SUNDAY SWATCH

Hiya pals, it’s that time. Let’s get into it.

First up is this article about time as a game mechanic that induces more fear than the scariest of monsters. As a sufferer of anxiety, I heavily related to this – I’m always afraid of being late, of running out of time, of not having done all the things I should have. And nothing stresses me out in a game more than a countdown.

Let’s jump from one reflection of mortality to another. Here Vice considers the way drugs are portrayed in video games. Many games do just use drugs in the same way other games use magic – a way to add something in with little explanation needed. Few games really examine the real impact of drugs. This article got me thinking about one I posted on last week’s Sunday Swatch about re-imaging the way magic is used in games. Similarly, devs could take some time to reflect on how they are using drugs – and how it’s the same, shallow way many other games are – and consider if a new perspective is needed to this system.

Moving on to Fallout: New Vegas and the bleak world it takes place in…which isn’t always so bleak? Sometimes. This article on Fem Hype focuses on Novac as a pleasant, but occasionally dark, community in the desert. As my first Fallout game, Novac really helped me understand my role play, her strengths, weaknesses and morality. I totally agree that it’s a great wee hub that demonstrates what’s great about the game as a whole.

So by now we all know about Nuka World expansion coming to Fallout 4. So I’m not going to talk about it. Instead I’m going to point you to this charming project of documenting soda machines in video games. I’m really into this.

I’ve not played Bound yet (soon, soon!) and this interview with the dancer who performed for the motion capture is not helping my excitement. I’m really interested to hear more about this process for creating the game, and hope more comes out soon.

This next article is pretty in depth, so be warned – it isn’t a quick read. It is however a detailed look at an art history for games. There’s so much well researched information here, I’m in awe.

In another move toward legitimising the legacy of games, this archive documenting LGBTQ characters in games has received academic funding. This is a fantastic project and I would highly recommend checking it out, and recommending any games they haven’t documented yet.

It’s good times ahead for queer gamers – Kill Screen reckons the future of romance gaming is queer. LGBTerrific! (sorry/not sorry). Read about the good news here.

Some of Robert Yang’s games have been making the Let’s Play rounds recently. However there they are played for laughs and weirdness, completely devoid of their context. Watch this great  lecture with Robert Yang below about his queer sex games and what they mean to him.

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