Sundays are for waking up in famously rich ex-pc-gamer ed Ross Atherton’s palace in Versailles – which is, perhaps inevitably, actually Versailles palace – sipping on fine tea and compiling a list of (mainly) games related writing from across the week for your delectation, while wrestling with Ross’ luxurious split-keyboard and trying not to include a link to some pop music delight hailing a much-missed journalist.
- Doctor Professor is addicted to fake success. He considers two different personality types – who he describes as either performance-orientated or mastery-orientated, and argues that his love of RPGs as a teenager absolutely fucked him up. Fascinating stuff and well worth, if only as a thought experiment.
- Commentary on Chris Hecker yabbering at the Montreal International Game Summit. Here’s Sirlin on it. And here’s indiegames. Hecker is a clever man and well worth listening to – though his observations on comics is a tad american-centric. [EDIT: Actually, while not reported anywhere I saw when I did this, Hecker apparently specifically noted France and Japan as examples of how comics didn’t necessarily have to go the way they did, in terms of cultural standing. Apologies to Chris for that one. See the comments of Steve Gaynor’s piece on this for more on the issue.]
- Dan Dixon points that Sirlin is also saying a whole load more of interesting stuff about MIGS. Here’s Sirlin on Brenda Brathwaite, dealing with games about the slave-trade and the holocaust. I suspect most people will have strong responses both to Brathwaite and Sirlin’s analysis and criticism thereof. Dan’s a bit more generous than I am to the argument that it should be replayable 10,000 times. Frankly, fuck replayability as a necessary tenet of the medium. The Boiler by Rhoda/The Specials is no less brilliant a pop record because no-one with any sense wants to listen to it twice. Here’s a further interview with Brathwite on the topic.
- Christopher Webb pointed me at Boing-Boing’s piece on the development of one-button indie webgame sensation Canabalt. Lovely. He also tells us that Valve’s secret success is listening to the customers and how PC Gamers can best have their voices heard (Clue: Not by threats of Piracy).
- Chris Remo at Gamasutra writes about looking for meaning in games, and takes a very different spin on it. Well worth reading.
- This is great. An article about the economics of pinball - especially how an innovation in one machine doomed the industy, fundamentally. Which is an interesting thing about progress. Sometimes you progress off the cliff. I look at videogames and wonder if there’s anything we’re doing which could seriously screw us down the link.
- Lewis Denby writes about Fahrenheit (aka Indigo Prophecy). It’s one which I really mean to actually go back to.
- Another zero-budget indie-marketing guide. Always welcome.
- What Jeff Strain’s been up to since leaving Arenanet. That being, a console-aimed Zombie MMO. The interview is well worth reading for any MMO-trend watcher.
- Point/counterpoint on Twilight. My old mate Adi Tantimedh argues that it’s pretty much psychological poison. Bob Chipman at the Escapist notes that, really, what’s good for the goose is good for the gander.
- Another point/counterpoint, this time set up by New Scientist on Human Space Flight.
- The Guardian International Development Journalism Competition published its essays this week. Friend-of-RPS Adam Oxford’s is included, but they’re all worth reading. His is on women’s rights in Kyrgyzstan.
- New comic stuff. This is the big one, really. I’m taking over Thor from JMS for six issues. Out this week. Five page preview here. Oh – and I’m very excited by Gabriel Ba and Fabio Moon’s new Vertigo book, Daytripper.
- This warmed my heart, and make no mistake. Akira the Don does a Steven Wells mixtape in honour of the sadly-departed awesome-shouty journalist. Which is splendid stuff, even without the Akira The Don-written opening track “Steven Wells (He Was The Greatest)”. “No-one typed fuck like Steven” indeed.