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The Sunday Papers

Eggs! Symbols of God’s divine plan for lunch. But there’s a serious side to Easter, which is the story of how Jesus was basically pretty badass after all. For the first 120-minutes of the movie it looked like he was just being contrary and messing with people, but no, he was actually some kind of immortal dimension-travelling superbeing with a message about how life would be okay if people just stopped being dicks all the time. Right on, Mr Christ. Shame no-one paid attention to that, even after the supernatural rising from the grave stuff. Ah well. Perhaps we can find some other message that will be of use. Let’s try these scriptures from the miraculous desert of the internet!

  • A rant close to my heart has appeared over on Brainy Gamer. It’s Mr Abbott – because he’s Mr to you – talking about abstract visuals in a world of high-poly manshoots: “Today, games like S:S&S EP, Osmos, the Bit.Trip series, and pretty much anything designed by Mark Essen (aka, Messhof) represent designs that embed their “primitive” visual styles into the core experience of playing them. In other words, they look that way because any other art style would diminish them.” Go abstract, I say, and the world will be your vague splodge that might be interpreted as an oyster. I often wonder whether mainstream games can afford to explore being a little more abstract, and I think all signs point to yes. Consequently the future of art styles in games is one the moist exciting frontiers in all of culture. I think. (I’ll leave that typo in, for posterity.)
  • Wow, this is old, but unseen by us. Steve Hill, a cranky veteran of the British videogame journalism, did a bit of journalism journalism. Here’s a taster: “So why are games journalists considered the poor relations of the entertainment industry? The former PC Zone writer, Charlie Brooker – now presenter on Channel 4’s Ten O’Clock Live – has a theory: “I suppose the real reason is that music and film hacks get to meet lots of interesting, beautiful stars; demi-Gods the general public would happily hack off their own forearms to sleep with. Games journalists get to interview a computer programmer with bits of sandwich stuck round his mouth. Also, whilst playing games might be less of a dirty secret than it used to be, talking about playing games is still, I think, perceived as a bit tragic.”” Life is tragic, though, so fuck it.
  • Gamasutra examines the “crowdfunding” revolution. It’s a bit of an eye-opener to be honest. I’m amazed at how much money appears to be being put down for games that, frankly, I would play for about two minutes before moving on to something else. Do these people really have nothing better to spend their money on? Or – viewed in a different way – maybe I should be seriously considering seeing how much money I could raise for the voxel-powered explore ’em up my games company has been working on for the past few months. It would be an interesting thing to see in principle. Like, just how much money could be raised. (But really, I am happy to raise the money privately, or commercially, or whatever other traditional means people have been using to make games for the past few decades.)
  • VG247 spoke to Relic about Space Marine: ““It is just really about us taking a very rich sci-fi fantasy which we feel has a lot of depth and a lot of interesting characters and a really unique look and feel – and then we bring it to life with a combat and gameplay experience which is something different in the shooter genre and, we think, will resonate with a larger audience,” said McDermott.” Good old McDermott. He knows what to say.
  • Eurogamer had a play with Red Faction Armageddon’s multiplayer: “Moving away from competitive multiplayer sadly meant abandoning much of Guerilla’s RPG-heavy multiplayer mode; however, core mechanics of some game modes have transferred, such as Defend incorporating elements of Guerilla’s Siege mode.” They do spell “guerilla” wrong quite consistently, but it’s worth a read.
  • The world’s knowledgest games journalist, Richard Cobbett, ended up writing about The Witcher 2 for PC Gamer, and here’s what he said. Compare and contrast with my own blather!
  • British games industry press trade thing MCV talks about internet bile. The good thing about that kind of bile: you can delete it if you own the website it appears on. Awesome.
  • Dustin Browder talks “fun” in Starcraft 2. “I kept trying to shove stuff in that was fun but wasn’t a sport,” he said. “And everybody would tell me ‘no,’ and I wouldn’t understand why. And I thought they were all jerks. I didn’t know, right? I couldn’t figure it out.”
  • When technology from games is basically real. (That is now.)
  • As recommended to me by Twitter (has nothing to do with games, or anything else really): “Expert Judgement on Markers to Deter Inadvertent Human Intrusion into the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant“.
  • Machicolation is a good word/concept.
  • Sebastian Junger writes an elegy for Tim Hetherington. Oof.
  • Tom Baker laments the passing of Lis Sladen. Oof.
  • Amis on Hitchens’ life and imminent demise. Oof.
  • And for light relief, a poster from the village where I live. They also sell DVDs of The Prisoner in the post office.

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Jim Rossignol

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