The Sunday Papers?

By Kieron Gillen on March 30th, 2008 at 4:58 pm.

They're Papers. They're on a Sunday. It's the Sunday Papers.

I appear to have gone a bit rhetorical-question crazy today, so today’s Sunday Papers comes with an entirely extraneous Daily-Mail-esque question Mark. The idea is that it gathers together a load of slightly more lengthy pieces to read on a Sunday afternoon (or, since I’ve been slack, evening) for you to have a good old think about, chat about and impress your friends who may get impressed by this sort of thing. I try and do this all before I submit to linking to a mates’ mix-tape for his comic or something. Onwards!

  • Corporate Paymasters PCG put their hefty piece about Steam online over at mother-site C&VG. It’s provocative stuff from the off: “”We’re talking about Valve becoming the platform holder and guardian of the PC as a gaming system over the next two years,” says Stephen Gaffney, Business Development Manager of Splash Damage.” Discuss!
  • Tom Kim writes up Steve Fawkner’s GDC presentation about RPS-fave Puzzle Quest. Which is fun.
  • Ian Bogot writes a lengthy, serious review of serious game I Can End Deportation. He’s somewhat critical, and ends up name-checking my old fave, Escape From Woomera as a better example
  • Been meaning to link for this for a while. Henry Jenkins on Youth Culture. Particularly interesting on his take on the Wire versus Lost. I can see his point, but I have trouble seeing past the relative quality of the two shows. I’m okay with Lost, but it’s not the Wire.
  • 1UP on memorably botched videogame launches. Frankly, their five choices don’t go nearly far enough for my tastes. A top 100 most fucked up launches is something we probably should get around to doint.
  • Good to see Harvey Smith out and writing about games. He talks a little about The Graveyard on his blog, which we wrote about last week. He riffs off the game, imagining how he’d like to do a larger game about death.
  • Oh God – this is precious. This Derek Smart interview is one thing, but the comments thread turns into a bloodbath. But most importantly, since he posts in it, it tells me that Francesco Poli is still alive. Who’s Poli? Well, his blog was essential reading back in 2006, if only to wonder what on earth he was going to say next. It just disappeared mysteriously one day, leaving only what’s left on I’ve actually been a little worried about him, despite the fact he clearly loathed me. Phew. The Only Serious Student of Videogames still lives and is (er) still working in his unique idiom.
  • A couple of quick interviews: Firstly, Robin Ward talking about Launching ForumWarz, and quietly depressed not enough people blogged about him. Hey, we did, and you didn’t even hit us up. Oh – and Erik and Kim chat to Gamasutra about Portal. We’ve decided we’re on first name terms, because we always spell Erik’s name wrong because we’re useless. Sorry, Erik. I do wonder how with all the post-Portal interviews they manage to keep a level of groundedness though. If I’d recieved such a level of of universal love, I’d be declaring myself a God who can’t be killed by mortal blows and claiming drinking my urine would gift all life eternal.
  • Jamie McKelvie, to tie in which his teen-fantasy comic of underage drinking Suburban Glamour, has done a Mix-Tape for everyone to listen to. Bless him.



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  1. Seniath says:

    My god, the vitriol spouted in the comments for the PCG Steam article is scary. Maybe I’m somewhat biased, since I fall squarely in the ‘Steam is The Future’ camp.

    “They have plans to store screenshots, config files and save games.”
    Yay, something I’ve hoped they’d do for ages. Having to remember to back up every save game when planning a reformat has always been an utter pain in the arse.

    As an aside: You’ve yet to say anything about the Byron Review. Do you not care, or are you cooking up something extra special for us?

  2. Man Raised By Puffins says:

    (from Francesco Poli’s blog)

    When it comes to the gaming industry, 75% of what I predict eventually comes true: that’s why I call myself the only serious student of videogaming.

    Yes, you cannot stress this enough: Nintendo is dead. This is a gamble with their lives, and they’ll come out on the bottom. That’s because the market today asks for huge gas-guzzling SUVs and not tiny compact cars. I can’t wait to see the faces of the Nintendo fans when they realize what huge mistake they’ve made, and to see reviewers diss Zelda and Mario games the split instant they appear on other machines – because it’s going to be multiplatform or bankruptcy in five years.


  3. Jim Rossignol says:

    The Byron Review didn’t raise much chatter round RPS. It felt like a bit of a non-event to me. Okay, fine, more interesting games stuff to discuss, I think.

    My indifference might have been fueled by an entire week playing Eve and Sins, however.

  4. Will Tomas says:

    The Harvey Smith link’s 404ing…

  5. SwiftRanger says:

    I think the comments in that PC Gamer thread and the remarks from Miles Jacobson are spot-on; Steam (Steam Community or SteamWorks) is good but far from perfect. Personally I have serious problems registering my Half-Life Generation keys in Steam, the only “solution” seems to be buying those games again. :(

    The PC doesn’t need a platform holder or a guardian because that’s not the point of an open platform. Choice is what matters and therefore I like to be able to buy and play my games through various channels, a digital-distibution-only future or an XboxLive-like dominance of Steam on the PC is only gonna make things worse.

  6. Kieron Gillen says:

    Puffin: I have no idea why Poli closed his blog, but part of me wonders whether he realised that he was completely and totally wrong about Nintendo’s commercial failure and couldn’t face backing down.


  7. Masked Dave says:

    Swift Ranger, surely if you have the keys that means you have the discs? So why would you need to buy them again?

  8. Larington says:

    Frankly. I don’t think RPS need cover the Byron review, covered it a lot though. Failing that, you can see the Byron review itself here

    The bit I was most pleased about was that it rightfully pointed out that whilst a lot of studies have been done on violent games and the blah blah blah, these studies have subsequently been discredited or otherwise shown to be jumping to conclusions. Which is part of the reason why I think that studies like these should have a full media blackout for a month so that interested parties can disect them first.

    It was pretty clear that the Byron review was a bit of a non-event generally, only 2 newspapers seem to have covered it at all, and one of them got it entirely wrong, suggesting that computer games would get cigarette style warnings…

    I could just imagine it “Surgeon Generals Warning: Computer Games may make you punch out the lights of some harmless passer-by” No, no need for any alcohol first at all.

  9. SwiftRanger says:

    “Swift Ranger, surely if you have the keys that means you have the discs? So why would you need to buy them again?”

    To play online with those games (HL, OF and CS) through Steam. Singleplayer works relatively fine with seperately downloaded patches (although I suspect there are Steam-updates for those games as well). I’ll probably buy them again anyway but all those early HL re-releases like HL Generation seem to have messed things up a bit for the registration part.

  10. Sir Podder Raleigh says:

    and Interview With Derek Smart? Excellent!

  11. mister slim says:

    The link to Ian Bogo‹b›s‹/b›t’s review doesn’t work. That’s a great Henry Jenkins talk. Anyone know if there’s a transcript or recording available?

  12. Indagator says:

    The Ian Bogost review also 404′s. I believe the correct link is

  13. Kadayi says:

    Heh big fan of LOST, but The Wire > LOST all the way. I’d keep an eye out for Mad Men as well as it’s quality TV.

  14. Kieron Gillen says:

    Indagator: Thanks, man. Fixed!


  15. Malibu Stacey says:

    If only I could be bothered to sign up on the CVG site to respond to all the misinformation being spread on the Steam article.
    I’ll just say it here, it’s funny how literally millions of people use Steam to play games every day both online & offline yet 4 or 5 people who admit to not having used it in the last few years can comment on how bad it is.
    Then again, when has knowledge of the subject ever been a pre-requisite of internet arguements.

  16. J says:

    You should convince Francesco Poli to guest blog for RPS.

    Since you’ve already admitted at least two members of RPS have left leaning tendencies (, you need to balance the site.

    You need Francesco Poli!

  17. Kieron Gillen says:

    I suspect RPS is so far to the left that its unbalanced itself and so started spinning like a Catherine Wheel, so covering all possible political angles.


  18. Jim Rossignol says:

    Yeah, we’re a kind of Left, Right, In, Out, Shake It All About political bloc.

  19. Kadayi says:

    “If only I could be bothered to sign up on the CVG site to respond to all the misinformation being spread on the Steam article. I’ll just say it here, it’s funny how literally millions of people use Steam to play games every day both online & offline yet 4 or 5 people who admit to not having used it in the last few years can comment on how bad it is.
    Then again, when has knowledge of the subject ever been a pre-requisite of internet arguments.”

    Agreed. I couldn’t sit by and tolerate it, I had to get in there and set the record straight. The same guys generally post in any Steam thread that comes up and moan away. It’s all rather morbid tbh. (like hanging around an ex-girlfriend) ;)

  20. J says:

    You indulge us silly commenters far too much RPS.

    Someone needs to employ Francesco Poli. He was too entertaining.

    Ever since his blog went there’s been a void in game coverage for me. I’ve been trying to find a right wing games person with no success.

    Brad Wardell is a tiny bit but he’s so reasonable.

  21. Kieron Gillen says:

    I was always saddened that Poli’s site didn’t have a mail address on. A few times I wanted to drop him a line, just to try and calm him down a bit.

    (Most notably, when John and I threw a couple of very, very, light barbs in his direction and he went on amazing rant about he’s a fat, rich virgin and that’s FINE. I was actually a little worried about him, and wanted to note a man who wrote 3000 word screeds at a time about how evil and stupid everyone else was probably should develop a slightly thicker skin.)


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