io creator says Steam's new hands-off curation policy is 'ridiculous'
    Why I'm not super excited about Valve's new Steam policy
    Valve gives up on responsibility
    Valve removes AIDS Simulator, other controversial games from Steam Store
    (I really can't find anything supporting the policies that aren't either just from terrible people that want to have really offensive or racist things on Steam, very brief generic arguments that basically start and end with "Nintendo censored things in the 80s so this is good," or "Well, at least they might not remove visual novels for no reason anymore)     'BattleTech' Developer Accused of Sexual Harassment, Resigns
    Extra Credits Creator
    Normally, I wouldn't believe the quick write up about the unnamed hired PR firm finding nothing in their investigation of the creator of the company some time after the accusing employee already left, but then it went out of its way to mention that they assigned a woman to the case and that really won me over (no, not really). Obviously, I won't be providing any kind of platform for them going forward.
    Obituary: Bomberman dev and Hudson Soft vet Shoji Mizuno

    Using AI to take the "emotional work" out of community management

    Australian gamers could face throttled data usage

    One-third of UK women gamers report abuse or discrimination from male gamers

    Esports News
    The Weekend In Esports: Rev Your Engines

    It's Hard To Look Away From The Overwatch League's 0-37 Team

    New Jersey Added A Last-Minute Esports Betting Ban And No One Knows Why

    The Relationship Between Kpop and eSports
    Content I found interesting this week (interviews, recommendations, think pieces, history, music, culture, design, art, documentaries, criticism, etc)
    How can indies build their brand?

    How an ex-DreamWorks animator imbued Ghost of a Tale with character

    The game developers telling their story of Nicaragua's deadly crackdown on protesters

    Disgraced Donkey Kong Champ Billy Mitchell’s Redemption Is a Sloppy Soliloquy

    The Struggle Over Gamers Who Use Mods To Create Racist Alternate Histories

    'Detroit' Siphons and Squanders a History of Marginalized Struggle

    “The Slow Death of the Imperial Vampyr,” by Reid McCarter

    'Agony,' a Game About Dehumanizing Women, Isn't Just Bad, It's Toxic

    The Making of Fallout 76 - Noclip Documentary
    What Walt Williams Taught Me
    Are Score Systems Still Relevant? | Game Maker's Toolkit
    Are Morality Systems Making Us Less Moral?
    History Respawned: Bomber Crew
    Noclip's Danny O'Dwyer On Filming With Bethesda Game Studios
    Things I found entertaining throughout the week relating to the game industry
    Things I Missed From Previous Weeks
    The Making of Sonic the Hedgehog 2
  19. Conan liked a article by Legolas_Katarn, This Week In Gaming 5-8-18   
    Noah Caldwell-Gervais examines the entire Far Cry series focusing on gameplay, story, themes, and authorial intent. Nathan Grayson on the damaging effects of crunch and how it persists beyond the corporate environment while Night In the Woods developers talk about why so many developers risk their health to make games, Ben Lindbergh tells a personal story about his family and Dad and of his experience playing God of War, new trailer for Red Dead Redemption 2, Josiah Renaudin and Nick Capozzoli discuss and answer question about writing game reviews, Eron Rauch writes about the history of reviews and criticism and how it related to video games, Charlie Hall talks to Treyarch about their work on Black Ops and its Zombie modes, Matthew "Sajon" Weise on why Metal Gear Solid 2 Is Not About The Internet, Errant Signal talks about Far Cry 5 and the art of saying nothing, gameplay and an interview with the creator of Artifact, and more.
    Gaming News (Announcements, previews, release dates, interviews and writing on upcoming games, DLC and game updates, company and developer news, country news, tech, mods)
    Here's Our Best Look Yet At Red Dead Redemption 2
    9 minutes of Artifact Gameplay - The new game from VALVE
    We interview Artifact's lead designer, Richard Garfield (AKA the creator of Magic: The Gathering)
    Artifact pairs the best ideas of Dota with the best parts of card games
    Jurassic World Evolution: The First 20 Minutes - IGN First
    Steampunk World War 1 RTS Iron Harvest will have over 30 mechs and a powerful pet bear

    Take a Behind-the-Scenes Look Into the Score for Dontnod's Vampyr
    Vampyr - Becoming the Monster
    Shadow of the Tomb Raider and the risk of making an introspective AAA game

    Lara Croft’s dual pistols won’t be returning in Shadow of the Tomb Raider
    State Of Decay 2 Knows What Players Want
    Fort Triumph is part XCOM, part Heroes of Might and Magic

    The Good Life's story trailer is here
    Introducing a special interview with 4Gamer, a Japanese media outlet!
    New Games: Prime Mover is about solving puzzles by building circuit boards
    Soviet Union-set first-person shooter Atomic Heart coming to PS4, Xbox One, and PC in 2018
    Lamplight City is a detective adventure where it's okay to fail

    Days Gone Exclusive Coverage Trailer
    Harvest Moon: Light of Hope Special Edition official trailer
    Lancelot and a talking dog take on Jack the Ripper in this adventure game
    MachiaVillain - Release Date Announcement Trailer
    Disgaea 5 Complete's PC Release Delayed, Demo Pulled
    Five minutes of Egress alpha gameplay
    Ooblets developer update shows off adorable little houses and new characters

    Shin Megami Tensei: Strange Journey Redux Alterations Affect Its Ambiance

    Battletech is getting more customization options and maybe an expansion or two

    Rainbow Six Siege Operation Para Bellum revealed | Rainbow Six Siege Reinforcements
    The Council’s second episode, Hide And Seek, arrives this month

    Here is the launch trailer for Destiny 2’s Warmind expansion
    Battlefield 1 expansion They Shall Not Pass is now free

    Middle-earth: Shadow of War - Desolation of Mordor Launch Trailer
    Yasumi Matsuno Talks About Bringing Ivalice Into Final Fantasy XIV
    Fortnite’s Avengers: Infinity War crossover hands-on: It’s very, very good

    Virtual Console Is Not Coming To Switch, Nintendo Says

    Square Enix will hold an E3 conference this year for the first time since 2015
    Activision's CEO Made $28.6 Million Last Year, 306 Times The Median Activision Employee

    Madden NFL’s creative director departs after six years
    For Honor's Creation Ended With A Behind-The-Scenes Break-Up

    A Twitch emote trolled Dr. DisRespect, disappeared, then ignited user ire

    Man sentenced to prison over 2010 World of Warcraft DDoS attack

    Korean Overwatch Hackers Arrested, Hit With $10,000 Fine

    At NRA conference, speaker blames games for ‘sick kids’

    Attentat 1942 wins Berlin gaming festival award, but can’t be played in Germany

    Massive Witcher 3 mod overhauls just about every aspect of combat
    Esports News
    The Weekend In Esports: Something For Everyone

    South Korea tops the 2018 Overwatch World Cup preliminaries

    Undefeated in their last 14 matches, Boston's Overwatch team is on fire

    How H1Z1 Pro League hopes to lead the line for battle royale esports

    Japan's Yoshi Specialist Beats Top Melee Player

    Mew2King Wins Smash Invitational, Can’t Believe It
    Hawaii's Big Island Is Building A Fighting Game Community From The Ground Up

    Hi-Rez Studios announces new esports production company

    How OWL's makeup artists are helping create the next generation of esports celebrity

    Crowdfunding News (not sharing everything I find, just ones that look interesting, have known talent behind them, and a chance to succeed)
    Forest of Liars: A narrative adventure game
    198X Is Every 80s Game In One

    Content I found interesting this week (interviews, recommendations, think pieces, history, music, culture, design, art, documentaries, criticism, etc)
    Meet the studio behind Call of Duty: Black Ops and Zombies mode

    The Reviewer and The Critic

    20 Years Of Crunch Take Their Toll On A Game Developer

    "The reason we're killing ourselves isn't because we love what we're doing"

    "We can't rely on nostalgia to sell"

    Your fußball table isn't your culture

    Episode 146: The Ultimate Games Criticism Mailbag with Nick Capozzoli
    How a Destiny meetup grew to become a massive charity event raising over $2 million and counting

    Prima Publishing Extensive Book Covering Women In Gaming

    Nigh Unplayable: A Brief History of Unwieldy Controls

    The Ghosts of ‘God of War’

    The Real Ancient Myth at the Heart of 'God of War'

    “Killing Gods, Feeling Great,” by Reid McCarter
    The Meaninglessness of Maturity in God of War
    Smacking a YouTuber with their own selfie stick is a new peak for video game catharsis

    Damn right
    Metal Gear Solid 2 Is Not About The Internet

    Far Cry 5's Faith Seed Embodies An Evangelical Double Standard

    The They/Them Option in 'BattleTech' Is About So Much More Than Choice
    'Frostpunk' Treats People With Disabilities As Complex Humans, Not Gimmicks

    Playing With the Human Side of History

    Far Cry 5 and the Art of Saying Nothing (Spoilers)
    A Thorough Look At Far Cry
    God of War 1 Retrospective
    Daria Reviews Lufia 2 [SNES] - A Critical Look At the Characters of Lufia II
    Why Did I Love 007 Nightfire?
    Other Places: Rapture (BioShock)
    When is Grinding Fun? - An Exploration of Grinding Done Well
    Analysis: The Effects of Salt
    Bendy and the Ink Machine Chapter 3: How TheMeatly Quit His Day Job
    Top 11 Adventure Games (That are NOT Sierra or LucasArts!) - Part 1
    My accidental 36 years in video games by Jeff Minter (Llamasoft) - Inspirational
    Things I found entertaining throughout the week relating to the game industry
    Dad Jokes with Kratos
    Things I Missed From Previous Weeks
    GTA 4 Transcends its Flawed Core by Embracing Realism

    Zerg Rush | A History of AI Research in StarCraft
  20. DoctorEvil liked a article by Legolas_Katarn, This Week In Gaming 3-20-18   
    Matt Leone looks into the rise of concept teams in the Japanese game industry, Chloi Rad on how responding to the White House violent games video with nonviolent scenes is a reductive argument and Katherine Cross discusses what science says about games and violence, new Tomb Raider revealed, SXSW awards, HeavyEyed on how games help to fund gun manufactures, Geralt is in SoulCalibur VI, Kazuma Hashimoto on Yakuza 3's portrayal of orphans in Japan, Noclip releases Warframe documentary, Patrick Klepek on why it took seven years to ship a My Little Pony fan game, God of War previews, Cool Ghosts releases the second episode of their funny and thoughtful video game show, Yakuza Kiwami 2 gets Western release, The Gaming Historian tells the story of R.O.B. the robot, Seva Kritskiy on the problems with Crest's claim to having an Afrofuturist aesthetic, and more.
    Gaming News (Announcements, previews, release dates, interviews and writing on upcoming games, DLC and game updates, company and developer news, country news, tech, mods)
    SXSW Gaming Awards 2018
    What Remains of Edith Finch, PUBG and Cuphead shine in BAFTA Games Awards nominations

    Watch Nier: Automata's Yoko Taro Finally Accept His DICE Award
    Shadow of the Tomb Raider Will Be Out This Fall
    Shadow of the Tomb Raider - Teaser Trailer
    God of War has grown up, but Kratos is still reassuringly furious
    We Played An Hour Of The New God Of War And Really Liked It
    God of War’s spectacular opening sets the stage for an emotional journey
    Hands On With 'God of War': Evocative Gaming Bliss
    God of War Sequels Already Being Planned, Will Stick With Norse Mythology
    22 Minutes of State of Decay 2 Solo Mission Gameplay [4K] - IGN First
    State of Decay 2: A Deeper Look at the Upgraded Base-Building System [4K] - IGN First
    Will Wright returns to game development with mobile title Proxi
    Yakuza Kiwami 2 Is Coming To The West, And We Got To Play It
    BATTLETECH Basics: Mercenary Life | Pre-order TODAY
    Watch huge robots smash stuff in this new MechWarrior 5: Mercenaries trailer
    Valkyria Chronicles 4’s Snowy Fields Provide Unique Gimmicks To Battles
    Little Witch Academia: Chamber of Time set to launch in May
    Shroud of the Avatar: Forsaken Virtues Co-op Video
    Super Mega Baseball 2 details online multiplayer modes, supports crossplay with consoles
    Fell Seal: Arbiter's Mark unabashedly takes after Final Fantasy: Tactics
    Star Renegades Teaser Trailer
    Representing blindness through art in Another Sight
    This new Sinking City video features a very good looking GDC demo
    Octopath Traveler Details Tressa, Alfyn, Ability And Battle Job Systems

    Strangeland is a new point-and-click adventure coming from the makers of Primordia
    Run out of platforms in Octahedron and you can just make your own
    You can drive Imperial Knights in Warhammer 40,000: Inquisitor - Martyr
    Warriors Orochi 4 Announced For The West With A 2018 Release
    Multiplayer monster raising farm sim Re:Legend finds publisher ahead of Steam release

    Six Ages looks every bit the King Of Dragon Pass successor in this teaser
    Bit.Trip game Runner3 gets May release date
    Outer Wilds returns from the void with a new trailer
    Blazing Chrome To Bring Its Contra-Like Run N’ Gunning This Year
    Dotemu assembling The Arcade Crew
    Xseed Games Mystery Stream Reveals Ys: Memories of Celceta for PC

    Cyan is releasing updated versions of all the Myst games to mark series' 25th anniversary

    New Sonic racing game on the way, hopefully with more Company of Heroes characters
    The Banner Saga 3 trailer reminds you that Bolverk is having a very bad time
    Total War: Thrones of Britannia release date, factions, and Normans - everything we know
    SoulCalibur VI - Geralt of Rivia Gameplay Reveal Trailer
    The Crew 2 release date set for June, beta coming to PC, PS4 and Xbox One
    Extinction - Story Trailer
    Vermintide 2 set for Steam Workshop support in April

    Sonic Mania runs an encore lap with friends this summer

    Prey DLC will be announced - or released - in June
    Leaks say Alibi and Maestro are Rainbow Six Siege’s Italian operators

    'Star Wars Battlefront II' Loot Box Overhaul Detailed

    Behind The Scenes Of The Creation Of Brigitte, Overwatch's Newest Hero
    Itch.io says it's 'not super-interested' in replacing human curators with algorithms

    Valve Is Quietly Deleting Hate Groups, But It Isn't Solving Steam's Big Problem

    Over 600,000 People Have Tuned In To Watch Drake And Ninja Play Fortnite, Smashing Twitch's Record

    Microsoft: 'We're growing our gaming business beyond the console'

    Why Koei Tecmo’s president still works in the trenches

    CD Projekt Red launches a new studio to support Cyberpunk 2077
    Former Hitman, The Division devs form new studio Sharkmob

    Vivendi sells its entire stake in Ubisoft

    Ubisoft's Research Looks to Improve Smart Car AI and More
    $12m of Epic Games' Paragon assets now free to all developers

    IGDA Director Says Capital, Not Unions, Will Keep Game Development Jobs Secure

    Atelier Marie + Elie: The Alchemists Of Salburg 1 & 2 Fan Translation Complete

    Esports News
    The Weekend In Esports: Another Season, Another Reason To Love Blanka

    Two Dragon Ball FighterZ Pros Finally Settle The Score

    The Dota 2 International is heading to Canada for the first time

    StarCraft: Remastered Pro Arrested For Match-Fixing

    Pro Gamers Are Getting Serious About Unionizing

    Crowdfunding News (not sharing everything I find, just ones that look interesting, have known talent behind them, and a chance to succeed)
    Hardcore Gaming 101: Japanese Video Game Obscurities
    Imperishable Memories - Narrative Angst Shmup Game
    Fig investors see 245 percent returns, but questions remain

    Content I found interesting this week (interviews, recommendations, think pieces, history, music, culture, design, art, documentaries, criticism, etc)
    Directing from the sidelines

    Opinion: Trump's video game 'summit' reminds us who the enemy is
    Opinion: So what *does* the science say about games and violence?
    Let's Talk About Guns and Video Games
    White Supremacy, Black Liberation, and the Power Dynamics of Gun Violence
    We Know Games Don't Cause Real-Life Violence, But Why?
    "I would work on Hellblade for the rest of my life," says Senua's award-winning actress

    Indie veterans on the state of indie games on Nintendo Switch versus Steam

    Why It Took Seven Years For These 'My Little Pony' Fans to Ship Their Game

    How devs deal with making enemies that feel 'okay' to kill

    One dev's quest to support every controller you can plug into a USB port

    The NPCs in Assassin's Creed: Origins are more goal-orientated than most of us will ever be

    Road to the IGF: Funomena's Luna

    Road to the IGF: TPM CO Soft Works' Tarotica Voo Doo
    Road to the IGF: Cosmic Top Secret
    The Game of Everything, Part 1: Making Civilization

    EVE Online Players Honor Stephen Hawking With Interstellar Light Show

    Castlevania: Bloodlines, forsaken by Konami, is a masterpiece worth replaying

    All rise and no fall: how Civilization reinforces a dangerous myth

    Yakuza 6's New Town Is The Best

    Looking back at Yakuza 3 and its rare portrayal of orphans in Japan

    When I Replayed 'Metro 2033' Its Increased Political Relevance Surprised Me

    On the Afrofuturism, Representation and Intent of Crest

    The power of spring in Horizon Zero Dawn, Everybody's Gone to the Rapture and The Last of Us

    Seeing Burnout through fresh eyes

    Warframe Documentary (Part One) - Noclip
    How Video Games Are Funding Gun Manufacturers // HeavyEyed
    History Respawned: Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus
    Cool Ghosts: Episode 2 - Viva Pinata, Sonic Mania, Final Fantasy XII
    What Makes a Good Puzzle? | Game Maker's Toolkit
    Pikmin 2 is Poisonous - LambHoot
    A Critique of Subnautica
    Bad Mojo | Forgotten Gems
    NieR: Automata - Sacrifice and the Meaning of Kindness - Extra Credits
    The Story of R.O.B. the Robot | Gaming Historian
    Cave Story: The Story of Daisuke Amaya (Pixel)
        Exclusive Interview With Blizzard's Voice Over Team  
    Revisiting Rare's Xbox Years With Studio Head Craig Duncan - IGN Unfiltered #29
    Games Made for Mental Health! #CHECKPOINTSERIES ft NeverMind, Flowy, SuperBetter
    Things I Missed From Previous Weeks

  21. DoctorEvil liked a article by Legolas_Katarn, This Week In Gaming 3-6-18   
    Hepyrian on expressions of faith in Celeste and Iconoclasts, Innuendo Studios on the narratives themes and philosophy of Secret of Monkey Island, Cecilia D'Anastasio profiles the streamer nourished by bitter gamer tears, Writing on Games on why the Sleeping Dogs movie won't work as well as the game, the story behind the team that created the Otome genre, Noclip's new show analyzing the world of video games, Reid McCarter on Kingdom Come's portrayal of history, White House spokeswoman says Trump to meet with people in game industry over video game violence, Kazuma Hashimoto on Catherine and Japanese society, a look into the Siege team's creation of Operation Chimera, Noah Caldwell-Gervais' critique of the Torment games, Bioware and EA employees talk and answer questions about their jobs and how they got started in the industry, the Aliens game made by the Final Fantasy team, and more.
    Gaming News (Announcements, previews, release dates, interviews and writing on upcoming games, DLC and game updates, company and developer news, country news, tech, mods)
    Play As A Talking Duck In Upcoming New 'XCom' Style Game
    New Frostpunk developer update outlines endgame and confirms price
    Crytek's Co-Op Zombie Shooter Is Buggy But Promising
    Here’s Why Metro Exodus Doesn’t Have Multiplayer

    Valkyrie Profile: Lenneth ‘First Teaser Trailer 2018’
    A Drunk, A Coward, And A Walking Omen Of Death Are Part Of Your Army In Valkyria Chronicles 4
    Chucklefish Provides Insight Into Next Project Spellbound, A Game About Magical Schools

    Fire Emblem Warriors Devs On How They Fulfilled User Requests For Updates

    Cyan reveals Firmament, a steampunk adventure by the creators of Myst and Obduction
    Valkyria Chronicles 4 battle system overview trailer
    Wargroove shows off new commanders ahead of late-2018 release

    One Finger Death Punch 2 strikes in 2019
    Machinarium Studio’s New Game Is A Comedic Point-And-Click Adventure
    Achtung! Cthulhu Tactics Kickstarter funded, will creep onto doorsteps this year
    Fame comes quickly to Total War: Thrones of Britannia's Welsh Kingdoms
    State Of Decay 2 Release Date And Price Announced

    Way to the Woods looks like a beautiful dream in debut trailer
    Delightful-looking cartoon dungeon crawler The Swords of Ditto gets a new trailer, and an April release date
    The next Life is Strange will feature “new story and characters”

    Soulcalibur VI Nightmare character breakdown
    Get A Better Look At Dragon’s Crown Pro’s Heroes In A New Trailer
    Necromunda: Underhive Wars gets first trailer, with trash talk from all-female gang
    Indie Megabooth will show these 24 games at GDC
    After The Loot Box Fury, The People Behind The Next Battlefield Are Being Very Cautious

    The next Battlefield will have co-op play for randomly-generated missions, according to a report
    Ys VIII for PC launches in April
    Fight giant boars, spiders, crabs, evil trees in Battle Princess Madelyn boss montage
    Detroit: Become Human’s cover art is uncomfortably bad
    After Three Hours With 'Far Cry 5,' Its Politics Are Far From Clear

    Talking Cults and Culture with the Developers of 'Far Cry 5'
    Far Cry 5’s map editor includes bits from Assassin’s Creed and Watch Dogs
    Behind the Scenes with the Bloodstained Music Team
    Megadimension Neptunia VIIR launches May 8 in North America

    The Heretic-like fantasy FPS Amid Evil will arrive on Early Access next week
    Weta has been developing a Magic Leap game for the past six years

    Defiance 2050 is a 'reimagined' sci-fi shooter coming this summer
    New Overwatch Character Is Brigitte, Here's What She Can Do
    Ovewatch's Newest Hero Makes Supporting On The Frontline Fun
    A new method of banning toxic players is being tested in Rainbow Six Siege, so stop using slurs
    Rainbow Six: Siege’s editions are getting updated for Year 3
    Get a peek at the making of Rainbow Six Siege's Outbreak
    Looks like Ubisoft has major plans for The Division

    South Park: The Fractured But Whole DLC ‘From Dusk Till Casa Bonita’ launches March 20

    Arkane hints at Prey expansion, possibly involving the moon
    Grim Dawn pines for the Pyramids in its next expansion

    Release date set for Rule Britannia, Europa Universalis IV’s newest add-on
    David Jaffe's The Bartlet Jones Supernatural Detective Agency closes down

    Controversial Crytek boss Cevat Yerli steps down

    Ubisoft acquires Brawlhalla studio Blue Mammoth Games

    PUBG is now partnered with the wealthiest man in China

    Speedrunner Says He's Banned From All GDQ Events After Sharing His Medical Marijuana

    Discord is purging alt-right, white nationalist and hateful servers

    Steam Is Filled With Groups That Celebrate School Shooters

    A developer is selling an empty folder on Steam
    Facebook launches #SheTalksGames initiative to promote women in video games

    Trump Will Discuss Guns and Violence With Video Game Industry

    Video games and violence are linked – but not the way Trump thinks
    Teen Barred From Playing Violent Games After Threatening School Shooting
    White House Says Trump Will Meet With 'Members Of The Video Game Industry' Next Week [UPDATE: Video Game Industry Had No Idea]
    This total conversion mod turns StarCraft 2 into a 25-chapter survival horror game
    Esports News
    StarCraft II Just Had One Of Its Best Tournaments In Years

    Heroes of the Storm’s Western Clash saw a new prodigy take to the stage

    Blizzard will organise a StarCraft: Remastered competition this year

    Professionalism, Pick & Ban, and big orgs: how Ubisoft are taking Siege esports up a gear for Year 3

    Overwatch Pro Called An Opponent A "Fucking Faggot"; ESPN Reporter Who Broke Story Immediately Caught With Racist And Sexist Tweets

    Lucas “Mendokusaii” Håkansson on his "scary" journey to the Overwatch League

    Controversial Overwatch League coach quits following January scandals
    Blizzard boss Mike Morhaime talks about the future of Overwatch League

    Star-Studded Tournament Can’t Transcend PUBG’s Esports Problem

    Crowdfunding News (not sharing everything I find, just ones that look interesting, have known talent behind them, and a chance to succeed)
    Third Editions: Your Ultimate Gaming Library - Season 2

    Be Patient With Kickstarted Videogames

    Content I found interesting this week (interviews, recommendations, think pieces, history, music, culture, design, art, documentaries, criticism, etc)
    Where the Water Tastes Like Wine Developer Thread
    The Old, Weird America of Where the Water Tastes Like Wine
    'Titty Streamer' Kaceytron Is Nourished By Bitter Gamer Tears

    What indie developers think of Unity in 2018

    Bioware and EA Employees Talk About Their Jobs
    Many others talk about what their jobs involve, how they got started, and tips for getting into the industry if you check the Twitter page.  
    How Slay the Spire's devs use data to balance their roguelike deck-builder

    Into the Breach’s interface was a nightmare to make and the key to its greatness

    The Story Behind the All-Woman Team Who Invented the Otome Genre

    A brief history of the ESRB rating system

    That Time The Final Fantasy Team Made An Aliens Game

    [Discourse] Catherine, Trans Identities, and Representation in Japan

    Farewell, Demon's Souls

    'Into the Breach' Is About Abandoning the People You're Supposed to Protect

    Kingdom Come: Deliverance – Myth-making and Historical Accuracy

    Kingdom Come Deliverance’s quest for historical accuracy is a fool’s errand
    Shadow Of War Was A Dreary Mess, But Its Expansion Is Good

    Three Short Arguments on The Secret of Monkey Island
    Peering Into Celeste and Iconoclasts | Expressions of Faith
    Scars & Stories [Planescape: Torment vs. Torment: Tides of Numenera]
    The Return of Combat Chess - Noclip Bonus Level
    Revisiting Sleeping Dogs or: Why The Movie Won't Work
    Okami Analysis - What Is a 3D Zelda Clone Anyway? // HeavyEyed
    The Zany and Dystopian Future of Beneath a Steel Sky
    Kingdom Hearts Retrospective
    Anachronox (Moderate Spoilers)
    Delightful Video Game Departures | SSFF
    Owlboy: The Story of Simon Andersen and a 10 Year Development Period
    Disney's Cancelled Pirates Game - Investigating Pirates of the Caribbean: Armada of the Damned
    The Legality of Loot Boxes - Designing Ethical Lootboxes: II - Extra Credits
  22. DoctorEvil liked a article by Legolas_Katarn, This Week In Gaming 2-27-18   
    Dice 2018, ReedPOP buys Eurogamer parent company, Patrick Holleman on The History and Evolution of Videogame Design, Game Score Fanfare on The Conflicted Music of Shadow of the Colossus, Chris Bratt tell the story of The Great Kinect Art Heist, Phil Spencer discusses the power of games and the damage toxicity does to the industry and game culture, 12 year old streamer swatted after playing with popular Youtuber, US Senator calls for special tax on violent video games, Mark Brown on What Makes Celeste's Assist Mode Special, the people who made Metal Gear Survive, Pillars of Eternity 2 update talks about sailing, How Thief's Stealth System Almost Didn't Work, Star Control countersuit aims to invalidate Stardock’s trademarks, Battletech to release in April, insiders reflect on the impact EA Spouse had on EA's culture, and more.
    Gaming News (Announcements, previews, release dates, interviews and writing on upcoming games, DLC and game updates, company and developer news, country news, tech, mods)
    DICE 2018: AI for Storytelling
    Phil Spencer says Microsoft 'needed a reboot' in DICE keynote on workplace diversity
    Head of Xbox Calls for Greater Inclusivity, Less Toxicity in Video Games
    The Cuphead Journey: A Four-Year Knockout Indie Success Story - DICE 2018
    Greg Miller, Jessica Chobot on Hosting the DICE Awards
    Nintendo’s unsung hero Genyo Takeda accepts lifetime achievement award
    Warhammer 40,000's Adeptus Mechanicus finally get a video game of their own
    Indie games in development: highlights from #ScreenshotSaturday this week

    Pillars of Eternity II: Deadfire - Backer Update 45 - Sailing the Deadfire Archipelago
    The Animals of Far Cry 5: Who's Hunting Whom? - IGN First
    Ni no Kuni 2 has gone gold
    Forgotten Anne is a Ghibli-esque adventure game in which you oppress sentient slippers

    YUMENIKKI -DREAM DIARY- Now, wake up.
    Troy Baker and Emily O'Brien join Death Stranding

    The Last of Us Part 2 director talks about story inspiration

    Octahedron is a neon nightclub that wants to kill you
    Heaven's Vault | Announcement Trailer | PS4
    Vermintide 2 is the rat-infested evolution of Left 4 Dead we deserve

    The Battletech reboot will be out in April, watch a new trailer now
    New Shenmue III Game Footage From MAGIC 2018 Shows Off Ryo’s QTE Action Sequences
    New Shenmue 3 screenshots show more dead-eyed faces
    Crisis on the Planet of the Apes | Announce Trailer | PlayStation VR
    Sega’s Shining series returns to the West after more than a decade
    Ghost of a Tale, the RPG about a minstrel mouse, gets a date and new screens
    Phoenix Point's deep combat and massive crab monsters make it a worthy XCOM alternative

    A Way Out is definitely coming out March 23, as the game has now gone gold
    Tala is a gorgeous 2D mix of nature and animation

    CD Projekt touts Cyberpunk 2077 as a 'blockbuster franchise'

    Blast zombies and sharks from an armored Cadillac in metal rhythm shooter Double Kick Heroes
    Ivy and Zasalamel return for Soulcalibur 6
    Here's a closer look at the Irish in Total War: Thrones of Britannia
    The Lord of the Rings: The Living Card Game - EN Footage
    The Lord of the Rings Living Card Game is for CCG players who are tired of card packs and PvP metas
    Two Point Hospital - Official gameplay with bonus developer commentary! [ESRB]
    Conan Exiles' director talks Early Access development, the future of the survival genre and dong sliders

    Final Fantasy XV is set to expand into 2018 and beyond

    Rainbow Six Siege Outbreak Mode Cinematic Cutscenes
    Colourblind Rainbow Six Siege players can't see Lion's special ability
    Rainbow Six Siege’s latest test server update nerfs Blitz even further
    New Overwatch hero teasers point toward melee hero, Torbjörn's daughter
    Overwatch patch 1.20 notes: Sombra can now hack everything, Mei and Doomfist buffed
    League of Legends dev Riot Games details how it ensures fairer loot box odds

    'Monster Hunter: World' Trolls Are Making it Impossible to Get Loot

    Star Control countersuit aims to invalidate Stardock’s trademarks

    Twitch partner with charity to give grants to up-and-coming female streamers

    Tim Schafer To Receive BAFTA Fellowship Award

    Kid Gets Swatted After Popular YouTuber Helps Him Get Thousands Of Subscribers

    PAX Operator ReedPOP Buys Eurogamer Parent Company Gamer Network

    Facebook pulls VR shooter from conservative political conference

    After Months Of Controversy, ESRB Will Add 'In-Game Purchases' Label To Games

    U.S. Senator 'Still Concerned' About Loot Boxes Following ESRB Letter
    Trump Says Video Game Violence Is 'Shaping Young People's Thoughts'

    Rhode Island Rep. calls for special tax on violent videogames
    No, Mr Trump, video games do not cause mass shootings
    British Games Institute “becomes real” with National Videogame Foundation merger

    New BAME exhibition to debut at London Games Festival

    Europe finally gets a video game chart with digital data

    Ambitious 'Hearts of Iron IV' Mod Transforms WWII into the Fallout Universe

    Esports News
    The Weekend In Esports: Battlegrounds Goes To Poland

    Long-Running Smash Bros. Weekly Hosts One Last Tournament This Weekend

    Philly's Secret Weapon Shines In Overwatch League Debut

    A Rookie Player Is Helping His League of Legends Team Win Again

    Someone Finally Beat SonicFox In Dragon Ball FighterZ, But He Won The Tournament Anyway

    Virtus Pro Seizes Top Spot In Dota 2 Pro Circuit

    The CEO of esports team Splyce explains the human side of professional play

    How MLS is using FIFA 18 esports to reach the next generation of soccer fans

    Fans Have Spent Over $150,000 Cheering Overwatch League Teams On Twitch

    The Chinese College Offering Courses on Esports Success

    Crowdfunding News (not sharing everything I find, just ones that look interesting, have known talent behind them, and a chance to succeed)
    Try the demo for Starmancer, a Dwarf Fortress-inspired space station sim
    Foundation : A new era of organic city-building simulation!
    Rocket Jump by David L Craddock

    Content I found interesting this week (interviews, recommendations, think pieces, history, music, culture, design, art, documentaries, criticism, etc)
    Firewatch Inspires Teenager To Save Real Life Lookout Tower

    The people who made Metal Gear Survive

    The case against an all-time Donkey Kong great, explained

    Black Panther is a wake-up call for video games

    Road to the IGF: Skeleton Business' Vignettes
    Road to the IGF: Czech Academy of Sciences' Attentat 1942
    Road to the IGF: Richards Hogg & Haggett's Wilmot's Warehouse
    Road to the IGF: Subset Games' Into the Breach
    Road to the IGF: Maggese's Don't Make Love
    The LAN Cafe Is Making A Comeback

    EA Spouse, 14 Years Later: How One Person Tried Correcting EA Culture

    Game industry pushes back against efforts to restore gameplay servers

    Steam User Develops His Own Way To Find New Games

    How small game makers found their community with Bitsy

    7 games with interesting hacking mechanics all devs should study

    Designing side quests? Study these 7 games (and some Chris Avellone pointers)
    What medieval bestiaries tell us about Monster Hunter World

    Call me Mr Monster Hunter: the man who guided a Japanese curiosity to global success

    How the Civ 6: Rise and Fall designers came up with its cast of leaders

    How I made Into the Breach's soundtrack

    Finding Relief In Overwatch – Chronic Pain And Gaming

    Faces of Novigrad: a closer look at The Witcher 3’s biggest city

    Even The Ocean shows us how good people let bad things happen

    A Splash of Color: The Quietly Feminist Love Story of Florence

    How Divinity: Original Sin 2 surprised me with a deadly twist 100 hours in

    I Played A Favorite Game Long Enough to Start Hating It. This Sucks.

    The Conflicted Music of Shadow of the Colossus | Game Score Fanfare
    What Makes Celeste's Assist Mode Special | Game Maker's Toolkit
    The History and Evolution of Videogame Design - The Game Design Extracts Episode 1
    Hellblade: Senua's Sacrifice - Story Discussion and Critique
    Parasite Eve | Forgotten Gems
    The History Of Total War
    War Hammer | Siege Battle AI in Total War: Warhammer
    Found In Translation: Final Fantasy VII, Part Nine
    Game Characters with Mental Health #CheckPointSeries ft Life is Strange, Hellblade, FFVIII!
    AbleGamers' 2018 Train Jam Sponsorship Winners
    Building the original Thief's revolutionary stealth system
    Bug Testing Night in the Woods (Bekah & Adam Saltsman) - Noclip Sessions
    Diablo Creator David Brevik Shares Stories from Blizzard's Past - Unfiltered 28
    The Animation Pipeline of Overwatch
    The Great Kinect Art Heist - Here's A Thing
    Things I found entertaining throughout the week relating to the game industry
    Luigi Will Comment On Your Super Mario Odyssey Outfits
    Stop asking Tony Hawk to remaster his old games
  23. MasterfulJoe101 liked a article by Legolas_Katarn, This Week In Gaming 2-6-18   
    Amr Al-Aaser on What the Shadow of the Colossus Remake Doesn't Understand About Art, Robert Rath discusses games with Buddhist monks in Thailand, The Gaming Historian tells The Story of Tetris, Michael Thomsen on the unseen labor behind the video game industry’s biggest titles, Matt Paprocki on the making of Madden NFL 06, Rami Ismail on how speedruns challenge the notion of play and video games, The AI of Total War, Felipe Pepe's free 500+ page book on CRPGs released, GDC rescinds award for Atari founder due to past sexual harassment, translating Yakuza for the West and Bubsy into Japanese, Counter-Strike co-creator arrested for sexual exploitation of a child, developer of Hong Kong 1997 ends silence, Kaz Hirai steps down as Sony CEO, and more.
    Gaming News (Announcements, previews, release dates, interviews and writing on upcoming games, DLC and game updates, company and developer news, country news, tech, mods)
    Red Dead Redemption 2 release date REVEALED for PS4, Xbox One - but it's not all good news

    Thrones of Britannia makes significant changes to the Total War formula

    Total War Saga: Thrones of Britannia is a deep dive into Viking combat
    9 new things in Total War: Thrones of Britannia (Total War: Thrones of Britannia Gameplay)
    Introducing Linzi: Your Own Personal Chronicler
    Indie brawler Streets of Red brings a permadeath twist
    Yakuza 6: The Song Of Life Delayed, Demo Coming This Month
    Hands-on with Yakuza 6: The Song of Life with One of the People Behind It!
    Viz Media enters games publishing with an anime-inspired debut

    Kingdom Come: Deliverance - A Blacksmith's Tale (EU)
    Murderous Pursuits Is A Game About Murdering People Having A Party On An Airship
    Valkyria Chronicles 4 Shows Off More Of Its World In Its Latest Trailer
    In Valkyria Chronicles 4, Claude Can Request Support From A Giant Snow Cruiser
    Close Combat: The Bloody First is coming out this year

    Frostpunk's Automatons are helpful machines that probably won't kill anyone
    Frozen city builder Frostpunk is scheduled for release by the end of March
    1947 Roswell-set alien horror game The Peterson Case announced for PS4, Xbox One, and PC
    Pillars of Eternity II's programmable AI makes combat a tactical treat
    My lethal pony – Equestria-aping fighting game Them’s Fighting Herds out this month
    Gunpoint, Heat Signature dev teases XCOM-like battlemage strategy game

    Fight Martians, Viet Cong, and zombies with Far Cry 5's season pass
    Diablo creator David Brevik is back with a new game, It Lurks Below

    Blood Bowl developer Cyanide's next game is based on Warhammer 40K board game Space Hulk

    Ash of Gods is a game about angels and free will that looks like The Banner Saga
    One Hour One Life gives you 60 minutes to advance civilization and raise children
    Detention Developer Red Candle Games Announces Devotion, A New Taiwanese Horror Game

    Hand-illustrated survival RPG Smoke and Sacrifice announced for PS4, Xbox One, Switch, and PC
    New Vampyr dev diary is all about saving and killing citizens
    Hunt: Showdown tutorial video details its spooky gameplay loop
    The only thing scarier than Hunt: Showdown’s monsters is its optimization
    Go behind the scenes of '80s-style action-adventure Crossing Souls
    10 Crowns is a historical 4X from Civ 4 designer’s studio

    Song Of Memories Is Getting A Worldwide Release In 2018

    A new Chuchel teaser literally reveals the March release date
    New Insurgency: Sandstorm trailer features helicopter crashes, close-up fighting
    Game Info Metal Max Xeno to be released in North America and Europe
    Hollow Knight's third free expansion will add new boss fights and an extra game mode
    Rainbow Six Siege Outbreak: release date, operators, maps, gameplay, zombies - everything we know
    A Rainbow Six Siege free weekend is coming later this month
    Shadow Of War’s Blade Of Galadriel expansion out today, along with free nemesis system update
    The Overwatch 'Year of the Dog' event is coming next week
    Valve Will Start Patching Dota 2 Way More Often [UPDATE]
    PUBG banned over 1 million players in January, new anti-cheat measures block ReShade

    Slay the Spire developer considering more characters and events

    Ys VIII Is Much Better Now

    GDC cancels achievement award for Atari founder after outcry
    #NotNolan: why game creators are speaking out against the founder of Atari
    Counter-Strike Co-Creator Arrested For Sexual Exploitation Of A Child [UPDATE: Valve Suspends]

    Prosecutors: Counter-Strike co-creator Jess Cliffe paid teen for sex  
    Kaz Hirai Steps Down As Sony CEO

    PlayStation UK names Mark Bowles as new marketing director
    Nintendo's Hardware Wizard Will Get Lifetime Achievement Honors

    Source: Capcom Lays Off Staff, Cuts Scope On Next Dead Rising

    Jobs lost as Nexon America restructures

    Subnautica Dev Fired Over 'Hateful' Statements

    Firing a white supremacist has obviously lead to this week's negative review bombing on Steam.
    Friday the 13th Kickstarter backer rewards were stolen by staff at game distribution partner and sold on eBay (Updated)

    GOG makes U-turn on Opus Magnum following initial rejection (Updated)

    EA: We Believe In Microtransactions

    EA stock reaches all-time high ahead of Battlefront II loot box return
    The Myth of Metacritocracy
    Square Enix CEO commits to single-player, says 'games as a service' doesn't mean loot boxes

    ‘King of Kong’ star Billy Mitchell lied, claims Donkey Kong world-record analysis

    Former World Record Donkey Kong Score Now In Dispute
    Harsher punishments could be coming for YouTube creators, CEO says

    American Twitch IRL streamer details doxing and targeted harassment campaign in Taiwan

    It Sure Looks Like The Winner Of This PUBG Charity Match Cheated


    German Authorities Consider Banning Loot Boxes

    Modders are making their own version of massive space opera board game Twilight Imperium

    Esports News
    Geguri may soon become the Overwatch League's first female player

    How it feels to get crushed by RNG on Hearthstone's biggest stage

    Multiple Fighting Game Tournaments Ban Competitor After Woman Says He Beat And Raped Her

    The Counter-Strike Boston Major Is Fake War Presented By Real War

    German Coalition Parties Agree to Recognize Esports as Sports, Seek ‘Olympic Perspective’

    Crowdfunding News (not sharing everything I find, just ones that look interesting, have known talent behind them, and a chance to succeed)
    What is Atari doing funding RollerCoaster Tycoon on an equity crowdfunding platform?

    Content I found interesting this week (interviews, recommendations, think pieces, history, music, culture, design, art, documentaries, criticism, etc)

    'We're Totally Fucked': Inside The Making of 'Madden NFL 06'

    In Thailand, Buddhist Monks Grapple with the Meaning of Video Games

    If Esports Are the Sports of Video Games, This is the Parkour

    How Analogue remade the Super Nintendo

    Developer of world’s worst video game, Hong Kong 1997, ends silence to reveal its strange genesis and beg gamers to drop it

    Road to the IGF: Zachtronics' SHENZHEN I/O

    Road to the IGF: Bennett Foddy's Getting Over It
    Road to the IGF: Dim Bulb Games' Where the Water Tastes Like Wine
    Road to the IGF: Amanita Design's CHUCHEL
    Road to the IGF: Total Mayhem Games' We Were Here
    Elite: Dangerous Players Band Together To Save Cancer Patient's Expedition From Griefers

    The Extreme Cost of Game Development Might Be Unfixable

    The Kids Who Snuck A TV Into Class, And Other Stories Of Secret Gaming

    Collector Offers To Pay $100,000 For Original Contra Box Art

    Vermintide 2 composer: "I feel like I have joined the invading Skaven army"

    Indie Dev Survey: The Creators of What Remains of Edith Finch and More Share Their Hopes for 2018

    Steam Winter Sale Data and the Effects of a Front Page Feature

    CRPG Book
    Shadow of the Colossus' Remake on PS4 Loses the Magic in its Quest for Technical Brilliance

    For all its influence, Shadow of the Colossus' best design practices have gone ignored
    I was a video game sceptic, but now I'm a fan

    Q&A: Translating the humor & tone of Yakuza games for the West

    How They Translated Bubsy into Japanese

    1998 text adventure classic Anchorhead is an uncanny addition to 2018's lineup

    Rise and Fall asks the question: Can Civilization VI become something it’s not?
    You Need To Play Iconoclasts
    Examining Monster Hunter's Perfect Feedback Loop
    Getting Over It (Spoilers?)
    Attempting to Make Sense of Ride to Hell, Five Years Later
    What the Shadow of the Colossus Remake Doesn't Understand About Art [siegarettes]
    The Design of Breath of the Wild's Great Plateau // HeavyEyed
    (Not Just A) Sonic Adventure
    How's Call of Duty's Single-Player Been Lately? [2015-2017, Spoilers]
    Why Videogame Classics Aren't Always Great [siegarettes]
    Mathijs De Jonge on Designing Horizon Zero Dawn - Extended Interview
    Second The Making Of Monster Hunter: World Video Focuses On Design
    The Story of Tetris | Gaming Historian
    Doki Doki Literature Club: The Story of Dan Salvato
    Yoshi's Halcyon Music | Game Score Fanfare
    The Clinical Research of Gaming #CHECKPOINTSERIES
    Depression on #CheckPointSeries
    The Road To War | The AI of Total War (Part 1)
    Evolution of War | The AI of Total War (Part 2)
    Why Do Games Cost So Much To Make? - AAA Game Budgets - Extra Credits
    Journey Creator Jenova Chen - IGN Unfiltered #27
    Things I found entertaining throughout the week relating to the game industry
    Pixel Art
  24. DoctorEvil liked a article by Legolas_Katarn, This Week In Gaming 1-23-18   
    Matt Paprocki looks into the development of Factor 5's Lair and talks about the difficulty of writing pieces like that, How Sierra and a Disgraced Cop Made the Most Reactionary Game of the 90s, Crunch The Video Game Industry's Notorious Labor Problem, how Overwatch League's Dallas Fuel tries to let players be themselves, Overwatch League's Dallas Fuel player suspended, previews with Civilization 6 expansion, Extra Credits explains the job of the QA tester, Why The Last of Us' Game Director Left Naughty Dog, Denuvo bought by Irdeto, Ys 8 PC release delayed again, how a stream like AGDQ comes together, How Gorogoa is a game about fitting things together, and more.
    Gaming News (Announcements, previews, release dates, interviews and writing on upcoming games, DLC and game updates, company and developer news, country news, tech, mods)
    We Played Celeste While Designer Matt Thorson Watched
    Nintendo is making a bunch of weird DIY cardboard toys for the Switch and they’re awesome
      7 foolproof way to survive in Metal Gear Survive - Metal Gear Survive gameplay
    Metal Gear Survive wants you to play online with friends or die
    Metal Gear Survive's Beta Is Fun, But It's Not Metal Gear
    Metal Gear Survive Requires A Constant Internet Connection, Has Microtransactions
    We Happy Few gets delayed to summer and opens Early Access refunds to everyone
    Here’s Seven Minutes of Shadow of the Colossus On PS4 Pro
    Ys 8: Lacrimosa of Dana's PC release delayed indefinitely because of performance woes

    Hitman composer Jesper Kyd to imbue Warhammer: Vermintide 2 with Nordic vibes
    Battletech is shaping up to be a great tactical combat game, and an absorbing mercenary sim

    ThatGameCompany's Journey successor Sky looks lovely in 30 new minutes of footage
    Symmetry is a 'survival management' game about a crashed spaceship and an alien horror
    Brand new ballgame: A look at MLB’s in-house development of R.B.I. Baseball 18
    Following The Crew 2's Delay, Playstation is Refunding All Pre-Orders

    The First 18 Minutes of Dragon Ball FighterZ
    Dragon Ball FighterZ has a loot box system that won’t annoy you
    God of War – Story Trailer | PS4
    Full Metal Panic! Fight! Who Dares Wins launches in English on May 31 in Asia
    Kursk will tell the story of a tragic Russian naval disaster
    Hunt: Showdown alpha testing will get underway at the end of January

    Hakuoki: Edo Blossoms coming to PC this spring

    Rust comes out of Early Access in February

    Downwell creator joins Nintendo
    Resident Evil 2 director trusts remake team, says 'do as you like'
    Tight Controls Define This Retro Homage To Ninja Gaiden

    What to expect from Total War: Three Kingdoms

    Girls und Panzer: Dream Tank Match Saunders Girls High School tanks introduction trailer
    Valkyria Chronicles 4 Japanese first-print and limited edition bonus missions DLC trailer
    Valkyria Chronicles 4 details Miles, Dan, Ronald, tanks, and research and development
    Whatever happened to Barkley 2?

    Cyberpunk puzzler Bit Rat: Singularity confirms the internet is a series of tubes

    Break Arts 2: Build the anime mecha of your dreams
    Atelier Lydie & Suelle Lets You Craft Or Summon Allies During A Fight
    Shattered Realms Developers Talk About Bringing Fighting Game Complexity To Brawlers

    Candleman: The Complete Journey is coming to PC at the end of January
    Total War: Warhammer 2 raises the dead in new Tomb Kings footage, full roster named
    The Warhammer 2 Tomb Kings patch notes are here, with lots of upgrades for Bretonnians
    Endless Space 2 unveils The Vaulters DLC
    Civilization 6: Rise and Fall adds new perils to world domination

    150 turns with Civilization VI: Rise and Fall reveals a complex, broad expansion
    Civ 6 Rise and Fall: hands-on impressions
    Battlefield 1’s final DLC, Apocalypse, thunders in next month

    The first DLC for Assassin’s Creed Origins pits the Brotherhood against Roman invaders
    Eve Online is gearing up for a ‘million dollar battle’
    Overwatch appears to be getting new skins next week, including a gothic catgirl D.Va
    PUBG to ban 100,000 cheaters in 'single wave', blue zone balances being tested

    PlayStation is launching a ‘Totaku’ figurine line

    Guild Wars 2 Developers Donate Thousands After Fan’s House Burns Down

    Quantic Dream Or Quantic Nightmare? (The Jimquisition)
    I love defenses that just make the people they're trying to defend look worse.
    Why The Last of Us's Game Director Left Naughty Dog

    Minecraft boss Matt Booty to lead Microsoft game dev and publishing

    Square Enix hires Sonic mastermind Yuji Naka

    Hirshberg stepping down as Activision Publishing CEO

    Sony's dev relations head departs - Report

    Denuvo has been bought by the company that tried to force Overwatch porn offline

    Legendary cover artist Bob Wakelin passes away
    You can now play Silent Hills' P.T. teaser on PC thanks to fan remakes
    Esports News
    The Weekend In Esports: League Of Legends' Spring Season Returns

    Doublelift Gets Revenge In North American League Opener

    Longest Game In Pro League of Legends History Shatters Records
    Regulators In The Philippines Continue To Tighten The Screws On Esports

    Taiwanese player tom60229 crowned Hearthstone world champion

    The 14 best moments from the 2017 Hearthstone World Championship
    Evil Geniuses Fall In A Sweep At Former Dota 2 Major

    The Competitive Smash 4 Scene Is Anxiously Awaiting Nintendo's Next Big Move


    A $25,000 prize pool is up for grabs in the first Gwent tournament of 2018 this weekend

    Germany’s Superjj102 takes the $10,000 grand prize in the Gwent Open Tournament
    Overwatch League's Dallas Fuel Lets Players Be Themselves, Even When That Causes Trouble

    Overwatch Pro Suspended For Saying Gay Rival Would Enjoy Sucking A 'Fat Cock'
    South Korean Overwatch Team Lunatic-Hai Disbands

    Parents HQ ad during OWL was a "categorization error" and Twitch "[do] not allow nor support political advertising"
    Twitch Removes Anti-Transgender Ads On ‘Overwatch League’ But Needs To Stop Calling Them ‘Political’

    Crowdfunding News (not sharing everything I find, just ones that look interesting, have known talent behind them, and a chance to succeed)
    Content I found interesting this week (interviews, recommendations, think pieces, history, music, culture, design, art, documentaries, criticism, etc)
    Lair: What went wrong

    How Sierra and a Disgraced Cop Made the Most Reactionary Game of the 90s

    Crunch: The Video Game Industry's Notorious Labor Problem

    Five page story
    When abuse becomes the cost of doing business

    Developer detox: How to cultivate a positive company culture

    The heavy cost of toxic work culture

    The cost of games

    The Death And Resurrection Of The Fighting Game Community's Most Beloved Message Board

    Cryptocurrency is ruining PC gaming (and everything else)

    Where do downloadable games go when they die?

    How week-long, 24-hour livestream AGDQ comes together

    Why Do People Hate Mercy in ‘Overwatch?’

    How a 'World of Warcraft' Shitpost Gave This Streamer a Shot at His Dream

    How Gorogoa is a game about fitting things together

    Dishonored shows that developers should still be building levels and not just worlds

    Divinity: Original Sin 2 ignored 2017’s biggest trends, and that’s why it’s great

    What Remains of Edith Finch and losing someone you love

    A Cyberpunk Game Where You Manipulate People With Alcohol
    How 'The Red Strings Club' Sabotages Its Hopeful Cyberpunk Vision
    We Talked to the 'The Red Strings Club' Devs About Queer Art and Intention   The Fight for Accessibility (Ian Hamilton) - Noclip Sessions
    The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild's dungeon design | Boss Keys
    How Super Metroid Creates Fear 👻🎮
    2017 in Review: Japan Rises Again
    History Respawned is Annoyed with Call of Duty WWII
    The Art and Inspirations of Bloodborne
    So You Want To Be in QA - The Test Chamber - Extra Credits
    FNAF World: How Scott Cawthon Turned His Biggest Failure Into a Success
    Things I found entertaining throughout the week relating to the game industry
    Meet the couple who got engaged in Stardew Valley

    Patches Aren't An Excuse
    Things I Missed From Previous Weeks
    Painting nuclear horizons while gibbing Ghouls - meet Fallout 4 VR's roaming artist

    Cuphead: The Untold Story of Maja Moldenhauer
  25. DoctorEvil liked a article by Legolas_Katarn, Best Videos and Video Series of 2017   
    Included in this article are some of the best and most interesting game related videos that I've seen throughout 2017. Put together with the goal of highlighting some of the best content creators and videos that can enhance your knowledge of the industry, developers, events that happened this year, or of individual games. Many of these have been shared in my weekly This Week In Gaming articles.

    Each section might include a single video, a single video series, or videos that might be from different people but focus on a similar idea or subject. The ordering does not signify better or worse quality. All mentioned creators are worth following and all of them were likely to have produced other content worth viewing on their channel this year. Some videos are from older channels with a large number of followers and supporters, while some are new and could use more support. Many of them are able to work due to the donations of their Patreon supporters, if you enjoy the content and would like to donate this can usually be found in their Youtube video description or linked social media profile.

    The Best Writing of 2017 article can be found here.
    Previous Best Video and Video Series Articles

    "Max gives up her perfect ending and goes back to the studio in one last effort to save Chloe, while the game stares down the player and says, “How dare you think this was a coming-of-age story. How dare you think time travel was a neat way to work through your indecision. How could you think a power this great could ever be used responsibly? How could you think the consequences for your mistakes would be borne by you and you alone?” This sets up an arc where Max will have to do what superhero movies almost never do: truly reckon with how dangerous real power can be."
    Superposition: The Genre of Life is Strange (By Innuendo Studios)
    Ian Danskin on the genre of Life Is Strange. How it starts as a more resonant coming of age story only to shift to something darker and more ambitious, how your ability to travel through time effects the feel of the narrative, and how the game's final choices each seem to fit with only one of two competing genres.
    "What Remains of Edith Finch isn't the kind of story you expect to have a villain and yet, to me, it has one of the most insidious and yet sympathetic character I've seen in recent memory."
    The Villain of Edith Finch (By Joseph Anderson)
    Joseph Anderson on the story of What Remains of Edith Finch, his idea of the villain of the story, and the ability of older generations and family traditions to influence newer ones.
    "By the end of the game Ashe passed the mantle of leadership to me willingly, not because I had convinced him to rebel, but because I had become molded into the shape that the Disfavored had wanted me to be. I was able to lead the Disfavored because I had become the Disfavored. What had happened to Ashe had happened to me, slowly, incrementally, with me not wanting to admit that it was happening, holding on to a fantasy of dissension that had never come to pass."
    Tyranny and the Language of Power [Spoilers] (By Noah Gervais)
    Noah Caldwell-Gervais talks about the world and factions of Tyranny. A game that will likely have you compromising your own principles while waiting for the heroic option that that never comes, as you slowly become corrupted by the same ideas and way of doing things as the faction leaders who were originally corrupted in the same way.
    "This was not a technological limitation. The game is already full of so many impressive moments of transition that this pause, where Wander stands and is inspected by the being he will soon kill, is a conscious decision. They had the power to do almost anything they imagined, and they chose this."
    The Morality of Shadow of the Colossus (By Folding Ideas)
    Dan Olson on the morality of Shadow of the Colossus and how the colossi are presented to tell a story from the feet to the face, one that goes from fear and intimidation to empathy and sadness.
    "In a word, and I didn't think I'd be saying this about a Wolfenstein game, it's dreamlike."
    Wolfenstein: The New Order Is About More Than Defeating the Nazis (By Writing On Games)
    Writing On Games on the unwinnable apocalyptic feel and framing of Wolfenstein, characters dealing with and living in a world full of an enemy they can't defeat, and how the game subverts genre and cinematic norms.
    "Seeing all this makes me interpret Nier Automata as a complicated confused, and a little but angry, collection of his thoughts about life. They're presented under this heavy veil of video game kitsch and sappy melodramatic anime cliches but that kitsch defined Yoko Taro's life and that's part of the art of it."
    Nier: Automata's Uplifting Existentialism (Story Discussion) (By Super Bunnyhop)
    Super Bunnyhop gives his interpretation of the story and characters of Nier Automata and its connections to Japanese culture and the people character's names were based on.
    "It is an imaginative and compelling game. These two moments are the best, taking game systems and turning them sideways for dramatic effect. A fitting case study for the greatest game of all time."
    The Two Moments That Make Planescape: Torment A Masterpiece (By Heather Alexandra)
    Heather Alexandra talks about two moments of Planescape Torment that, from a design and storytelling perspective, show why it is considered one of the best games and best stories of all time.
    "There are many games out there that deal with grief as a theme. But it's often portrayed as an obstacle to overcome, something to get over. The main character goes through an arc and comes out the other side with a sense of accomplishment, catharsis, closure. And while I don't want to call games out for being too unrealistic, that has simply not been my experience with grief. Which is why Life is Strange: Before the Storm is such a special game to me, as it's approach to grief is far more familiar."
    Dealing with Grief - Life is Strange: Before the Storm (By Cagey Videos)
    Cagey Videos on the more realistic portrayal of grief in Life is Strange: Before the Storm.
    Interviews and Documentaries
    "Where once stood a game that threatened to sink the Final Fantasy band forever now stands the second most popular subscription MMO in the world. And as the years pass us the myth of that original version and its incredible redemption story are at risk of disappearing. How did it all happen, how did the same studio that shipped a broken mess turn it all around in two years? Why did they make the decision to keep the old version still alive while secretly working on a brand new game. And how did they manage to make all of this, the redesign and rebirth part of the game's lore. We knew this was a story worth telling, not only for those who were there to see it all go down, but for the millions of you who never heard about this, who never knew the extraordinary lengths the development team went to to save this game."
    The Death & Rebirth of FINAL FANTASY XIV (By Noclip/Danny O'Dwyer/Jeremy Jayne)
    Noclip tells the story of the development and the developers of Final Fantasy XIV, how they turned a failure into a success, and how you rebuild an MMO while people are still playing it. An excellent documentary with candid interviews with the developers, localizers, and CEO of Square. The playlist includes the two trailers and the three part documentary.
    "I think there's something sad but beautiful about Rick Dyer and his dreams of Halcyon. He calls himself and his team pioneers in this news broadcast and the truth is, he's right. Pioneer isn't an inherently positive term, it just means you were among the first to explore something and that doesn't mean you were successful or right. A lot of early pioneers didn't make it back and a lot of people, a lot of us, are going to end up more like Rich Dyer than we'd hope to be."
    Halcyon Dreams: The Legacy of Dragon's Lair (By hbomberguy)
    hbomberguy looks at the work of the designer of Dragon's Lair, Rick Dyer, his $2500 voice input home console that represented the direction he thought the industry would go in after the crash of '83, the game that was being created to expand on the style of Dragon's Lair, who we remember in history, and what gets forgotten.
    "So what would happen is... pirated disks are cheap, it was just DVD-Rs, but consoles are not. Usually raids would happen on Monday, so Sunday night we would pack backpacks full of PS2s, this was like in '04, and pack them full and go to cars in the parking garage and just hide them in the trunk."
    Brazil's Video Game Gray Markets (By Cloth Map/Drew Scanlon)
    Drew Scanlon recently left Giant Bomb to start Cloth Map, you might have seen him produce similar content in the past when he traveled to Iceland or Korea, you may also know him after he became a popular meme this year. In this series he travels to Brazil to learn about the game industry's past and present, the fans, and the country's developers and artists. This playlist includes five videos, with the fourth being a vlog after his return and the fifth being the trailer.
    "Today, both products can be found laying around thrift stores for a measly dollar, but their legacy lives on in the form of legal precedent."
    From Shady to Legal: How 2 Emulators Battled Sony - Bleem! & VGS | Gaming Historian (By The Gaming Historian)
    The Gaming Historian on the products, people, companies, and legal battles behind early emulation.
    "It was really a magical experience and it made me realize there's a whole audience out there who can enjoy this type of game with a few tweaks."
    Failure to Fame: How Dishonored Saved Arkane Studios (By: Mike Mahardy. Jake Dekker. and Jean-Luc Seipke)
    A three part documentary by Mike Mahardy, Jake Dekker, and Jean-Luc Seipke covering Arkane Studios, the immersive sim genre, developer inspirations, and interviews with creators, Richard Garriott and Warren Spector, who helped define the genre.
    "Beneath its perceived b-grade movie schlock, grainy graphics, and silly theme song is a game that made a lasting impact on the video game industry. This is the story of Night Trap. How it was made, its legacy, and how more than 25 years later we're finally able to see it as it was meant to be seen."
    Night Trap: 25 Years Later :: Documentary - MY LIFE IN GAMING (By My Life In Gaming)
    My Life In Gaming looks at one of the most controversial video games ever made. Covering the games that lead to the idea behind it, the pitches, difficulties of production, congressional hearings, and the remaster that would come 25 years later.
    "The original "Witcher" PC game was released ten years ago. We present our humble summary of Geralt's long journey from the pages of his books to computer screens. Today "The Witcher" is a world famous series. But at the time no one expected it to have such a great impact on the Polish video game market as well as worldwide."
    The Witcher's video game history | The Witcher 1 Documentary (English Subtitles) (By arhn.eu)
    arhn.eu's documentary on the creation of the first PC Witcher title. Multiple team members are interviewed on topics covering the problems with early concepts for a cancelled Witcher game in the 90s, early ideas on a later project that would lead to their first Witcher title, how team members used to work at their old studio Metropolis Software and at CD Projekt Red when it was just started, the Polish game industry, the first mobile text based Witcher game, work translating Interplay games, the game's script, and more.
    Systems, Level, and World Design
    "Where does that put you as a player, well it puts you, here. Just here. Look at that, beautiful. Barely anything shown on screen here but barely anything missing. You can turn these bits off at the bottom right too, if you want to. I don't mind, sometimes I do, sometimes I don't. They don't distract me from the game, they don't distract me to the point of changing what truly matters. The game resides here, it resides in a sea of grass, on the cliffs of a mountain, and the rivers, lakes, and hidden caves."
    Breath of the Wild: The Best Game Ever (By Cool Ghosts/Matt Lees)
    Matt Lees talks about the map and interface design of Breath of the Wild, the tone and feel it creates, how it invites you to adventure, and how it allows you to appreciate the beauty of the game at your own pace without rushing you or making you feel like you need to complete everything.
    "But one thing most gamers can agree on is that this game does a pretty stellar job of depicting a bond between the boy, and Trico. And in this video, I want to show how Ueda and his team at genDESIGN, achieved this relationship. Not through lengthy cutscenes or dialogue but, instead, through the unique language of video games."
    The Last Guardian and the Language of Games | Game Maker's Toolkit (By Mark Brown)
    Mark Brown examines how The Last Guardian uses mechanics to build a bond between characters and how those mechanics show you the evolution of that bond.
    "Further than merely working better as a game than a film, for example, Yoko Taro's latest creation simply would not work in any other medium."
    Why NieR: Automata Could Only Work as a Game (Spoiler Analysis) - Writing on Games (By Writing On Games)
    Writing On Games uses NieR Automata as an example of a game that uses everything about the medium to tell its story and how the developer is creating stories about humanity through gameplay and viewer culpability.
    "Retro took the level design pattern that had served Nintendo so well, for so long, and then evolved it to the next step. By thinking about themes as well as mechanics Retro managed to form an incredible set of levels that all modern 2D platformers should be judged against."
    Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze - Mario's Level Design, Evolved | Game Maker's Toolkit (By Mark Brown)
    Mark Brown looks at the level design of Tropical Freeze and how it expands on the style Nintendo is known for. His series that I highlighted last year on the dungeon designs of the Zelda games also continues and can be found on his channel.
    "Despite how marketable the concept is, a game that truly makes your choices matter is one of the rarest types of experiences in the medium today. It's that Holy Grail that goal so many strive for but few have attained, but with that rarity comes immeasurable value. A game that can make your actions bear weight is one of the most powerful statements that the medium can possibly hold."
    Pyre and Responsibility | PostMesmeric (By PostMesmeric)
    PostMesmeric on player choice and responsibility, and how Pyre uses its gameplay to give weight and consequence to your actions. 
    "I don't want to play it again; contrary to what you might believe the function of a game to be, it was most certainly not "fun". But that doesn't matter. That is a good thing. What Hellblade is, is necessary."
    Hellblade's Mechanics Tell a Deeper Story Than You Might Think (By Writing On Games)
    Writing on Games on how Hellblade forces you to work through mundane mechanics in order to better understand the main character's state of mind.
    Life and Games
    "When you make minimum wage your struggle is to put a roof over your head and put food on the table, there is no time, no money, no opportunity for adventure or for significance. To me, this makes the simulated adventure that video games provide the furthest possible thing from frivolity. It scratches an itch that would otherwise grow and grow and grow until its unpleasantness overwhelmed us."
    Playtesting Adventure (By Noah Gervais)
    Noah Caldwell-Gervais talks about how his video game criticism has allowed him to travel America in a Volkswagen Bus, his life, the appeal of travel, the appeal of watching Let's Plays, about games that allow you to travel a large world or universe, and how until now he had filled his longing for adventure with the help of video games.
    "Night In the Woods, is a game that didn't pander to any demographic or show us "hey look at me, this is a game about depression and how it affects people." It had us do the actions. The game's mechanics are walking and talking. And when you're limited to just dialogue options, it feels honest within its limitations and true to its fleshed out cast of characters."
    Depression and Video Games | Sidcourse (By Leonardo Da Sidci)
    Leonardo Da Sidci on how games can help people suffering from depression. He talks about his own experiences with depression and those of people he has spoken to or read about, games that focus on coming of age stories and depression such as Night In the Woods, and how video games and their immersive elements can provide a cathartic experience.
    "Video games aren't an integral part of daily life, but as a form of entertainment, they're one of the most incredible mediums for storytelling, mechanical engagement and interactive technology. Growing Older comes with commitments, whether they come in the form of work, family or relationships, and as a hobby, enjoying games is no longer a priority."
    Growing Older With Video Games | Sidcourse (By Leonardo Da Sidci)
    Leonardo Da Sidci on growing older with games and finding games that can be enjoyed when you have other commitments. Leonardo has a relatively new channel but his varied content has already reached a level of quality that most never will.
    "The orchestra represents purpose, and so introducing the orchestra at this moment is Journey's way of saying this is the purpose of life. To return from your journey in life, whatever that may be, and use the knowledge you gained along the way to be a blessing to other people."
    Journey: The Story in the Score | Game Score Fanfare (By Game Score Fanfare)
    A look into the music of Journey as a crucial part of the game's story, how it represents characters and places, what each of the five used solo instruments represent, and how the soundtrack alludes to the Hero's Journey. By an excellent newer Youtube channel, Game Score Fanfare, which is focused on the music of games. Journey's composer, Austin Wintory, called it the most detailed and accurate analysis of the score that he has seen.
    "It's unusual to have a composer working on a game so early in development, but Darren is in this position because Supergiant value music in their games, just as much as they do the art or the writing. As a result, they're using music in ways that many other studios aren't even thinking about."
    Making History with the Music of Pyre | Game Score Fanfare (By Game Score Fanfare)
    Game Score Fanfare on the music of Pyre and how it is used to tell the character's stories and the story that you create through your choices.
    "Now, each Zelda game has a very different vibe, and Nintendo has always reflected this in the choice of music. Ocarina of Time is heroic. Wind Waker is optimistic. And Majora's Mask is foreboding. So what about Breath of the Wild?"
    Bonus: The music of Breath of the Wild | Downloadable Comment (By Mark Brown)
    Mark Brown talks about the strength of Zelda Breath of the Wild's soundtrack and how each Zelda's soundtrack has a different vibe to it. He also responds to a comment where he mentions the composers of famous games that have mostly been overlooked.
    Game Design
    "The issues we see in Andromeda might actually have nothing to do with the animators. The animation team will have built all of the animations, and the face expressions, and all of the animated pieces that are meant to fit into this system, true, but they aren't actually the people that put all of these pieces together or direct the scenes."
    What Happened to Mass Effect Andromeda's Animation? - Extra Frames (By Extra Credits/Daniel Floyd)
    Daniel Floyd talks about animating different kinds of games and the systems and work behind them, using Bioware, CD Projekt, and Naughty Dog as examples.
    "A lot of these are strictly functional in terms of animation but they serve to create further contrast between these characters, to make them each feel all the more different to inhabit as a player."
    How Overwatch Animation Conveys Character in First Person - Extra Frames (By Extra Credits/Daniel Floyd))
    Daniel talks about the hand and body movements of Overwatch characters and how it helps you learn about and feel like them.
    "We had to take a step back and say that the goal of these NPCs searching for the player isn't to find the player. It's to present interesting gameplay."
    What Makes Good AI? | Game Maker's Toolkit (By Mark Brown)
    Mark Brown talks about what makes the AI in games good and what gameplay features and behavior patterns lead players to think that AI is good or bad.
    "Today, on this week's episode of Here's A Thing, we're going to tell a story about how three people disobeyed direct instructions to scrap what is one of the best games ever made and somehow kept its development going in secret."
    The original X-COM was cancelled, but development continued in secret - Here's A Thing (By Chris Bratt)
    How Firaxis saved XCOM from complete disaster - Here's A Thing
    Chris Bratt on how the original X-COM was supposed to have been cancelled and how the current XCOM was saved from disaster due to the teams approach to game design. Chris later had Jake Solomon on stage at EGX with him to discuss this further with new footage of the game in development, that video can be found here.
    Long Form Analysis
    "It explores themes that can be quite difficult to talk about and which plenty of people, quite justifiably, don't want to and the game is too good at focusing on what it wants to be about that you can't ignore it and just focus on something else."
    Lisa: The Analysis (By hbomberguy)
    hbomberguy examines the three Lisa games, looks at the influence from Yume Nikki, at how the mechanics and story exist to give off the same ideas and create an emotional experience through their execution, learning about characters through their actions while also learning about the people that made them that way, and why he believes that a future hit game will likely be made by someone that Lisa has left an impression on.
    "I landed in an oasis in the heart of the infestation. There was a bench, which is the game's checkpoint system, and I used it without thinking what I had just done. Because now I was stuck in the Deepnest with my raggedy nail and no lantern. With no way out because I couldn't climb back up the long fall that got me there. And so began one of the best gaming experiences I've had all year."
    Hollow Knight Critique (By Joseph Anderson)
    Joseph Anderson on the differences between review and critique, differences in gameplay focus between Hollow Knight and games from the same genre like Ori and the Blind Forest and Super Metroid, upgrade placement and progression effects on boss fights and exploration, and how he had one of the best gaming experiences of the year after a checkpoint trapped him in an area he wasn't meant to be in yet.
    "This was a particularly funny situation, particularly because it didn't feel scripted in any way. It felt like I totally outsmarted a ridiculously complex AI system in the dumbest way possible."
    Analysing Every Episode of Hitman's First Season (By Writing On Games)
    Writing On Games look at the level design of each mission in the first Season of Hitman (2016). How the opening level teaches you, the absurd situations it puts you in, making each area of the map feel important, the way the AI works and responds to you, and finding the comedy inherent to the system design.
    "The game's point isn't that we the gamer are Walker. Typically in games we save the day, help people in the world. SpecOp's point is that we the gamer have far too much in common with Walker."
    Spec Ops The Line... 5 Years Later (By Raycevick)
    Raycevick goes over a brief history of the Spec Ops series and The Line's development before getting into the gameplay, the story of the game, how the plot holes reveal another potential layer to the game's story, and the multiplayer the developer didn't want. There has been a lot of writing and videos on the game over the years but Raycevick manage to frequently say something new.
    "Would more mechanics make this a better game? Yes. But they might make it a worse movie. To take a more active role would be to give up on some of this sensation of helplessness, and helpless is how the game wants you."
    Outlast 1 & 2: Gamifying Found Footage Horror (By Noah Gervais)
    Noah Gervais on the Outlast games and DLC. Why you would want to include ideas from found footage media into video games, making entire games with limited mechanics and linearity, being a game about making a movie, antagonists working more due to their acceptance of their environments or attitudes mirroring real world personalities rather than their outrageous aspects, use of body and sexual horror, the terror of helplessness, and how the sequel falls victim to the most common film cliche of all.
    "Another thing both series share is a real self-consciousness about the themes and tropes of horror media and a kind of deliberate engagement with the cliches of the genre."
    Imaginary Monsters: Alan Wake vs. The Evil Within [Franchise Spoilers] (By Noah Gervais)
    Noah Gervais on the subject of horror media and the ways that two series compare to each other through the ways that they engage with horror tropes.
    Found In Translation
    "It's been 20 years since Final Fantasy 7 came out, I have more than a decade and a half of Japanese speaking experience behind me so I'm replaying Final Fantasy 7 in Japanese and English at the same time all the while analyzing the nuanced little differences." 
    Final Fantasy VII: English v Japanese: Cloud Introduces Himself (By Tim Rogers)
    Tim Rogers compares the scripts of the English and Japanese release of Final Fantasy VII by going over meanings and subtext that can become lost, tonal changes, character differences and how and why these differences likely occurred by giving some information about the Japanese language and the history of the translation. This is a playlist that currently includes nine videos. He has also made a video on Xenoblade Chronicles 2's translation which is not included in this playlist.
    Summer of 0451
    "Really, 0451 games on the whole tend to be about how we think about ideologies more than the ideologies themselves. Bioshock for example isn't a nuanced critique of Randian objectivism so much as it is a look at taking an unstable world-view to its most extreme logical conclusion."
    0451 (Errant Signal)
    "I'm really genuinely excited to talk about a game that's so near and dear to my heart, on the other hand, a lot has happened in the past 17 years and the context in which I view it now as a 32 year old adult is sort of fundamentally different than the way I played the game as a 15 year old kid."
    Deus Ex (Spoilers)
    "The twists in 0451 games usually recontextualizes your relationship with established characters. Those who were friends may become enemies, those who were enemies might become friends. In Tacoma the twist recontextualizes your relationship with yourself"
    Tacoma (Spoilers)
    "The opening of Prey is frankly an amazing setup thematically, suggesting that games, particularly 0451 games, and likely this very game, are inherently untrustworthy and designed to test you in ways that search for a truth, but whose truth? What truth can be found in pretend worlds and what truths have these games been after all along?"
    Prey (Spoilers)
    Errant Signal talks about the origins of the Easter egg 0451 in Immersive Sims, how the meaning changed over time, and what kind of themes the games that include the numbers tend to explore in his 0451 video. His followup videos looked at multiple immersive sims and how they handled their narrative, world building, if they were successful at examining the ideas they presented, and the ways that they might have differed from or expanded on the systems from previous 0451 titles.
    The Game Industry and Connected Industries
    Videos looking into different aspects of the game industry, important companies associated with it, Youtube, funding, hiring practices, etc.
    "Me being the masochist that I am, I was super into experiencing that chaos first hand. Little did I know, however, that what would greet us would be something this bad."
    The First Public E3: A Goddamn Mess (By Writing On Games)
    A look at the experience of attending 2017's E3 and the problems that they weren't equipped to handle.
    "So Cuphead is the hot topic to argue about, so we keep talking about it until it doesn't get us attention anymore and that's how Youtube works folks. And not to skip ahead too much, but if nobody is actually saying anything worthwhile creating a ranty response, for example if nobody is calling Cuphead racist, you can just pretend they are and your audience will believe you anyway."
    Cuphead: The Fake Outrage (By Shaun)
    Shaun on Cuphead and the Youtube/clickbait outrage culture surrounding it, how reactionaries work up their audience with fake information, misleading screenshots, and imaginary enemies. Useful video to see the kind of Youtubers and internet personalities that make money off of creating fake controversies for gullible followers, the importance of actually finding and properly reading and looking into the things that they will typically never link to, and the need to learn about the world outside of gaming. (Incidentally, most of the people mentioned here aren't allowed to have their content posted to the AJSA due to their constantly abusive behavior)
    "This is why I'm deeply suspicious of the "just pals" help the site grow mentality. We're "just pals," until we're not. Any platform that doesn't codify their relationship with content creators, that positions the relationship as "just pals" and "all on the same team" without any structural commitment to that relationship is ultimately lying."
    VidMe or Why Platforms Aren't Your Friends (By Folding Ideas)
    Folding Ideas on video platforms, business models, creator and platform relationships, competing with a monolith, getting the audience you build for, and how companies like Maker Studios or the platform the Fine Brothers were going to launch back in early 2016 are designed to draw in and take advantage of content creators with vague promises. This video was from June, Vidme has very recently closed in December, but it is still a good look at platforms and his Twitter posts over the year, collected in a thread, predicted Vidme's closure back in August.
    "Bioshock Infinite, for example, only exists because Ken Levine watched a PBS documentary called America 1900. When Team Bondi sent artists to get photo references for L.A. Noire, two of the archives they used were NEH grant recipients. When we talk about arts funding we are discussing the resources and future of our creative economy."
    Arts Funding - Helping Games that Help Us - Extra Credits (By Extra Credits/Daniel Floyd/Robert Rath)
    Extra Credits, with writing from Robert Rath, looks at the importance of arts funding for the game industry.
    "One scene sees him strung up by a group of Uruks and Lamarr recalls being asked to shoot that scene, which would require the actor himself to be strung up, without any stunt safety professionals."
    The voice actor who didn't know he was in Fallout 4 - Here's A Thing (By Chris Bratt)
    Chris Bratt talks about video game voice acting, the voice actor strike, and how some actors aren't always told what they are working on.