[We're partnering with game criticism site Critical Distance to present some of the week's most inspiring writing about the art and design of video games from commentators worldwide. This week, Ben Abraham looks at Bayonetta, Mulholland Drive and S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Call of Pripyat, among other notables.]

Eric Swain has continued his tireless efforts of scouring the video game blogosphere for our collective benefit. In a yin-yang pairing, The Game Overthinker proudly proclaims “I heart Bayonetta”, while Gunthera1 writes at The Borderhouse after having played the demo of the game with some friends and concludes that “the game is the perfect visual example of male gaze”.

Swain also had a reaction to the Final Fantasy VIII “Squall's Dead” theory, which he and I encountered for the first time this week, comparing the idea to a similar reading of Mulholland Drive. (Confession time: I’ve never seen Mulholland Drive.) Swain also asked this week, ‘Where is the last 1/3rd of Brutal Legend?

Elsewhere, G. Christopher Williams brings his best game this week with two pieces at PopMatter’s Moving Pixels blog; “Is Suda51 the Alfred Hitchcock of Video Games?” as well as ‘How games might challenge the tyranny of authorship.’

Jim Rossignol had a remarkably busy week, announcing his follow-up book to 2008’s This Gaming Life. I for one can’t wait for the as-yet untitled work. Rossignol also talked about online communities, the site Rock Paper Shotgun as a community, including a bit about how the infamous Sunday Papers regular feature ties into and reinforces the community.

Kirk Hamilton finds out what it would be like “If my games could talk”, with important implications for any backlog of games.

With Bioshock 2 and other sequels having now had time to arrive and settle, sequels in general became a hot topic this week -- with both Mitch Krpata and Michael Abbott talking about the proclivity of the industry towards game sequels. Krpata’s piece, ‘Why we need sequels’, appeared just hours before Michael Abbott’s ‘Sequel 101’, so you’d be forgiven for thinking they were working from the same playbook. As always, great minds think alike.

In ‘On my shoulder whispering’, The Brainy Gamer's Abbott begins with an exploration of the classical roots of modern tales of heroism and conflict, and ends up talking about how Bioshock 2 resonated with him on the themes of fatherhood.

David Carlton has been thinking about the changing dynamic that spoilers have with respect to shorter, independent games. It made me rethink my own policy, as it is something that I wrote about earlier this week for my own online diary/blog.

In other notable blog posts, Chris Livingston wrote about S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Call of Pripyat this week, recounting an exciting dynamic and emergent story. I actually had a very similar experience at a similar point in the game, having been playing it this week myself (and it is glorious).

Mike Schiller wrote about ‘Video games & art as inspired by Autechre’ - electronic music versus electronic interaction.

Jamin Brophy-Warren -- former WSJ-er and editor of Killscreen Magazine -- wrote at the excellent Killscreen on Good blog about how games are one of the worst media industries for accessibility.

Finally, I want to know when The Atlantic gained such a stable of excellent bloggers that talk about video games. This week A. Serwer wrote an entry called ‘Welcome To Rapture’ and Evan Narcisse hit a homerun with “Wrex in Effect, or, Deep Space and the Negro/Injun/Krogan Problem” (thanks to Kate Simpson for the latter article).