The Sunday Papers

By Kieron Gillen on August 10th, 2008 at 11:11 am.

Hurry up Warhammer NDA. We have things we want to say.

Sunday’s an ideal time to take stock of the week’s events. So go and do that, if you fancy – anyone who stays can peruse the list of left-of-field and unusual stories we collected across these seven days, and now present to you while trying really, very, very hard to avoid linking to a Betty Boo video.

Failed.

.

40 Comments »

Sponsored links by Taboola
  1. Dinger says:

    Good Lord: that emotioneering piece is all over the place. But I wonder: is the purpose of games to elicit an emotional response? Do cats chase string for the emotional content? By exploring the realm of possible choices, are we not missing the point, that ‘meaning’ in ‘meaningful choices’ has no extramental existence? That is, does it really matter whether a player’s choices have an effect on the game-state, if the player believes they do? And what’s the foundation for the taxonomy given? For that matter, what hard criteria are there to prevent two people from using the taxonomy on the same game and generating contradictory results? If it’s scientific, it should be ‘repeatable’, no?

  2. Andrew Doull says:

    If you want another reaction to the Guiding Hand Social Club theft, and some light Sunday reading, you may want to check out a short story I wrote that I’ve rendered freshly online here.

  3. spd from Russia says:

    those graphs in gamasutra article blew my mind!

  4. Theory says:

    There’s a new version of DF out as of yesterday, which presumably fixes the bugs talked about in Tarn’s interview.

  5. Aubrey says:

    The only problem I’ve had with emotioneering (David Freeman’s approach moreso than this one) is that it’s… well… it’s effectively propaganda. It’s telling people how they ought to feel. That doesn’t really sit well with the idea of interactivity, for me. Whenever you tell someone “you should feel sad about that girl falling down the well” and they just laugh, your attempts to manipulate emotions become more and more transparent.

    I’m much more in favour of games trying to resonate how players actually feel than forcing them to feel certain things. Easier said than done, obviously.

    The piece is still interesting, and infintely better than that David Freeman guff.

  6. Gap Gen says:

    He’s drawing Feynman diagrams! Kinda.

  7. Dolphan says:

    That Sex and Tetris thingummy is brilliant. And a bit chilling.

  8. MeestaNob! says:

    Betty Boo!

    I’ve just spent the last 40 minutes in youtube watching her and Dee Lite and strangely the world suddenly seems a better place.

  9. Paul S says:

    It is a very good piece. The comments thread is ridiculous, though.

  10. The Hammer says:

    From the comments thread of Sex and Tetris…

    I feel sorry for you as you’re psychologically impotent to enjoy the sheer heaven that is to have sex with a professional.

    The sheer rage coming from that made me laugh.

    Twas a good article, marred by the comments, of people relating his words to authors who have no future in writing (which is presumably why he’s writing for a living…) and people telling him to stop preaching and then doing the exact same thing. Strikes me as being “Aha, the only one that can preach is me!” kind of irony.

  11. Dracko says:

    I am ever-loving and hopefully ever-lasting.

    I can’t help it. Mechner is one of my all-time favourite game designers, and I do hope he gets backs to games some time soon, even as indie side-projects or something. I mean, Prince of Persia is about as essential as the original arcade games, in my eyes.

  12. Sprafa says:

    Hah, Aubrey, i completely agree. I’m going to start cinema uni soon, and i feel there’s a similar dillemma in movies. I call it the Hitchcock-Cassavetes dillemma.

    On one hand you have Hitchcock, who wrote these highly manipulative stories where everything is designed to elicit a specific response.
    Unfortunately the things that were designed to be shocking at the time are commonplace or worse, out of place in our time. I’ve seen people laugh at the final reveal of Psycho and call it “pretty silly”. What he meant as a horror movie is now unintentional comedy.

    On the other hand you have Cassavetes, who in some movies gave you these situations that you recognize because they’re just human, and lets you make your own judgement. People get bored at it but that’s the worse i’ve seen.

    You can have a)watch a girl fall down the well while dramatic music is played and huge melodrama ensues, but your music and melodrama will eventually feel outdated.
    Or you can have b) girl falls down well, stuff happens, you can care or not care, but your approach will still be the reality of the time 50 years from now.

  13. Muzman says:

    That Eve story is amazing. I really don’t know how that could attract the griefing tag given the whole apparent design of the game. That was the most awesome spy operation. You can’t do that sort of thing in WoW can you?

    and: I get the point with that movie comparison but the people who laugh at Hitchcock are only gorehounds used to the modern stuff. Psycho is still tense, North By North West still fun, the Birds still disquieting. Really, the clunky acting and dialogue and heightened tone is only out of date if you ignore most popular TV, like Heroes or CSI.

  14. Cooper says:

    I disagreed with many of the people who didn’t like Simon Parkin’s piece. But it was still bloody awful.

    As someone mentioned, it’s the view from behind the glass door. It’s just a solipsistic piece of introspection, which patronises both the readers and those he writes about (as all he is really writing about is himself).

  15. Aubrey says:

    Sparfa – neat. Glad I’m not alone! Definitely agree that there’s a counter-extreme that can be just as bad.

    The one things games have which film doesn’t is a rough microphone turned toward the audience. The player can express themselves through the game mechanics, and I believe we ought to tap into that where we can. If you start shooting your friendly NPC, we should be thinking “ah, the player is irritated by the character, or just wants to experiment with what happens. Let’s play to that. Make them feel like we’re listening.” That’s got to be better than “fission mailed” and “You’re doing it wrong! You don’t get to play anymore!” style didactic approaches.

    Then again, it’s really, really under-explored territory, because no-one wants to make a story heavy game which can be broken at every moment. There’s a lot of misconceptions as a result – everyone assuming that you approach the problem with a massive branching plot.

    Augh you got me started. Sorry. I’ll cut myself short here.

  16. Charlie says:

    Not to be rude to the guy as I have heard good things about his games. But, isn’t the wonderful end of the world a clone/rip-off of beautiful katamari? Isn’t that worse than piracy?

  17. Larington says:

    Hmm, the responses to that amsterdam article are interesting in themselves, particularly in the way that different people are trying to pull different interpretations of what the article is about or trying to do. Maybe its self indulgent, but I disagree with the idea that self indulgent writing in itself is bad, as long as its kept in moderation, since it can help the writer expand how he thinks about things.

    In the end I think theres a case of Deus Ex versus Deus Ex invisible war here, different games for slightly different audiences, who respond to each of those games differently. Theres probably an equivalent article somewhere (Though not necessarily by that author) who goes on about the things the dissident folks bring up in the comments thread (Though I myself also doubt those responses, if what they are saying is based on evidence or assumption and hearsay).

  18. kororas says:

    I laughed after i read the comments following Cliffski’s piece.

    He stated the target audience he wanted to comment (those pirating his games) and yet the majority are on there are like

    “I dont pirate your games but… [i do pirate others]”

    Helpful.

    The guilt is obviously strong in these ones.

  19. spd from Russia says:

    Aubrey I bet you cant stand jRPGs :)

  20. PleasingFungus says:

    I liked the Sex and Tetris article, and am very glad that I did not read the comments, judging from the excerpts here.

  21. G says:

    When I was in Amsterdam I felt that it didn’t matter which side of the glass anyone was on – be they the hookers, the johns, the pimps or the sightseers like myself – we were all contributing to something nasty. Even someone who is only gawking is there, spending money around the place and helping make it what it is.

    At the same time, I believe there will always be prostitution, whether I find it abhorrent or not, and its probably better for everyone involved to have it in a controlled environment.

  22. Charlie says:

    Like you say, prostitutes will always be around. It would be better to look at how many prostitutes are abused or killed in Amsterdam and how many are in the UK… Ipswich I’m looking at you.

  23. Kieron Gillen says:

    I forgot to mention: the first time I went to Amsterdam, a few year back, I stayed in the red light district. I didn’t notice any sex workers for the first day and a half I was there. My walk-fast-look-directly-ahead way of moving around had somehow blanked them all.

    KG

  24. terry says:

    To be fair, more hookers probably get killed on the Swindon roundabout than in Amsterdam. And the ones in Amsterdam are certainly happier..

    …I’ll get my (dirty rain) coat

  25. Gap Gen says:

    Like you say, prostitutes will always be around. It would be better to look at how many prostitutes are abused or killed in Amsterdam and how many are in the UK… Ipswich I’m looking at you.

    Wasn’t Ipswich all one guy?

  26. Jae Armstrong says:

    @Kieron

    Did the same thing myself, only the first thing we walked past after getting unpacked and out of the hotel was a brothel. With nearly naked women standing stock still in big windows. I honestly thought they were mannequins until one of them moved. Nearly shat myself in fright.

    The whole thing was nightmarish and not at all arousing.

    Then we took a walk down the canal and some guy tried to sell me cocaine.

    All in all I quite liked that trip.

  27. Aubrey says:

    spd – god, it’s like you know my soul. I’m pretty much allegic to them, yeah. Mainly because of the combat. Don’t mind typical JRPG plots, particularly. Even though I probably should.

  28. Xander says:

    On a happier note, the ever-loving Dracko points us that original Prince-of-Persia creator Jordan Mechner is working on a graphic novel with First Second of Prince of Persia. He’s not writing it, but it’s a rather unusual looking project.

    Actually, it’s out already. I picked it up at Comic Con and I’m looking forward to cracking the cover. The art looks fantastic.

  29. Alex says:

    I forgot to mention: the first time I went to Amsterdam, a few year back, I stayed in the red light district. I didn’t notice any sex workers for the first day and a half I was there. My walk-fast-look-directly-ahead way of moving around had somehow blanked them all.

    Well, speaking as a Dutch person myself, any red light district in one of the larger Dutch cities is exactly that – a district, so they’re pretty easily avoidable, in my experience.

  30. Kieron Gillen says:

    No, I was right in the middle of it. As in, there were ones on every street leading away from it for 500m in all directions.

    KG

  31. Alex says:

    a-HA! If you blanked them, HOW would you KNOW that!?? ;)

  32. Robin says:

    Those GSW commenters sure are pleased with themselves.

  33. Kieron Gillen says:

    Alex: I stayed for 2 more days after I had them pointed out to me.

    KG

  34. CrashT says:

    I always prefered “Doin’ The Do” personally.

  35. sinister agent says:

    “I dont pirate your games but… [i do pirate others]”

    Helpful.

    The guilt is obviously strong in these ones.

    Or they’re just telling the truth. It’s pretty rare (and an interesting idea, admittedly) for anyone, least of all a games developer, to outright ask for the opinions of people who pirate their stuff, so hardly surprising a lot of people turned up. Plus last time I checked, his games were all pretty cheap, have low system requirements and offer demos, so there’s less reason to pirate them.

    The site appears to be down though, unfortunately.

    On the plus side, those diagrams are fantastic. I’m going to have to glibly steal them and see how many essays I can use them in before someone calls me out.

  36. mister slim says:

    It may just be a quirk of the last line, but it almost seems like Parkin is quietly referencing Bioshock.

  37. dhex says:

    With nearly naked women standing stock still in big windows. I honestly thought they were mannequins until one of them moved. Nearly shat myself in fright.

    i’m glad i’m not the only one who had this happen.

    i’m sure it sounds stupid if you’ve never been, but the whole storefront lady thing is unexpected, to put it mildly.

  38. Dorian Cornelius Jasper says:

    I’m terribly disappointed in the GSW commenters. Especially the ones engaging in their own bit of self-indulgence. The ones who thought a bit too much about the author’s own musings and feelings, and decide to wag their fingers at him based on their own over-thinking.

    There’s no need to think too hard about them, though. This being merely a gentler variant of a classic internet phenomenon.

  39. G says:

    Also on an Amsterdam whore tip, I found the neon lights just made them look weird.

  40. Pew says:

    Don’t be hard on Kieron now, it’s easy to miss the prostitutes here in Holland when you are looking for a coffeeshop.