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The Sunday Papers

Sundays are for submerging oneself in science, art, history, and custard. They are for slouching, sleeping, bristling, and cogitating. They are for smoking a pipe and sitting by the hearth. They are running, fighting, and doing a forward roll. Any Sunday might contain victory, cake, or nudity. They are for many things. Most of all, however, they are for listening to loud computer music while eating warm flapjack and compiling a list of games writing that may or may not engage the multitudinous minds of an internet blog readership. Thus:

  • That Simon Parkin chap talked to that Jon Blow chap, and there was a written record of the event. There’s talk of Blow’s new game, The Witness, which is a 3D adventure of some cleverness. Mr Blow explains: “So I just said, “You know what? It’s risky, it’s gonna take a long time to make this game, it’s gonna be very difficult to make it as compelling as a traditional game is because it’s so weird, but it’s what I really want to do.” So I did that.” He knows what to do, that Jon Blow.
  • I feel like I’ve read this before, but sadly the computerised library part of my brain hasn’t been installed/invented yet, so I can’t be sure. Anyway, it’s excellent reading: Understanding Pac-Man Ghost Behavior. I like this bit: “The red ghost starts outside of the ghost house, and is usually the first one to be seen as a threat, since he makes a beeline for Pac-Man almost immediately. He is referred to as “Blinky”, and the game describes his personality as shadow. In Japanese, his personality is referred to as 追いかけ, oikake, which translates as “pursuer” or “chaser”.” Yeah. Me and the red ghost could be brothers.
  • Chris Thursten takes some time to consider the Super Meat Boy / PETA stuff. Here’s something he says: “What is a death to a Meat Boy? Something owned and discarded in a moment. The player can’t fully ignore all that death (never less so than at the conclusion of World 4) but ultimately remains The Meat Boy That Made It, in the best of all possible worlds. Super Meat Boy can even be about rising above suffering, if you want it to be: we are, all of us, The Meat Boy That Made It.”
  • Julian Widdows is a clever chap. He’s suggested a rule for game developers.
  • Here’s a comment by Edward Hong on the perceived Xenophobia of America-invading Homefront. He’s worried about the anti-Korean imagery it uses. “People may brush this aside and say that I’m being too negative and pessimistic over a game. Relax, they say, it’s just a video game. But in this day and age, you cannot underestimate the influence of video games and, more importantly, the power of human stupidity. Media depictions of minorities, especially violent ones, often paved way to hate crimes as people are unable to differentiate between fiction and reality. If the media says so, then it must be true.” Hmm. Well, the premise of Homefront (Korea invading the US) is so clearly absurd that it really can’t be taken too seriously. But then again… he’s right: people are really stupid.
  • Related: The Abstraction discusses the possible dangers of our thinking about the world via the abstractions present in games and film.
  • Ellen Ripley Saved My Life.” There’s a bit more to it than that, of course.
  • Media errors and corrections of the year.
  • Here is some political commentary. A key bit: “Cutting spending to pay the debts of WW1 caused the great depression. Building the welfare state allowed us to build our way out of the debts left by WW2.” Still believe we need to cut everything to save us from apocalypse? Or could there be something else going on?
  • Also political: our mod correspondent Lewis Denby won at the funny on Twitter.
  • Bah. Quintin, Lewie P, and Kieron are off at ATP. They’ll be able to see the music I linked to last week. I am going to link to something they won’t be able to see, because I saw it last weekend. Three, glorious times. Fuck. Yeah.

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