The_Critical_Is Roundup

At The_Critical_Is_

Simulation, Death vs. Desynchronization, and Historical Trauma

“But even within this repetition, the game does not let us forget that nothing we are experiencing is “real”–the human player is not only one step removed from the “real event”, the step constituted by the television and game console, but is about four steps removed from what the game considers “real”. What matters is that the events of the game are not real in this moment, although they were once real to someone long dead. We are not playing with history, only re-living it, and because the history has already happened there is no way it can change.” -EA

In The_Gaming_World

The Storm Rages Online
#Gamergaters are now challenging The Digital Games Research Association (DiGRA) for its role in the corruption of gaming journalism. 3 months in and the  #gamergate controversy has picked up enough steam to spill over into another hashtag. Some call the whole movement a success because it has exposed the colluding between the media and certain game makers. Others see #gamergaters as missing the point.This particular critical gamer, struggling to stay objective as he writes, has to ask where this concern for the journalistic integrity was before Zoe Quinn’s ex made his initial allegations against her.
Who Knew 18th Century France Was So Glitchy?
Ubisoft endured a face-plant of a launch for the much-anticipated Assassin’s Creed: Unity this week. 490f051d-8f7d-432e-a0f8-2624efa8975eMany players across platforms experienced a slew of frame-rate issues and glitches, including what you see on the right. Games these days often roll out with bugs that need fixing, but reviewers and players are taking exception to the massive issues with Unity. The makers of Assassin’s Creed said in this live blog that patches will keep coming. Glitcthes aside, reviewers still have mixed thoughts on the game. The list of people Ubisoft is alienating just got a lot bigger, and now includes its own investors. At least this “Clueless Gamer” liked it.
Press X To Facepalm
Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare’s now infamous in game command “Press (Button) to pay respects” might still create worthwhile conversation. The quote comes from an opening funeral scene in Advanced Warfare. Christopher Hooton describes the scene and the obvious problem with it well in this article. From this though, we get responses like Press E To brought to our attention. Even a small scale game like this shows how easy and difficult it is to represent death and grief in a meaningful way.

pop music video/video game collabo of the_ week_

In a previous newsletter, I asked what it would look like for a game to promote or compliment the experience of song. As fate would have it, Taylor Swift may have the answer. Alongside her recently released “Blank Space” music video, she put out an app called “Amex UNSTAGED: Taylor Swift.” Thanks to some fancy camera work, you can step into the video as it’s being played, follow characters from any angle, explore the lavish mansion, and collect easter eggs. It’s an immersive, interactive experiment, especially in relation to the linear form of music videos.  Could this catch on, or is it just a one-off gimmick by American Express? How could this be successful for other artists? Or will this only be an option for stars with the biggest superfan bases? Who knows, maybe we’ll have those answers by my next newsletter (probably not).

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