The Sunday Papers

Sexy Newspapers

In the RPS Religion, Sunday exists for quiet contemplation. That is, quiet contemplation of thoughtful pieces of game writing we found in the last seven days, which we arrange in a list and try not to work in nods to Webcomics or links to podcasts we dig. Because if we do that, we’ll have failed (again) and wll be sacrificed to a dark power. And we’d hate that. We really would.

  • Alex Trowers writes about some of his memories of being at Bullfrog. Specifically interesting seeing Bullfrog’s growing pains from the inside. Also, talking about Syndicate never gets boring. Or, at least, we hope it doesn’t, otherwise RPS is screwed.
  • Simon Parkin seems to be getting linked in the Sunday Papers a lot. Here, just to house a mea culpa about his GTA4 review, he talks about the dangers of PR manipulation in 11th hour reviews. Clearly he’s right, but I think the dangers of tailing reviews tends to be overlooked – when there’s a critical consensus out there, it’s easy to find a reviewer writing either to support the general consensus or to over-react against it. And both distort the truth a little. That Metacritic spread is a thing that puts fear into us weak minded reviewers. And I really hope someone is stupid enough to give me an MGS4 review, because I’d love to give it 3/10. Anyway! I digress.
  • Tongue occasionally in cheek, Ludo has a look at Violence in games. It’s one of the perennial topics – I didn’t link to a Piracy piece today because I figure that one needs to be left fallow for a while – but it’s a fun take.
  • This was buried in the comments thread for RPS: The Game, and deserves more attention. Cargo Cult finds that some evil person has pirated it. The basts!
  • Good news for fans of The New Hotkey Journalism. Tom Chick is now blogging at a place called Fidgit. Multi-format, but we’ll forgive him that. Regular Tom is good Tom sez I.
  • Warren Ellis and Paul Duffield’s slow-burning post-apocalyptic psychic-squatter webcomic Freakangels has inched over the half-way point of its first volume. There’s certainly enough of Freakangels to devour in a Sunday sitting, and you probably should. Oh – and this is incredible. The Rub is a year by year hip-hop history podcast. For a bluffer’s guide to the history and development of the form, you could do a lot worse than listening to ’em. Amazing stuff.
  • Failed.

17 Comments

  1. houseinrlyeh says:

    I know this sounds naive/idealistic, but the thought that really struck me after reading Parkin’s text was what would be so terrible for gaming outlets to publish a review a few days later, when this ensures that it actually is a review and not a preview. Or, you know, telling your audience the truth about the review process.
    Strangely this “telling the truth” thing seems to be important when you are calling yourself a journalist.

  2. Lorc says:

    One (1) way to look at it is like this:

    Game review outlets are selling the idea that their opinions matter more than other people’s. For that to fly on subjective material like game reviews you need to look like an authority on the subject.

    This can be provided by a) demonstrating that you know what you’re talking about and earning trust (difficult) or b) delivering your opinion in a manner that implies you’re better than the reader – eg: being in print (piss-easy).

    Letting the audience behind the curtain may well increase the usefulness of the information they get from a given review, but it also erodes that review’s illusion of authority.

    You want to use every trick in the book to pretend that your people’s opinions matter more than the reader’s and inscrutability is a cheap and easy way to do it. It would be madness to deliberately devalue your own product, which is what behind-the-curtaining does when your authority rests on anything other than expertise – which is the case for most game opinion outlets of sub-RPS calibre.

  3. Dorian Cornelius Jasper says:

    Nice to see Freakangels got a nod in there, somewhere. Considering it’s Warren Ellis we’re talking about, though, shouldn’t be surprised.

    It would be a lot less interesting if those psychic oddballs down in Whitechapel were all alien Commies bent on overthrowing civilization as we know it. And they certainly don’t act like aliens. So I guess I’m glad they’re not too similar to the Midwich Cuckoos.

    I’m glad I was able to get through another comment without actually talking about a game or something relevant. I feel proud of myself. Relevance is for sissi–

    …What? Someone has pirated RPS: The Game? Is nothing sacred?

  4. Rob says:

    Seeing the ruckus caused by the mere 8/10 being given to MGS4 over at Eurogamer I’d hate to see what would happen with a 3/10. The review however would be something I’d very much like to see.

  5. mcw says:

    Glad you failed, that podcast is amazing.

  6. Kadayi says:

    And I really hope someone is stupid enough to give me an MGS4 review, because I’d love to give it 3/10. Anyway! I digress

    Heh it would be like Yatzee and the Smash Brothers Brawl review subsequent fan reaction. RPS would be overrun by flaming PS3 fanbois screaming for your blood. Would be ace. Can’t say I’ve ever played any MGS solid games, but the protagonist has a mullet and I’m far too fashionista to step into those shoes.

  7. Radiant says:

    Haha The Rub party they put on in Brooklyn is also a good night out if you’re that way inclined.

    Cos and Ayres are mates of mine *name drop*; if you like the history of hip hop series you’d do well to search out Cosmo’s ‘Too Much Posse’ mix which is a marathon 3hr mix of all those hip hop album tracks where the artists get a bunch of fellow rappers in the studio and they all let rip on a track [like the D.O.C.’s ‘Grand Finale’ posse cut].

    Club nights ,Games and hip hop mixes… I think I need to go change my underwear.

  8. Radiant says:

    Found a link to that mixtape.

    link to fiftyonefiftyone.com

  9. houseinrlyeh says:

    -Lorc: I guess that is a good explanation. Now I want a T-shirt that says “Thinking about games journalism made me a cynic.” ;)

  10. Cargo Cult says:

    Ooh, something I’m responsible for gets linked to on RPS! Hooray!

    (Please ignore any and all previous mentions for maximum ego-stroking… ;-) )

    Also, have a bonus SP HL2 mod link for your delectation. Enjoy!

  11. Nuyan says:

    “RPS would be overrun by flaming PS3 fanbois screaming for your blood. Would be ace. Can’t say I’ve ever played any MGS solid games, but the protagonist has a mullet and I’m far too fashionista to step into those shoes.”

    Hah, should be a valid reason to forget the “PC only rule” for once.

    That hip-hop history thing is nice, been listening to it for a while now.

  12. Ryan says:

    MGS4 should be a great game. I agree about the Ps3 fanboys, they’re the worst.

  13. MisterBritish says:

    Thanks for the Freakangels link – bookmarked!

  14. Pod says:

    I thought that retro crack-spoof was hilarious! Also, I think the term “New Hotkey Journalism” is very, very apt.

  15. itsallcrap says:

    He said basts!

    I haven’t heard (read) that since YS.

  16. itsallcrap says:

    Oh wait, he said it in the title of the GRID article too. Sigh.

    But still, eeem, skillo, etc.

  17. Wholesale hats says:

    Good post. I am also going to write a blog post about this…I enjoyed reading your post and I like your take on the issue. Thanks.