The Sunday Papers

What’s Sunday For? Well, prompting long discussions about whose dad is hardest, it seems. Will it happen this time? Well, we’ll only find out after I’ve presented this compiled list of fun smart writing of the last week or so which tries hard not to include anything about pop music whatsoever…

Failed.

50 Comments

  1. Joe Russell says:

    Strange, the t-shirt Mr. Barnett seems to have isn’t one of the two designs that you can buy from here…

  2. qrter says:

    I should reinstall Space Rangers 2 for the Nth time.

  3. The Hammer says:

    Some of those press release quotes are excellent – especially the Nissan one.

  4. qrter says:

    Btw, is the second line in “Courtesy of N’Gai – the case against the case against Snark. And the case against the case against Snark..”, missing another “the case against” (“And the case against the case against the case against Snark..?”)?

  5. Chris Evans says:

    My gawd, The Reticule wasn’t on here :o

  6. Dinger says:

    The ’50 best quotes’ list is crying, crying for more snark than that. Nice effort, dude.

  7. mrrobsa says:

    They had a Haze PR quote in the top 50, and surprisingly, it wasn’t the lead singer of Korn spouting:
    ‘For me, gaming is a religion, and Haze is the shit!’
    or words to that effect.
    They should have put that on the box.

  8. Pod says:

    Someone should buy my two RPS t-shirts off me. Never worn! ;(

  9. Man Raised By Puffins says:

    That ‘All Star Cheer Squad’ quote got me thinking iNiS were making another Ouendan game (three is not enough, people) for a second. Thanks for raising my hopes then brutally crushing them mere moments later, Jim Huntley.

  10. Definatley not someone who's already posted a comment says:

    Johnny Foreigner sound like the most derivitaive example of modern indie music. Overlapping, off beat regional accents, easy melodies, constant rhythm…. not sure if that’s a good or a bad thing though. Is UTIMATE SUCESSESSE their goal?

  11. hydra9 says:

    I loved the Space Rangers story – Kudos to Roburky for a very entertaining account. And I’m gonna have to buy the game now.

  12. dhex says:

    so does akron family count as “john walker music”? this year’s “love is simple” was hells of great.

  13. Pags says:

    RE Kieron’s tracks of 2008: I saw Wiley in New Cross sometime last year. As expected it was a rather short set and disappointingly he was not wearing his rolex.

  14. Ginger Yellow says:

    So is the RPS shirt the brown it looks like as shown in that clip or the hideous orange it looks like as worn on the Split Reason site? Because I’d love one if it weren’t for the hideous orange.

  15. Jonas says:

    I am now hooked on Ladytron.

    Thank you.

  16. A-Scale says:

    I love RPS, but you guys have a very underhanded way of downplaying legitimate people/concerns/issues. People concerned with DRM become “Internet angry men”. A discussion of gun politics becomes “My dad is stronger than your dad”. Can you not stay your razor sharp wit for a more worthy foe, oh heroes of RPS?

  17. The Hammer says:

    Hey, A-Scale, what about gun laws, e-

    Oh, right. Sorry, everyone!

  18. Pags says:

    “Our goal was to create an entertaining game that also embraces the rich history of Dairy Queen and its place within the community.”

    Best.

    Actually nevermind, this is my favourite:

    “Madden NFL Football and Brett Favre are sports icons who have set the standard and revolutionized their positions within their respective genres.”

    Magnificent, because just after they’d put Brett Favre in his Green Bay Packers uniform on the box, he came out of retirement and joined the New York Jets. Making the whole thing look at least one year too old.

  19. qrter says:

    People concerned with DRM become “Internet angry men”. A discussion of gun politics becomes “My dad is stronger than your dad”.

    Big difference between those two is that the first topic is at least game-related, while the second was just plain out of place.

  20. Helm says:

    The cases for/against snark were very illuminating. Thank you for the links. I can’t personally say anything about the book on which the conversation rests as I have not read it, but the point counterpoint really excited me on the abstract. The examination of this phenomenon is overdue and I hope it continues.

    A few points on the texts themselves, not the merits of the book:

    The idea that sometimes the snarky response is the correct response to me masquerades personal preferences in a guise of objectivity that I cannot understand. This is perhaps a bit specific to me but I do not care for writers that speak of their preferences with the words that should be used for facts. There is no ‘correct’ response in terms of manners as in it is correct to say that the night comes after day.

    I do agree that all the snark probably means a lot of… epistemological? discontent by the public. When you can’t take anything people say at face value and the whole of modern society seems to be about finding ways to deceive you out of your attention, money, life… yeah I can see that people will lash back in this way. But for me easy irony and snarkyness adds to the same problems that initially bred the discontentment, as it uses the same facetious language. You don’t know who to trust because everybody is using doublespeak, so when you are suspicious, you will attack with your own doublespeak. Snarkyness isn’t about talking straight when outraged.

    In the core of it I feel is an element that the two texts linked do not touch – the snark comes from that commentators feel that if they are funny, they will be liked and accepted by their peers. The Internet Comedian effect. This is a safe assumption in most internet climates. People often go to the internet to be constantly entertained, and hey, jokes work! Taking turns at (creatively or not) pissing at something that has any sort of fault does breed a strange sort of camaraderie and a lot of popular internet websites rest it seems, almost solely on this premise. This does seem to counter the above mentioned sentiment where snark is about outrage, a cry for truth and straight-speaking. It seems to me a strangely safe a be, the disillusioned armchair critic. At least Diogenes lived in a barrel to make his point, you know?

    What I mean to say is that as a vehicle for social gaming, trying to elevate ones position and so (like many other innocent-seeming phenomena) this mounting competition to be as acidic as possible seems reactionary to me, not constructive. I mean, here I am, I write exactly what I think and I am not insulting anybody to do is. Isn’t that also a worthwhile counter to all the double-talk that modern society has drowned us in? Do have to use their weapons? Do I have to be startlingly cynical to not appear jeopardized by normality?

    What snarky people do extensively in their commenting online do is take a full, rich situation or personality with its faults and merits and everything in between and compare it against the worst social cliches we have grown to adopt exactly by the media that (according to the article) the snarky people rage against. How is that not playing into their trap? Easy judgments of people are the byproduct of a consumer society where associating simple, universal concepts to otherwise very complicated and individual effects is the goal. This is how you sell things to people who don’t need them. A symbolic language that is almost retarded. When one reads say, an interview and the person says something stupid and one homes in almost instinctively on what the stupid thing said was and how to best write a snarky comment and be done with it… The new person who he was effectively challenged with understanding and appreciating has safely been filed in the long list of Idiots That Say Things I Can Make Fun Of. And what’s worse, if one’s put-down was artful enough for one’s peers, there will be congratulations for this dehumanization.

    Obviously the problem doesn’t start with the snark as both articles amply demonstrate, it starts with the social and economical situations that effectively breed it. My point is that snark for all its irreverence is calculated within and well liked by the system, that cynicism is not a tool against the system but for it. Finally, people can speak their truth and hope to tear down some of this constant facetiousness only by surrendering to the case that people that will want to dislike them, will dislike them no matter how much they might try to cover their ass with double-speak of their own. Just accept it and speak simply, clearly, say what you mean and be humble against the complexity of every other person that you discuss with and perhaps they’ll extend the courtesy to treat you like a human being as well.

  21. A-Scale says:

    Big difference between those two is that the first topic is at least game-related, while the second was just plain out of place.

    It is of course up to RPS to decide what is permissible, but I appreciate intelligent discussion wherever I can find it. This site offers an affable, games based US/English connection that is hard to find elsewhere.

  22. Jochen Scheisse says:

    I’m neither US nor English, and I don’t wish to debate why I urgently need a Shotgun when I want to be free, or why your shotgun is a murderer, or whatever.

    There are places for these debates, political boards. These things have the advantage of a general population willing to read through statistics, theories and general facts of phonebook proportions so they are finally able to say something intelligent and novel about this topic.

    It is hard enough to discuss an expansive and divisive topic like gun control even if everyone agrees on the type of discussion and even when it is well moderated. However, due to this here being a blog and not a board, and our kind hosts not being inclined to share their political views with us, but their views about games and gaming, we should (read: YOU should) look for another place to open up topics about gun control, the Israel Gaza conflict, the question whether white people are awesome and should rule the world or a penis comparison between Jesus, Mohammed, Buddha, Lao Tse and Democracy, because we talk about games here.

  23. Pags says:

    It is of course up to RPS to decide what is permissible

    I’m pretty sure Kieron’s “underhanded” comment in the original post shows they aren’t really too fond of it.

  24. Kieron Gillen says:

    To be fair, both Jim and I did try to stop the debate – I did so as soon as it appeared. Since it’s ignored a little disapproval-via-sarcasm is probably acceptable.

    My dad is hardest.

    KG

  25. Arathain says:

    Damn you, Roburky, now I really want SR2. I still need to get Armageddon Empires and King’s Bounty, let alone the more commercial stuff. What are you trying to do to me?

  26. Erlam says:

    I linked that list in my blog awhile back, but I was honestly really confused by a lot of them. Some were obviously terrible/hilarious, but some were just … normal quotes.

  27. Nick says:

    The only person who considered your concerns legitimate within the comments thread of a PC gaming/comic-pimping blog was you, so don’t start crying about it again fo goodness sake, noone wants to hear it, nor did they the first time.

    And I hate my dad.

  28. Tei says:

    Once my takion gun on the moon is complete, all these discussion will be pointless.

    (note to self: Download Notrium, from this dude Roburky)

  29. Muzman says:

    Hey, if you can’t have a needlessly overheated political discussion in the vague confines of Festivus when can you have it, I ask you?
    Besides, it sprang from a discussion of Rand and American individualism, as is often the case. I suppose that part would get a pass because it’s philosophy, right gang?

    Anyway, you gotta distinguish between smart snark and dumb snark. The other is merely teenage dismissiveness jumping on the sentimental and sincere. The internet is a bit of a hothouse for the latter. Hard to tell if the book makes the distinction from either of those articles. I suspect the book and its reaction is journos/columnists talking about themselves like they’re the engine of culture for better or worse, like usual.
    Perhaps a distinction between the more officially sanctioned snarks is needed. Proper wit about movies and TV: say, Flickfilosopher at her meanest and Tv Without Pity at its best back in the old days is ‘snark’. Perez Hiltons schoolyard bitchiness can be ‘sniping’ instead.
    Or maybe that sucks, I dunno.

  30. Muzman says:

    Also, proof reading is for wimps.

  31. Kadayi says:

    Oh noes a thread goes offtopic…….the drama!!!

    Maybe time to rename the site to Rock, Paper, Metrosexual and be done with it perhaps?

  32. AndrewC says:

    @Kieron

    He certainly was last night.

  33. Adventurous Putty says:

    With YOUR MUM!

    Damn right I went there.

  34. Larington says:

    Isn’t there a section in the forums for offtopic discussion?

  35. AndrewC says:

    I discussed games with your mum, putty.

  36. Kadayi says:

    @Larington

    Maybe apply to the RPS boys to be a moderator and you can waste your life sorting the wheat from the chaff

  37. Larington says:

    Assuming for a second thats a serious comment (Because I’m useless at interpreting sarcasm, no really), no, I’d make for an unpopular moderator on the grounds I’d probably be a leeetle bit overzealous. My last comment was mostly intended as a suggestion to use the forums as a place to deal with alternative discussions that don’t fit at all into the article heading the comments thread, but looking at it a second time, I should’ve said that rather than what I did say.

  38. Satsuz says:

    Those two articles on snark were great food for thought.

    I haven’t read the book in discussion, but it seems to me that it all boils down to using your voice to be constructive as opposed to destructive. You can say something negative and maybe even mean in an effort to pull down what is bad and push up what is good. That’s the whole idea of constructive criticism in art discussion. But many people seem to use their voice to only pull things down, and perhaps aren’t even selective of their targets. That’s what the problem is.

    Or, hey, maybe I’m just not getting it.

  39. Heliocentric says:

    When i read snark my first thought was of the weapon/species in halflife. Those little things were awesome in deathmatch.

    No love for alien weapons in halflife 2 except antlion spores.

  40. A-Scale says:

    As did I, helio.

  41. Alex says:

    Dinger: It’s a genuine celebration of things I was impressed by, not meant to be snarky – I actually began writing captions for other quotes but pulled them to avoid snarkiness. I really hoped (probably delusionally) that someone would get excited for being honored for saying some ridiculous thing earlier in the year.

  42. Gassalasca says:

    I’d just like to say that The Sunday Papers is currently the highlight of my reading week.
    I just wish I’d found out about RPS before. :gives out a little yelpy sob:

  43. phil says:

    Snark doesn’t necessarily dismissively shut down online discussion on media topics, the onion’s AV board sometimes seem to be nothing but endless snarky oneliners, but still makes for enjoyable reading thanks to talent of regular posters.

  44. Premium User Badge

    Gnarl says:

    I thought Snark was a new web social thing that I’d missed, like Twitter, when I first clicked the link.

  45. dhex says:

    david fuckin’ denby. david motherfuckin’ denby.

    i sort of dig champion’s counterthrust but am very, very confused as to why the subject of tom cruise requires serious thought or emotional commitment. is it not a core cultural problem – or so everyone seems to be stabbing at from some direction – that far too much work is put into the inconsequential, even in destroying it? a film critic might not want to get too close to that particular line, for obvious reasons, but still.

  46. Kieron Gillen says:

    Dhex: The counterthrust is what made me decide it was worth linking to. Snark as a failure of even attempting to understand something strikes me as something that’s quite true. It’s one of the things we were thinking about when making RPS – this odd dichotomy between the mainstream games sites which seem to just say what they’re told and the countercultural ones seem to just say what they’re told and add a sarcastic comment after it. Neither is that inspiring, y’know?

    KG

  47. dhex says:

    i dig that too, daddio.

    perhaps the deluge of snark (back in my day it was a deluge of irony) is merely a reflection of this webbed up, 2.0 world we live in where everyday dicks like me can say whatever with little or no cost. not everyone is going to have something of substance to say about something; the rest of us are going to have a like/dislike reaction, and one way to get attention for something that’s otherwise insignificant is to be a jerk about it.

    shorter, snarky version: democracy is fugly.

  48. Pags says:

    i sort of dig champion’s counterthrust but am very, very confused as to why the subject of tom cruise requires serious thought or emotional commitment

    I once saw someone struggle through a great deal of inner-turmoil in deciding their feelings on Tom Cruise in a Youtube comment. It was a video of Tom Cruise being squirted in the face when he was doing an interview and subsequently chiding the person responsible; the comment went something along the lines of:

    “heh, tom cruise is cool…kinda.. but he’s still a bitch and can’t take a joke”

  49. Kadayi says:

    “When i read snark my first thought was of the weapon/species in halflife. Those little things were awesome in deathmatch.”

    This.

  50. Helm says:

    shorter, snarky version: democracy is fugly.

    even shorter version: humanity is ugly. But still, at least a lucid examination of the snarky thing (and yeah, it does seem like the same discussion occurred before it only about irony) is in order when people are starting to champion that this effect of human behavior is a positive one and a cry for truth and straightness and whatever else. It’s one thing to default to the truism “humans are kinda awful sometimes” and another, newer thing, to suggest “we’re awful because we’re awesome!!”.