Sundays are for sitting and compiling a list of interesting gaming reading from across the week, and finding myself remembering that the chatter by games journalists about a fall in standards is just ludicrous. We’d have been lucky to get pieces as splendid and varied as the ones gathered here in a whole year in the early nineties, let alone in a single fucking week. Wouldn’t it be good if someone would admit that games writing has never, ever been better than it is right here, right now? Wouldn’t it? WOULDN’T IT? AS IF A FUCKING TYPO IN A GAMESPOT PREVIEW MATTERS AT ALL IN THE LARGER SCALE OF CUNTING THINGS AND… oh, I better not include a link to a pop song.
- I suspect I shouldn’t have kept this for the Sunday Papers. Roburky has been writing an alternately hilarious and genuinely heart-breaking diary of playing as a homeless single-parent family in the Sims 3. If you haven’t picked up on it from any of the places its been linked to, you should go catch up now. It’s almost certainly going to end up the premier piece of popular games reportage of the year.
- I always like seeing people write seriously about games which often are dismissed without thought. Take Riven, for example – there’s a reason why it appealed to so many people, and an eye-rolling dismissal doesn’t serve anyone. In which case, I loved this piece over on general culture blog One-hundred Sounds on the appeal and beauty of Riven. Strong.
- For those who’ve been digging my writing about board games, you should bookmark Downtime Town. It’s Rab from Consolevania’s new board-games review site, with a mixture of video diaries and articles. Especially good is his contrarian defence of Monopoly. Also strong.
- I don’t link to Richard Cobbett’s stuff enough. He’s one of the unsung stars of British Videogame Magazine Journalism – I swear, there was a year on PC Gamer just after issue 100 when his mad energy was the only thing which gave the magazine a pulse. He’s blogged for years, but has his own site now, Narrative Flood. Here’s him writing in his characteristic mix of wit, seriousness and scarily complete knowledge of every videogame ever about the classic “Hot Girls In Games Problem”. That he can make such a hoary old topic like that sing is a credit to his ability.
- A very different kind of adventures with the Sims 3. The illustrious Seanbaby indulges in his sadistic streak. Which is less of a streak, more of a whole body covering. The screenshots are things of mad beauty.
- Gamasutra on the actual finances of free-to-play MMOs. Best of all, Daniel James of Puzzle Pirates puts numbers on the table. Key quotes: “MMO Puzzle Pirates takes in approximately $50 each month from each paying user (ARPPU) for a total of $230,000 a month, all resulting from microtransactions” and “that the average revenue per user (ARPU) is between one and two dollars a month, but only about 10% of his player base has ever paid him anything. As a result, he says, approximately 5,000 gamers are generating the $230,000 in revenue he sees each month.”
- More numbers. What Eve Can Teach Us About The Global Financial Crisis. Well, goons are heavily involved in both.
- Jim’s continuing Ragdoll Metaphysics on artificial people being the new games.
- Lewis Denby takes a shot at my Stealth Girlfriending Crown in his first column for Game Set Watch. Oh – and GTA and Red Faction travel-journalism-memory-esque-ness too.
- Tom Armitage writes smartly about how he wishes in the online world there were less Hicks and More Hudsons, and extolling the joys of making dangerous mistakes in the company of friends. Sadly, I’m Burke.
- Actually, as a side point, in the Mapping-RPS-Onto-Fictional-Groups game episode of Aliens, we decided that if RPS were the Aliens cast Jim would be Hicks, I’d be Hudson, Alec would be Vasquez, and Walker would be Newt. Oh – and Quinns would be Wierzbowski and Stone would be Bishop. And to avoid this being a re-tread of the last time I did this gag, LewieP SavvyGamer would be Burke – because he’s always fucking each other over for a god-damn percentage. Except – er – in a nice way. Natch.
- Remember the Nameless Mod? Sure you do. Here’s their postmortem of their epic Deus Ex Mod achievement.
- Oh God, have a couple of comics around which I’m going to mention. First issue of my three-issue Marvel Mini came out this week. It’s called BETA RAY BILL: GODHUNTER and is about a horse-faced alien with the powers of a Norse God hunting down Galactus, the eater of worlds. It’s totally cosmic and there’s eight page preview here. And in the week coming, Issue 3 of my indie-Baby Phonogram. There’s a five-page preview here and the cover looks like this.
- Tom Ewing’s writing opens up with Chumbawamba/Credit to the Nation’s Enough Is Enough and goes forth to writes smartly about the European Election results which kept most of RPS gnashing our teeth impotently for most of the week.