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The Sunday Papers

Sundays are for remembering why it is that you got into that writing lark in the first place. It was because you didn’t want to have a proper job. Now you haven’t got one, you are able to wake up on a Sunday and realise it’s time to work. Hmm, that doesn’t seem right. Anyway, let’s take a look at some of the literature generated by the tiny robots of our collective consciousness.

  • Sitting in the vein of our own Gaming Made Me articles, Gamasutra has an article by Mathew Stone entitled “Games that made Me want to be a Better Person: Planescape: Torment.” Here’s a sample: “A complicated relationship that grows into a genuine friendship over the course of the game. The character that I thought was going to be nothing but sex jokes ended up moving me at my very core. It hit me full-force, like a knife in the gut when he explained himself. It felt like a real moment of togetherness when we had that conversation. It trumps every line of dialogue I saw while playing Mass Effect or Dragon Age.”
  • The comments by made by Brian Moriarty as “An Apology for For Roger Ebert” have certainly generated some discussion. He seems to be a bit confused in terms of seeing art and industry as mutually exclusive, and there are fair number of folks keen to call bullshit on his wider definitions. I am not sure Ebert needs anyone to apologise for him, either.
  • Aha, this link is related to the Ebert thing. It’s from the increasingly excellent Killscreen, which poses this suggest by Jamin Warren: “Game designers want to be artists without knowing what that means.” Ooh, controversial! Actually, it’s not that controversial if you actually read the whole thing. Turns out that people who have not had an art theory or history education don’t know much about art theory, or art history.
  • VG247 got to take a look at Dead Island. It sounds intriguing: “Dead Island isn’t what I would call survival horror. It doesn’t trade on sudden scares and creeping dread, like the older Resident Evils or Dead Space. Instead the fear comes from being overwhelmed; in an open-world environment where the undead are omnipresent, your chances are fairly slim.”
  • GayGamer’s excellent examination of the character of Sander Cohen in Bioshock.
  • Digital Foundry have a consideration of Crysis 2’s tech bits. “On the minus side however, texture quality on the PC version is fairly uniform with the console SKUs. Some environmental artwork looks blocky even at the target 720p resolution, and the deficiencies of these textures become much more apparent at 1680×1050 and beyond. While the additional visual refinements afforded by the engine are very welcome, it’s difficult to believe that higher-resolution versions of the base art assets don’t exist. “
  • 3am Thinkings takes some time to consider the state of co-operative play, and takes care to make a definition between “loose” and “close” co-op.
  • The Escapist talks about GRAW2 and its relationship with the real city of Juarez. Interesting stuff in terms of people’s response to how their homes are portrayed in videogames. (Thanks, Ben!)
  • Beefjack’s Simon Williams takes some time to interview Gamer’s Voice Chairman Paul Gibson. He has an enormous amount to say, including some comments on the Black Ops bugginess thing: “The majority of complaints went to our contact account, and we currently have well over a 1,000 emails in there. They’re not all related to Call of Duty: Black Ops. We do have other games that people have been commenting upon such as Fallout: New Vegas, and the console Sims 3 game is apparently atrociously buggy as well. We’re looking at those at the moment, but we only have finite resources. We can only deal with one aspect at a time, so we focused on Black Ops.”
  • An interesting interview with the past: Falcon 4.0’s lead programmer, Keven Klemmick looks back on the landmark sim. What is he most proud of? “Definitely the Dynamic Campaign. It’s the first and last time I was able to design and code a part of a game pretty much on my own, which had been my experience doing games as a hobby up until then. In the rest of the gaming industry you really don’t have very much input on the design of a game as a programmer. I was still pretty green at the time though and looking back I can see so much that could have been done better, but I am still quite proud of that.”
  • RPS chum Mark Wallace has started making a strategy game, which has led him to start studying the metrics around which these kinds of games are constructed.
  • An interesting consideration of the cost of culture.
  • This map of the evolution of science fiction is quite the thing.
  • One man’s week of aurora on film. Beautiful.

I’ve finally got around to listening to the new Mogwai album, and I’m now cursing myself for giving up my tickets to see them in February. It’s a gentler album than previously, but that’s okay. This has been getting a lot of air time in the Rossignol research crater.

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Jim Rossignol

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