This Week I Read – Pure Again, Final Fantasy VIII and cultural rumblings

Hello and welcome. For newcomers, this is where I share with you a bunch of articles, comics, games, podcasts – anything about videogames that I read over the past week and think you might also enjoy, with the goal of helping the flow of discourse and spreading the word on these authors and their works. This week there’s a good scattering of subjects covered, from sexual dimorphism to responsibility, a couple of underdog games of the year, and some reminiscing on a few 90s classics.

Links and articles that contain minor spoilers (minor narrative beats or gameplay segments, etc.) will be marked with a *. Those with major spoilers (major plot twists or story beats) will be marked with a **.

Starting on a high note, definitely read this piece by Zoya Street on his game of the year, Pure Again,** a game about trans experiences that makes no assumptions about gender and an article that beautifully conveys what that means. You can play Pure Again by Kevin McGowan here.

On Not Your Mama’s Gamer, Samantha Blackmon reflected on BioShock Infinite‘s satire in context of the Tea Party’s racist appraisal of some of its imagery.

Mattie Brice threw her hat into the ring on the topic of ‘gamer’ and the notion of games as a meritocracy. I wrote something similar the other week, too.

IndieStatik wrote about the harassment directed at some developers who tried to get their game Greenlit while having the audacity of being women.

For Robot Hyena, Bryce Mainville discussed what sexual dimorphism says about character design, using a few MMOs as example.

I don’t normally do podcasts but Indie MEGABOOTH have a 40-odd minute bit between Christopher Floyd, Rob Manuel, Patrick Lindsey and Maddie Myers on A Dark Room** that is well worth your time. A Dark Room is available to play in your browser here, it’s one of the best games to come out this year so I’d recommend playing it before you listen to the podcast.

Speaking of A Dark Room, check out Elizabeth Simins’ comic on The Bygone Bureau.

In Chris Leggett Gameranx piece, he talked about the power of media to affect the minds of audiences as a rebuff to efforts of dismissal of dangerous games when convenient.

On Gamespot, Josiah Renaudin** discussed the humanity and maturation of the character of Squall, Final Fantasy VIII‘s protagonist, especially how he found some of himself in the same journey.

The week before last, C.Y Reid wrote about movement, flow and horror in Doom for Midnight Resistance.

From last May there’s this video critique of BioShock Infinite by Matthewmatosis.** It’s a pretty level take-down of the game that’s now making a load of Best Of lists, but it also includes a very clever contrast of Infinite with Oddworld: Abe’s Oddysee. Also it might be of benefit to Irrational Games to hear what an Irish accent sounds like.

And last week, I spilled my heart on the sole good moment of BioShock Infinite.**

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