This week in games: inactivity, brutalism, The Witness and more
Zoya Street, curator of Critical Distance, offers slow reflections on the fast-paced world of digital play…
What is a game if, full of care, we have no time to stand and stare?
Chris Priestman gave a beautifully-written account of one of my favourite topics: inactivity.
"There’s a satisfaction to be derived in comparing our own motionlessness to the busyness of the world around us—to be the silence among the noise. This dichotomy can help us meditate on the glory of that singular moment."
For those who enjoy awe and wonder at the majesty of concrete, Hamish Grace offered a detailed, games-oriented overview of Brutalism, an architectural style that has been increasingly significant in games of late.
It's often said that games allow us to walk in somebody else's shoes, but what if the shoes don't quite fit? It's enlightening to hear from somebody who has directly experienced the situation a title purports to simulate. Reflecting on his past work as a journalist in a communist regime, Zach Hines argued that newspaper simulator the Westport Independent portrays a naive view of self-censorship.
Avant-garde art blog "We make money not art" covered a French festival featuring games as well as some remarkable digital art installations (part one | part two)
Finally, Darius Kazemi's interactive review of The Witness is affectionate and illuminating; a lovely thing to observe and ponder.
If you're not quite done quietly contemplating videogames, you'll find lots more material in the full roundup post on our website. For regular updates, follow Critical Distance on Twitter and consider pledging your support on Patreon.
The Offworld Collection, presenting the very best features and essays from Offworld, is finally available to buy directly from Campo Santo for $40. I had the pleasure of designing and illustrating this splendid 250-page hardcover volume, but it’s the excellent writing, edited by Leigh Alexander and Laura Hudson, that makes it an essential buy. You […]
This week, our partnership with Critical Distance brings us reading on parenting via Tomb Raider, the utility of the word ‘gameplay’, and experiences from Nintendo ‘play counselors’ from the 1980s and 90s.
What can game developers do to better represent black women in games?
Building blocks are among a child’s first, and arguably, most important, toys. Once they start stacking one tentatively on top of another, the blocks not only spark waves of creativity, but actual real-world understanding of scientific principles like engineering and physics. It wouldn’t even be a stretch to call blocks on of the first true […]
Time management and self-motivation, the ability to stay on task and achieve in the office or when you’re working with home, is the true test of any person’s professional mettle. While that’s easier said than done, those skills can be taught and developed as you’ll find in The 2020 Work From Anywhere Hacker Bundle. The […]
It’s easy to be instantly dismissive about most Bluetooth speakers, especially small travel-sized units. Over the past few years, makers of every shape, size, and variety have started pounding out Bluetooth speakers, many barely able to sound much better than your smartphone speaker, let alone provide the bass and volume heft of legitimate portable speakers […]