The Sunday Papers

Not actually hungover for once. All is well in the world.
There are many things to love about Sunday. Not having to go to work, unless you’ve got a horrible job which you have my sympathy for. Keep fighting, punks. Lying around. Not doing much. Compiling a list of thoughtful pieces from the grist of the games journalism mill and trying not to include a video link of my favourite indie-lust object at a dog show. Well… the compiling thing is just me, but you can read it. Go eye-readings!

  • This is fun. Bill Harris does a two part interview with Vic Davis about Armageddon Empire’s post-release sales curve and similar. While Vic avoids the actual hard figures, reading what percentage of his total sales were achieved at which points is… well, it’s illuminating. And seeing the uptick on a graph after my Eurogamer review makes me feel as if this games critic thing isn’t totally useless, y’know. Part one here. Part two here.
  • US RPG specialist Desslock wonders where on Earth all the M-rated RPGs have gone. Putting aside the Witcher, I see the point – and the disconnect between M-rated shooter (and action games generally) success and the fade-to-biege of the RPG market as it inches for a teen-friendly rating is saddening. My gut feeling is that it’s a fear response – they feel more niche, so don’t want to lose any possible sales by going for the higher rating, though any RPG devs out there should feel free to correct me.
  • Okay, almost completely off topic, but this Daily Mail piece on the Horror Of Emo is one of the funniest pieces of journalism I’ve read for ages. The next time the Mail takes a swing at games – which can only be a matter of days – bear it in mind.
  • Ultra-retro. Konstantinos Dimopoulos pointed me in the direction of this interview with the Rochdale Balrog of Brit-Text-adventure specialists Zenobi. I’m both pleased and amused that the one-room (and the smallest room in the house) comedy advebture Behind Closed Doors was written and tested in a day. For the record, I believe it was the first text adventure I ever completed.
  • Simon Parkin continues his new series of columns for Game Set Watch with… poetry. About being a games critic and the problems thereof. Fun.
  • The Long Blondes – Guilt. Probably the definitive Long Blondes title, which could only be trumped by lobbing out a single called “I feel bad about the people I’ve had sex with, yes, yes, I do”. Also: Kate Jackson. Ying!



  1. matte_k says:

    Cheers Kieron, yet another killer video by a group I’d not heard yet. Sold!

    And the Mail article is priceless. Yes, “emo” truly is a danger to the kids of today, worse than gang warfare, gun crime, teenage pregnancy, obesity and videogames. Looks like The Mail has saved Britain, once again…

  2. Seniath says:

    Not having to go to work, unless you’ve got a horrible job which you have my sympathy for

    Or you have exams you should be revising for…

    And that article about emos; my word!

  3. John P (Katsumoto) says:

    *Should* being the operative word there. My revision timetable says I’m working all today! Instead, I think i’m going to try and install some boiling point patches.

    p.s. “Why no child is safe from the sinister cult of emo” I can’t stop pissing myself. Are we sure the Daily Mail isn’t just one hugely ironic piss-take? I don’t understand how anyone can take it seriously.

  4. Chris Evans says:

    Not having to go to work, unless you’ve got a horrible job which you have my sympathy for

    Yay! I get sympathy from KG for working on Sundays :D

  5. Jochen Scheisse says:

    Surprisingly sensible comments to the Mail article.

  6. Kast says:

    The Daily Mail – both terrifying that people will gobble that tripe up and hilarious that they clearly don’t believe it themselves.

    The sadly short article on M-rated RPGs was a good read. Hadn’t thought about the lack of them before but it’s a tragedy. I’ve been avoiding Witcher because of the sadly eviscerated dialogue and there’s only so many times you can play through Vampires.

    I am fondly reminded of Baldur’s Gate II which had a strong impact on me, tore my guts up and made me feel like an absolute bastard by allowing me to take advantage of the tender, naive Aerie. I was 14, after all.

    EDIT: Hasn’t that DM article been linked to before? Some of those comments sound very very familiar.

  7. Kieron Gillen says:

    Kast: Hasn’t been linked here, as far as I’m aware.

    Matte_K: The Long Blondes were my favourite band of 2006. Kind of nailed the year. The second album is fun too.


  8. Jonathan says:

    I like how The Daily Mail suggests the emo plague was caused by damned American immigrants. Oh Tom, you casual xenophobe. It’s good to see them reflect on Punk as a “zest for life”, I mean I always thought it was linked to riots, racism, homophobia, violence and unnecessary amounts of drugs and beer. Evidently not.
    As a liberal bordering on socialist nothing is quite as unintentionally hilarious as the conservative media. It’s funny right up until you remember it’s the dominant ideology here in the UK and in America. Then it becomes very, very sad.

  9. MisterBritish says:

    That’s definate Vince-baiting isn’t it? :)

  10. Kadayi says:

    Unfortunate that the girl killed herself, but teenage suicide has been around for years. When I was at School a girl in my year threw herself off Beachy Head, and at college a Boy I knew jumped in front of a tube train. Sad that people choose to end themselves this way, and devastating for their families (I’m sure we’ve all faced emotional black holes of our own at times, I know I certainly have). It’s almost trite the way in which the Mail addresses the issue tbh. God forbid that the darkness lies in our own hearts after all, surely this evil, this madness must arise from somewhere else? Whether it be Drink, Drugs, Cults or Computer games.

  11. Bob Arctor says:

    I like the way it says “and while there are other problems like exams, stress, and bullying the main problem is ’emo'”.
    Shouldn’t we think about sorting out the bullying and lessening the exam pressures some time?

  12. Alex says:

    Is that Game Set Watch column about Charlie Brooker?

    I’m confused.

  13. Arsewisely says:

    Kate Jackson used to go out with one of my English lecturers and the long Blondes rehearse at the recording/rehearsal studio where I part-time. *drops name*

    For by this time Charlie knew
    The scores were mostly useless
    And the readers mostly clueless
    On the half-truths of marketing
    Whose debunking
    They absolutely didn’t want to read.

    Classy use of enjambment. bravo.

  14. gnome says:

    (tips hat)



  15. Ben Abraham says:

    I love the finishing comment on the Emo piece.

    Naive, misguided or just plain stupid.

    But then, that’s always been the trouble with some teenagers. And the danger of emo.

  16. Man Raised By Puffins says:

    Nice interview with Vic, that.

    @ Alex: It’s more of a generalised tale, I believe. It can’t really apply to Brooker anyway, as he’s more of a TV critic now. Nice piece, reminds me of the triforce’s ‘so you want to be a games journalist?’ effort.

  17. Dinger says:

    Vic’s interview: so basically, some game journalists wrote about AE on their blogs, and that generated interest. Then RPS interviewed Vic, Penny Arcade picked up the interview (linking it in their blog), and wham!

    Is RPS the kingmaker of indie games?

  18. Andy Simpson says:

    I really, really hate people who commit suicide by chucking themselves under Tube trains. It’s seriously just the most inconsiderate and selfish thing to do.

    Never mind the trauma inflicted on the driver, and the other passengers on the platform, there’s whoever’s job it is to scrape you up off the track, and the just insane levels of disruption it causes to thousands of people trying to get to work/ home. Makes me angry.

  19. Alex says:

    @ Alex: It’s more of a generalised tale, I believe. It can’t really apply to Brooker anyway, as he’s more of a TV critic now. Nice piece, reminds me of the triforce’s ’so you want to be a games journalist?’ effort.

    I guess you’re right, but I still think it’s weird to use the name ‘Charlie’, as he is a minor games-review-celebrity, if such an evil thing even exists.

    Nice link, btw – especially when the piece came to New Fire Journalism.. ;)

  20. John P (Katsumoto) says:

    “It’s seriously just the most inconsiderate and selfish thing to do.”

    I agree. I mean I know planning a suicide isn’t something that you approach like a board meeting, but people who commit suicide by jumping in front of trains almost always fuck the driver up for life. It is truly horrific :(

    Uh, anyway. happy stuff! PC GAMING ISN’T DEAD!

  21. Jonathan says:

    Additional: Nathalie Schäfer (link to and Julie Fowlis (link to are my own indie lust pots. They’re both brunettes and neither speaks English as a first language, thats my kind of woman.

    Reply to John P (Katsumoto)
    Theres a joke there I’ve chosen not to make.

  22. John P (Katsumoto) says:

    Probably for the best – Assuming we’re thinking about the same thing. Even if we’re not, probably for the best :D

  23. Trousers says:

    The Witcher has a free upcoming patch that supposedly fixes the dialogue and does a whole bunch of other greatness.

    /hides from the danger of emo.

  24. Morph says:

    Yey for the Long Blondes!

    That’s all.

  25. Ginger Yellow says:

    It’s weird. You’d think that RPGs skew older (at least in the West) than shooters, so they wouldn’t be losing as much of the market as a Mature shooter.

    Also, the Long Blondes are indeed ace.

  26. Ian says:

    I suddenly have the feeling that emo is nearby… waiting… perhaps in the car…. waiting until I’m alone to well and truly get me.

    Perhaps I’ll listen to Radio 2, just to be safe.

  27. brog says:

    Andy Simpson: I really don’t think suicide-by-tube-train is a premeditated thing. It’s more something you do on a whim. Often when I see the train rushing in I have this urge to jump under it.. the same sort of feeling you get when you’re standing somewhere high – you feel scared at the thought of falling, but you can’t help thinking about it and some part of you keeps pointing out how much of a rush it would be and that you should really try it. I can easily imagine how someone who’s in a bit of a mess might fail the sanity checks to not do such a thing, and just go ahead and jump.

    Is this just me?

  28. AndrewC says:

    No it’s not just you, lots of people have that. People in a suicidal frame of mind are not very rational. Those here that are condemning them for causing delays (if they’re not being sarcastic, and it is difficult to tell) are guilty of exactly the same ignorant judgementalism of the Mail editorial.

    That editorial is awful, by the way. It’s more like an Onion article. Maybe it was written by a junior who hasn’t worked out the Mail formula of making kneejerk reactionary prejudice seem just about reasonable.

  29. Kadayi says:

    No Brog. I think we’ve all been there. Personally I always prefer to stand away from the platform edge as a result.

  30. Andrew Farrell says:

    Man, I can’t wait for Doctor Who and the Danger of Emo.