May Roundtable: Game Superlatives for Summer

May Roundtable: Game Superlatives for Summer

We’ve said it before, but: 2020 is a year for games. (When isn’t it a year for games? I don’t know; that’s for another roundtable.) And what’s more fun than making high-school-yearbook-style game superlatives to keep us going into the summer? Nothing, that’s what! For the May roundtable, the Sidequest team did exactly that. What would you put in these categories?

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GYGO: To the Gates of Valhalla

GYGO: To the Gates of Valhalla

Howdy, gamers, and happy… it’s Wednesday, right? I thought I was just about done with Animal Crossing, but I finally unlocked terraforming and have used my new and godly powers to add paths, a cafe, a gym, a pedestrian mall, a different cafe, and a small concert stage (though the only instrument I have right now is a marimba). What have you been up to, in Animal Crossing or otherwise? Let us know over on our Twitter! Now, here’s what happened in games this week. (more…)

April Roundtable: Games and Social Connection

April Roundtable: Games and Social Connection

Since we’re all in social isolation/distancing/shelter-in-place mode, the Sidequest team decided to reminisce about games and social connection: how we’ve used games to foster and grow friendships and relationships in general. (Some of us discuss how we even do that now, all while staying safe!) (more…)

Where Do We Go Next: Kentucky Route Zero’s Anxious Approach to Hope

Where Do We Go Next: Kentucky Route Zero’s Anxious Approach to Hope

Sometime during the several hours that I played Kentucky Route Zero, I began to resent 5 Dogwood Drive. For the first four acts of the game, Dogwood Drive is mere legend—impossible to drive to, real enough that non-player characters offer directions to it, and important because it’s where the player characters need to make a delivery. But while getting to 5 Dogwood Drive is the goal of the game, it isn’t the point of it. Kentucky Route Zero is a game about the odyssey of merely existing under the inherent, subtle violence of capitalist systems. Financial instability keeps the characters forever caught in the liminal space that stretches between one stage of life and the next. The uncertainty makes each choice feel weighty yet meaningless at the same time. Ultimately their fates are shaped—some more bluntly than others—by capitalism’s hand, which lends the narrative a unique anxiety. (more…)

GYGO: To the Gates of Valhalla

GYGO: Checks, Crunch, and Cryptocurrency

Howdy, everyone, I hope you are staying safe and healthy. I’ve been playing more games than usual lately—I wasn’t immune to Animal Crossing (my first!) and have been spending a lot of time in my orchard and getting stung by wasps in sunny Flavortown. When I need a break from island life, I’ve been playing a lot of Nier. While its fishing mechanics are… frustrating, its incredible soundtrack more than makes up for it. Let us know what you’ve been playing on Twitter and in the comments! Now, here’s what’s new this week. (more…)