[Showcasing highlights from big sister site Gamasutra's Member Blogs, we hand out a lifetime Game Developer magazine subscription for an examination into the evolution of Western "art," and why it may be irrelevant to games.]

In our weekly Best of Member Blogs column, we showcase notable pieces of writing from members of the game community who maintain Member Blogs on Gamasutra.

Member Blogs can be maintained by any registered Gamasutra user, while invitation-only Expert Blogs -- also highlighted weekly -- are written by selected development professionals.

Our favorite blog post of the week will earn its author a lifetime subscription to Gamasutra's sister publication, Game Developer magazine. (All magazine recipients outside of the United States or Canada will receive lifetime electronic subscriptions.)

We hope that our blog sections can provide useful and interesting viewpoints on our industry. For more information, check out the official posting guidelines.

This Week's Standout Member Blogs

- The Problem With Choices
(Craig Stern)

One of several responses to James Portnow's Gamasutra piece about the nature of choice in video games, Craig Stern's post takes issue with Portnow's characterization of "choice" and "problem." Not all decisions are created equal, argues Stern, and removing disparate consequences from games doesn't model real life in any meaningful way.

For his effort, Craig will receive a lifetime subscription to Gamasutra sister publication Game Developer magazine.

- I Would Never Do This In Real Life
(Adam Bishop)

Games allow the player to virtually do things he or she would love to do in reality if given the chance, but they also afford virtual actions that most sane, reasonable people would consider morally reprehensible. Adam Bishop considers where the line is drawn.

- GDC 2009 Coverage
(Kimberly Unger)

Minigames are becoming increasingly prevalent as subsystems in "hardcore" games, frequently as ways of streamlining actions that might previously have been represented by much more complex mechanics. Artist Kimberly Unger wonders whether this type of game-within-a-game design might demand its own team role or even specialty?

- Console Continuation Means Sometimes Going Beyond Default
(Edward Vertigo)

Why do console games still largely eschew button-by-button custom mapping options? Edward Vertigo looks at this and five other common console game usability concerns (some more practical than others), and suggests fixes.

- Top 10 weirdest IGF 2009 games
(Davide Coppola)

By its very nature, the Independent Game Festival tends to spawn titles that are off the beaten triple-AAA path -- but even so, the IGF has its own spectrum of normality. Here, Davide Coppola rounds up what he sees as the ten weirdest entries, including Three Forks VS. the Crab Creatures From Neptune and Dark Room Sex Game.

- Plus, the thrilling conclusion to Jim McGinley's Epic GDC Coverage.