Current Times 25

In case you don’t know, Current Times is my running thing where I post links to cool things. It crops up when I am feeling sick, or more often, lazy. In this case it is the former, so here are some links that you need to hop on RIGHT NOW.

1. Dan at Digital Ephemera is doing a really interesting essay series on the “god the father” reading of Fallout 3. Summed up, he is interrogating the way that fathers and sovereigns mimic and turn away from the ludic desires of the game itself. I think it is smart stuff, and though I don’t have anything particularly smart to say about it, I think this kind of work needs to be done. This is the way forward for video game criticism. Pay attention. The posts are [1] [2] [3]

2. Speaking of video game criticism, Lana Polansky has an article up on Medium Difficulty titled “In Defence of Criticism: The Close Reading.” The thrust is that games criticism needs a better voice of itself distinct from marketing and journalism. We need more voices about video games, not people trying to sell us things or simply reviewing games in metrics of 1-10 and pretending like that should have some evaluative weight. It is important for these things to be said and written; the history of film and music criticism makes is pretty apparent that criticism is going to happen no matter what, but it is a noble effort to try to convince people that theoretical analysis is actually useful.

3. Kill Screen has a great review of the new Silent Hill HD Collection by Filipe Salgado. I really like the franchise, and Salgado really seems to understand why I find them so disturbing. The games are unsettling, uncanny in a Freudian way, bringing to light all the terrible and weird things that exist in the world. The game doesn’t make me physically ill, but I kind of wish that it did.

4. Kevin Veale at Nightmare Mode has a long-ass history of mutual looting and table top games. I think that the relationships between digital and physical games are fascinating–I imagine you get your own mileage out of that. In any case, read the article here. 

5. A shift away from video games: Steven Shaviro has posted the text of his “Post-Continuity” talk on his blog. Shaviro writes on diverse topics, and is really a kind of hero to me as far as he has smart things to say about basically anything. Also, he wrote a great essay on Ghostface once.

6. Treasure Adventure Game. It is free. It is awesome. Play it.

7. Autumn Whitefield-Madrano writes for The New Inquiry about how The Hunger Games deals with the public/private presentation of the self.

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2 Responses to Current Times 25

  1. Dan Cox says:

    Hello. Thanks for the nice words! I was beginning to worry, since I hadn’t heard anything from anyone else or seen any comments, that I might have gone off the deep end again in my analysis.

    I don’t know if my work is the future of criticism or not. Still, I like that you highlighted that idea. I wish more writers would take readings to such extremes. Like Lana, I wish more of us would step away from marketing and embrace theory.

    • kunzelman says:

      I think you just gotta do some more promotion on Twitter and whatnot. It is a smart series, and I have been reading every one of the posts. I think that the future of criticism needs to look something like it–not purely formal, not purely procedural, not necessarily literary. We need to open criticism up, and you’re doing that really well.

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