The Roundup: The Circle & Beyond


By Lucy Ungaro

In this week’s round-up, we all come together to love and philosophize about games. Mainly love, but with philosophizing as a close second. 

As if to prove my point, right off the bat we have a rumination on extra lives in video games, real life, and death, by Stu Horvath. I thought it was a unique way to look at the topic. Instead of lamenting the lack of do-overs in real life, it sees every new opportunity and every new day as its own extra-life. It is a poignant, personal, and extremely relatable article. Read it here.

Speaking of extra lives, let’s look at some of the best levels from Super Mario Maker, according to Ben Gilbert. The internet seems pretty ecstatic about this game, and it appears to be for good reason. Check out the ingenuity of fellow video gamers and designers here.

For your weekly dose of video game mysteries, here is an article by Chris Plante on a curious gap in our Mario memory–apparently, we have no clue when Super Mario Bros. was released in the US. We need a game historian to Sherlock out this information, pronto.

Street Fighter V has announced a new Middle Eastern character named Rashid with a very interesting character design. Check out information about the character here, brought to you by Evan Narcisse. 

Let’s get back to a little game philosophy for a second. Rules are a pretty uncontested, vital aspect of game design, right? Well, here’s a game that rebels against its own rules. It does so with a rule that allows player to change rules while they’re playing. It’s like when you defeat your brother in a make believe game, but then he says he “blocked” it with the force field he conveniently forgot to mention earlier. Still not over that. Check out the news post by Jorge Jimenez, complete with a stimulating trailer.

Rejoice, horror fans, with an article by Matt Gerardi on Bloodborne‘s upcoming expansion, The Old Hunters. Details on the new content can be found here.

While we’re on the topic of new content, Destiny: the Taken King is finally out. Samit Sarker interviewed the creative director of the expansion, Luke Smith, and included an in depth take on the first fifteen hours of the content.

Some video game philosophers and philosophizers argue that games aren’t art, but I’ve never heard it argued that games don’t possess art. Sara Clemens reviews Matt Salinsbury’s book on art in games, and the artists behind it, here.

And now for news outside of the Circle…

Nintendo has named Tatsumi Kimishima as their new president, reportedly so he can “share the burden for managing Nintendo” with Miyamoto and Takeda. A heavy corporate restructuring followed.

The Rutgers University-Camden research center is hosting a series of video game events to study and celebrate games. Meanwhile, Northampton University is launching a master’s degree in game design.

I’ll leave you with pixel art of classic movies made to look like ’90s video games.

Thanks for reading again, and tune in next week! 

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