Sunday Swatch

Hey pals – sorry I’ve been absent the last couple of weeks. I started a new job (yay) and that’s been eating all my time and energy. Please accept this Sunday Swatch and I’ll get back to actually posting soon.

The Last of Us 2 was announced and it looks great. On top of the beautiful looking trailer, we’ve heard that the sequel will be Ellie focused this time. The Last of Us did fall into the standard man protects innocent girl trope, but as this article argues, it also interrogated the trope too. Hopefully this new game will continue with this, which seems likely if the game is following Ellie and her revenge journey. [Warning, spoilers for the linked article]

This is really cool. Club Penguin (if you didn’t know) is a website for children where they play games and dress up their penguin avatar. And it’s also a place for political protest. It’s heartwarming to see children who, not only see through Trump’s bullshit, but also have a safe space to learn and express their political views. I did most of my political learning and growing amongst my university’s left. I made a lot of friends and had many positive experiences but it was also stressful – with groups splintering all the time and people being ostracised, aligning yourself with the wrong people meant losing your friends. If children can get an early experience amongst other children on this website, then I think that’s great.

I love Bloodborne, and I love in-game photography, so I completely loved this photoessay on Bloodborne. Even if you have no interest in the series of have never played it, check it out – the photos are beautiful and display what can sometimes be missed in the frantic panic of a night on the hunt.

Hey, we’re still talking about No Man’s Sky… The devs broke their long silence to announce a new ‘Foundation’ update to the game, which promises to be the first of many. I still haven’t play NMS and I think I’ll hold off longer until all these updates drop. There are lots of interesting discussions we could have about what free patches and updates mean for games – if I wait to play NMS I won’t be playing the same game as someone who only played it at launch. This is especially relevant with Final Fantasy XV dropping a post-release patch which adds more story to the game. But sadly, we must talk about whether the NMS devs are evil or not. This article came out just before the unannounced Foundation patch came out, but it effectively argues that no twitter updates from Sean Murray doesn’t equal an abandoned game.

Twitch chat talks about games more when a man is playing and boobs when a woman is playing. In other news water is wet and dogs are great. There’s really no need to comment on this.

I love Fashion Gaming – a label I made up based on Fashion Souls. Fashion Gaming is all about the fashion of games and usually involves making creative but amazing outfits for your character. So naturally I’m also interested in the design side of making games. Here fashion designer Maya Hensen talks about her work on Dishonored 2. And here some fashion industry women talk about the Overwatch designs. All great content.

It might come off like I’ve really got in for Battlefield 1 – but I have a MA in history, with a focus on cultural history, so I’m very interested in our depictions of war and what it says about us. And so both of these articles from Bullet Points caught my interest. The first really hammers home the point that Battlefield 1 is not a historical depiction of World War I and pulls apart the game in its critique. The second article doesn’t take DICE to task so much as it examines how this game fits into a wider cultural representation of war and nationalism. Both I feel a worth a read, especially in light of the British army looking to recruit young gamers to fly drones. I can’t begin to express how disgusted this idea makes me, but I would like to point out that there must be something unsettling, even to armed forces supporters, about the idea of replacing trained, seasoned pilots suffering from stress due to this job, with young gamers who have been brought up on war games in which the violence is not real.

And let’s end on a more positive note with this heartwarming story about Star Wars Jedi Academy and a welcoming community for young LGBTQ people.

 

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