Sundays are for prodding listlessly at a pretty-much-completed-script, considering getting dressed and compiling a list of the fine (mostly) games related writing that caught your eyes this week, while trying to resist linking to some glorious Ukulele-abuse.
- Taekwan Kim writes for Gamasutra about Validation theory. From the simple core idea – “Today, I’d like to propose a very basic idea: a consequence is a reward whenever it validates the player. Conversely, and more importantly, a consequence is a punishment whenever it invalidates the player” – it spins out extensively and elegantly. The stuff about regressive attachment is particularly good.
- The RPS Forum Writer Hive turned up this lovely meditation on meaning in games from Miles of The Machination. Specifically, wondering whether “art” indie games are wandering into an untenable, limited hole.
- Jim went to Future Human’s “Immersion Drama” event in London this week. He blogs about it here, finding that a lot of people here seem to be lagging well behind in their theory from mainstream games conversation. I met him afterwards for drinks, and winced when he said that someone said “What about the Holodeck”. Dude!
- Jaunty RPS Tribute Blog PCGamer.com have had a good week, actually. They’ve done a Deus Ex week. A week before the 10 year anniversary of DX, admittedly, but it’ll be churlish to complain about that when they’ve done some splendid stuff. Of special note is this interview with the Head Writer of Deus Ex: Human Revolution. If you want to know about the sort of clever thematic stuff underlying the game, you’re almost certainly best checking out interviews with the writers.
- Rob Cummin’s piece on his thoughts on real violence versus game violence, in the context of playing games while gunfire is outside in Bangkok, has been in my Sunday Papers document for months. I have no idea why I didn’t post it sooner. I must be thick or something. Go read.
- Well, it’s the week for it. Ars Technica write a good but slightly self-serving piece on embargoes. Always good to slide a knife in your rivals when posturing about being on the reader’s side.
- Talking about sliding the knife in: Sixth Axis interview Ben “Games Journalists Are Incompetent Fuckwits” Paddon.
- Craig Stern at Indie RPGs interviews a mass of Indie RPG developers about why narrative matters in games.
- I was going to link to this fan-made Left 4 Dead movie poster as a main post, but I couldn’t get it to work on RPS’ lay out. Go look now. Lovely.
- Soren “Civ 4″ Johnson puts up another of his game design columns wherein he argues Theme is not Meaning. As in, what a game is about isn’t what a game is about. A game’s mechanics says what a game is about.
- In the wake of the Russians supporting pro-Russian-Culture development, Daniel Rivas writes a little about art and agitprop in games.
- The Player interviews Nick Mailer, John’s comrade in arms on their non-gaming-non-on-topic podcast Rum Doings. Fun concept, this. Interviewing people around games who aren’t engaged with it. I imagine some of my Exs would be fun to interview for this. Alas, Delightful Fiance is downstairs playing Mario right now, so she’s outside the selection criteria.
- This is brilliant. An Engineer/Teacher at ASU spends time analysing Games Workshop dice. Turns out everyone who’s screamed at them over the years was right:They DO roll more 1s than they should. Why? Basically, imperfections and the corners. This did get me thinking about deliberately designing games to work on non-perfectly-random dice, which could be interesting.
- Okay. Another 40k note. Someone on 4Chan wonders what all the Primarchs would look like if they were teenage girls.
- Akira The Don has discovered the world’s most adorable Sloths. Awww! Awww! This must be what Walker feels like all the time.
- John Robb interviews Atari Teenage Riot’s Alec Empire for the Quietus. Strong stuff.
- I spent a lot of time in the 90s mocking Louise Wener, but I secretly had a soft spot for her. Her Britpop memoirs actually seem pretty funny. Oh noes! They stole Blur’s Cheese!
- I dig Amanda Palmer’s cover of Idioteque, which I think was the last Radiohead song I completely 100% loved.