Catching Up

So hey. It’s been a while. The holiday season catches all of us unaware and buries everyone under various obligations and other things that keep us occupied. It’s also a time to take a break and decompress for a bit. I took that a bit too far by flying to Australia for two months. So that’s where I’ve been. Fun fact: Perth has a damn good videogame museum! I played Duck Hunt for the first time in my life.

So it’s time to play a little catchup. I had a lot of unread articles waiting for me when I got home, so I’m going to spend this post talking about the ones I liked the most.

The first one is a short but entertaining read by Ed Fries. It’s an account of him trying and succeeding to track down an actual board from the first arcade game to use a ROM. His excitement increases over the course of the story, and it becomes almost palpable by the end.

Read: Finding The First Videogame ROM

The second one is a short but effective analysis of how sequels evolve, and putting that into the context of the first three entries of a number of classic franchises that started on the NES. The conclusion it comes to is something I hadn’t realized about those games before, so it’s worth reading for that alone. But it’s also a solid piece of writing that manages to say some other interesting things about otherwise well-trodden ground.

Read: Electric Boogaloo: A short history of game sequels

The third one is the exact kind of literary-style videogame analysis that I absolutely adore. He takes media Eugene Thacker’s concepts of “dead media,” “weird media,” and “haunted media” and examines how they apply to the story and themes of Oxenfree. Perhaps the most impressive thing about this article is how approachable it is. It’s written very clearly and delivers its thoughtful analysis in an easily understandable manner.

Read: Between the Haunted and the Weird: The Horrific Ontology of Videogames

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