The_Critical_Is Roundup

at the_critical_is


“1. …Liberation focuses on Aveline de Grandpré, a French-African assassin who moves fluidly between three personas that “embody the three aspects of her identity:” society lady, slave, and assassin. “Each person”…“comes with a different set of skills and limitations,” including sleuth, parkour, deception, and—surprise, surprise—assassination.

2. I want to talk about these different sets of skills and limitations, and how they condition ways I as a player can project myself into the gaming world. I’ll start with assassination, principally because it’s the part of the game that I’m worst at.”

in the _world_

#TvsZFem Theory

After Thursday’s 5.0 iteration of Twitter vs. Zombies (#TvsZ), a crowdsourced and dynamic game designed to teach digital literacy and network building by surviving a net-zombie apocalypse, students and professors connected with FemTechNet took over the hashtag for a feminist remix. In order to to survive and cure others, humans had to post, tweet, or blog about the importance of feminism. In the wake of #Gamergate, a feminist game remix was welcome and enjoyable. Check out the war at #TvsZFemTheory.

Nerdy But Flirty Female Geek Directory

Just when you thought you were safe from feminist gamers, here’s a directory of female game culture websites. Brought to us by the wonderful ladies of Nerdy but Flirty, the directory includes “cosplay sites, videos (usually girl gamers)” and “female gaming clans” among other aspects of gamer girl culture. Between the growing number of feminist indie game developers and the expansiveness of the NBF directory, it’s hard to argue that women gamers are a small demographic in comparison to their male counterparts and thus undeserving of complex representation. Maybe we should send this to Ubisoft?

“The NFB Female Geek Directory”

Merritt Kopas

Indie game developer Merritt Kopas recently gave a talk on sex in video games at Cornell University in which she argued for subverting the goal/reward system upon which most video games are based in order to change the way that sex is employed in video games. Instead of creating games where sex is a small reward on the way to winning, she argues that video games not based around goals and reward can be used to explore a variety of sex related topics, such as consent, BSDM, and sexual education. In her words, she “make[s] digital games and interactive art about bodies, relationships, and emotions. At its best, [she] see[s] play as a utopian project that contains a critique of the present and the seeds of potential futures.” She’s someone we should definitely keep on our radar.

Check out her games, projects, and commentary at, and follow her on Twitter at @m_kopas.


weirdly enchanting touchscreen game of the week

Luxuria Superbia is a game based on touch. There are some tasks to complete to reach subsequent levels, but the major goal is to travel through tunnels, manipulate the scenery through touch, and respond as the scenery responds to you (here’s a link to the demo video). This game is weird and hypnotizing, and if you find it a little bit erotic you’re probably not too far off. Surely someone will soon be writing an article about the erotics of the touchscreen, so why not get a head start?

Available for iOS, OS X, Android, Windows, and Linux for $3.99

Luxuria Superbia

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