Sundays are for tea and compiling a list of interesting videogame readings from across the week for the RPS-audience’s delectation, while trying to not break into an improvised tribute to a real titan who passed this week or link to a pop song. Must… try…
- I get to the RPS-Sunday Papers document and I find three – count ’em! – stories from Gamasutra. That’s a good week, so let’s make ’em top story. Firstly, the history of the original videogame(tm) Space War. Secondly, on the design of the RPS-lusted-after APB. Thirdly, on them examining the point where accessibility goes too far, specifically around the automatic walkthrough system. Which is worth thinking about. After all, you don’t have to use it if you don’t want to. I think that’s the naive argument. Much like quick-save and in-game teleportion, if it’s there, you’re going to use it.
- 2000AD is a British weekly comic which has… well, it’s influence on the British side of development in the eighties is a fascinating one to trace. IGN ran an article this week about its best moments which makes fun reading. Fundamentally, punching straight through people is important. 2000AD always understood this.
- Its site has been static for a while, but Greg Costikyan officially shut down indie-portal Manifesto this week. He wrote a little about the experience here. I suspect he’s right in his diagnosis they were simply too early.
- I mentioned Tom Chick’s interview with Sims 3 producer MJ Chun which I suspect got over-shadowed by the debate about religion. Which is obviously my fault. It’s really worth reading. Chick’s smart and presses in directions that few would, and Chun is smart enough to roll with them as far as she’s able.
- In a week where death has been a regular leitmotif, this real-death-MMO story in LoTR caught my eye. Especially because it’s a fake. That this sort of thing is as common as it is depresses me. I let it depress me, as I’d rather be depressed than retreat into cynicism.
- Aleks Krotsoki takes a quick swing at Sex In Games.
- Jim and I have been in love with these all week. James Barnett’s paintings of videogame landscapes. It’s the sort of thing you could write an essay about, y’know (And thanks to Antony, who brought it to my attention)
- Over at GSW, Phill Cameron interviews the creator of Dear Esther. Which I still haven’t played. Man!
- I’m not going to repost any of the horror-images which resulted from RPS-sims release to you guys. But here’s a short story. I totally kick ass.
- Here’s Slashdot’s link-collection of the Guardian speaking to experts in games-physics. It’s a click-train-follow-orgy.
- Serial Consign on “locked-city syndrome”. While well phrased, I’m not sure I’m down with this one. It strikes me a lot like a “If only you could talk to the monsters – now that would be something special” argument.
- The death of veteran writer Steven Wells (“Swells”) threw Alec and me entirely. We were far from alone. Alec always claimed that he doesn’t really remember actually being influenced or having particular respect for any journalist as a teenager – but it was only with Swells’ passing that he recalled… oh, yeah. Swells. Conversely, yours truly, who read the press so intensely I could probably sing along with reviews, had never forgot Swells. Less a writer, more the proverbial force of nature, he’s taught me that agreeing with the writer is never the point – and I’m pleased I had a brief conversation with him in an elevator once, just to have seen him in the flesh, to know he existed out of CAPS in newsprint. I didn’t admit any of the above, but he could probably sense it by the fact the 22-year old was twitching and trying to not visibly soil himself. Put it like this – the occasional taste for rilllyfuckingextrememetaphors, hyphen-abuse AND ALL FUCKING CAPS is, I suspect, derived entirely from Swells. If you’re not aware of him – and I suspect that most of you aren’t – I strongly recommend you read his final piece for the Philadelphia Enquirer. If you like the cut of its jib, he wrote two earlier much longer pieces about his experiences in the medical system. They’re funny, brutal, human and made me laugh and tear up in equal measures. He’ll be missed, to say the least, and I can only imagine the insult he’d throw at me if he’d read me saying something so sappy.
- Yeah, on Saturday night, when this dropped there wasn’t a single person in the entire club not on the floor.