If there’s one thing that won’t be canceled due to pandemic, it’s the relentless passage of time. Public health emergency and all, Matajuegos turns 4 today.
Exactly 366 days ago, we returned from a months-long hiatus and promised we would start releasing videos and podcasts, along with our usual content. Today we can proudly say we kept our word, and had an extremely active 2019.
We translated into Spanish several texts about the relationship between videogames and other relevant topics, such as antifascism, commercial viability, memory, language, the fight against harassment, and the current state of criticism. We have a lot of other translations nearing completion, and so many others still on the drawing board.
We started our own podcast, En busca de Porko, and we managed to convince a bunch of Argentine and international devs to add their voices to our modest interview series. We released 6 episodes in Spanish, 2 in English, and 7 bonus episodes to boot. More than 12 and a half hours of audio, all of it edited by hand with a lot of love and patience, though sometimes with little skill.
Many thanks to Roque, Guille, Ale, Laura, Gabi, Enric, and Paolo, our guests of honor, and also to Irene, Yiyo, and Alli, who lended their voices for the commercial breaks. We’re also very thankful to the surprising amount of devs and strangers who’ve said hi to us at events and in real life and told us that they listen to and enjoy the show.
We went the entire year without releasing a single article of our own, and we have conflicting feelings about that, but we did produce several video series instead:
We released two videos about labor organization in the Argentine videogame industry: a more recent one about different kinds of unions, and an earlier one where we announced the formation of Game Workers Unite Argentina. We had long, unproductive Internet conversations with folks allergic to worker solidarity, and we’re going to keep fighting that unfortunate prejudice, but we also received a ton of support. The idea from the get-go was that GWU Argentina would expand beyond Matajuegos, and that’s exactly what it’s done. The work moves forward slowly, but the group now has a broader organization committee and an even bigger and more varied membership base.
We released two videos about making games in Latin America: one about economic viability and another on artistic goals. They were a big hit and generated hundreds of comments that helped us dive into this conversation we’ve been wanting to have for years. If you’re one of the people who started following us due to these videos, thank you and welcome!
As a brief change from deeper analysis, though in no way as replacement, we started the series Matajueguitos, geared towards quick recommendations of independent and artistic games that appeal to our sensibilities. So far we’ve only released one episode, but the second one is nearly done and the third one’s half-way there.
Other projects and collaborations
And if you thought all of our activities were limited to what we release on the blog, you are sorely mistaken:
- In March, we participated in a narrative round table organized by Guillermo Crespi for the Rayuela de Arena 2019 game jam.
- In April, during their trip to Peru, Pablo and Yiyo were interviewed on an episode of the Devsconectados podcast.
- That same month, Rumpel gave a talk about her DOOM Fetito and David’s Onda verde at A MAZE Berlin 2019.
- In May, we created the official Matajuegos Itch.io portal. Give it a look to check out our recommendations for twine and bitsy games in Spanish, as well as an incomplete list of all the games we’ve written about since 2016.
- In June, Rumpel’s Penélope espera sola and David’s Onda verde were featured in a Rock Paper Shotgun article about games in Spanish.
- In November, we attended the Game on! art games exhibition and the first Game Arts International Assembly for game curators and event organizers, with which Pablo collaborated. It was an intense week during which we met many international guests, made friends and collaborators, and apparently made a positive impression, which makes us really happy.
Matajuegos thus begins a new cycle, with many ongoing projects and so many new plans for the future. This 2020 is already presenting big complications, especially in the going-out-to-meet-new-people and forging-friendships-in-person-without-putting-them-at-immunologic-risk departments, but we have absolutely no intention to give up the fight.
Image: The Death of Julius Caesar (Cecil Langley Doughty, 1975)