Sundays for Jim are for holidaying. You can easily imagine Jim’s holiday destinations. Him, backpack over-shoulder, wandering a desolate wasteland, poking at decaying iron superstructures or even sitting my a drying pool tainted with radioactive waste. He’s having the time of his life, wandering nonlinearly in a place where any sane being would just want out of. Meanwhile, I sit and arrange a reading list of (mainly) fine game-related readings that crossed my path across the week and try not to do the fucking obvious and link to a new Los Campesinos! record or something.
- You’ll be aware of the Gizmodo Ugh!-I-was-tricked-into-a-date-with-a-Magic-Player furore recently. I just rolled my eyes, thinking it basic click-bait and knew that other people – like the always-good Sarah Jaffe – point out the obvious. So Geordie Tait’s extended piece To My Someday Daughter was fascinating. While the conceit may be a note mawkish – I’ll admit, it almost lots me with the first couple of paragraphs before getting to the first of the very many things it’s about – it’s an interesting analysis of a culture’s response and geek culture in general. Take time to read this one.
- Kent Sutherland over at Second Person Shooter writes about playing God, specifically talking about his (now lapsed) faith and gaming. It starts with why his parents banned him from playing the Sims – which is fascinating in and of itself – and rolls merrily onwards.
- Tom Bissell takes apart Dead Island, taking it as an example of a game that’s destroyed itself via Gamification. I’ve yet to play it so – er – haven’t an opinion. Man! I’ve changed.
- There’s a lot of Deus Ex diaries doing the rounds, but I’ve been particularly enjoying Joe Martin’s one over at Gaming Daily. Picks up some interesting themes from the game, including the observation I haven’t seen mentioned as much as I thought I would – namely, that structurally speaking it’s almost 1:1 of the original Deus Ex. Of course, this also reminds me I’ve got masses of mail to answer from that Deus Ex=DRM piece I wrote. Man!
- Simon Parkin on COD:XP. Quite the thing.
- Troy Goodfellow on the power a setting can have in a strategy game, from Sengoku to Alpha Centauri. Also tells me there’s a version of King of Dragon pass available to buy on the haircut-PC-moveable formats, which means I can finally play the fucking thing with less hassle than before.
- Phill Cameron puts the boot in, in a good way, in a Dark Messiah of Might & Magic retrospective. Which strikes me as an interesting game to think about in these days of Syndicate remake growling.
- I know the British heart of RPS can be a confusing thing at times, but in the Dreadfleet comments Jorum linked to this (old) piece on 1980s British geek gaming culture. Brits of a certain age are going to nod at the vast majority of it, and people who weren’t in the little island at the time may even find it educational. You can’t underestimate the influence of Iron Maiden on British gaming culture. No, really.
- A quick comic post, which I’m linking to because I’m infuriated by how little clicks something like Illogical Volume’s posts on “aboriginal sci-fi” comic Finder get compared to just annotating whatever Grant Morrison has released this week. It’s strong criticism, and should tempt some into actually investigating it further. The Finder Library collecting the first four trades is a good place to start, though Dream Sequence is – I think – my fave.
- Oh man. I actually am listening to Los Campesinos! new single today, and still trying to make my mind up, but I’ve also got back into the Kills album. The Last Goodbye remains the stand out.