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The Sunday Papers

Sundays are for Mum.

  • Link of the week is doubtless Anita Sarkeesian’s first Tropes vs Women video, the full transcript of which is here. I’ve linked the video below, if you want to watch that – and you should. Given the energy with which Ms Sarkeesian’s efforts have been attacked, I’ve no doubt the comments thread below will boil with unwarranted unpleasantness, but please remember that I hold the Bill & Ted rule to be a guiding principle of the internet, second only to the Roger Rabbit rule. Failing to understand these rules will radically reduce my charitableness.
  • Edge Interviews Jonathan Ross: “Ross says he’s been playing games “almost since the medium began”, so what made him decide to start making them? “It was something we’d been thinking of doing for a while,” he admits, “but if you’re not involved in the industry, you don’t really know what it takes [to make a game], so we needed to have someone who’s professional and knows other professionals. I don’t think we could have done it without Georg’s knowledge and expertise. I don’t think someone who’s got a lot of experience in one field can just walk into gaming and go ‘I’m doing it’. You need people who’ve got that experience.””
  • PopSci suggest banning scores in videogame reviews. *Cough*
  • Rab likes the new Tomb Raider: “I almost passed on Tomb Raider, because I found the pre-release hoopla so vile. It was only when some trusted friends told me how good it was, and how wrong my preconceptions of it were, that I decided to try it. I’m glad I did, because it’s an important chapter in the history of one of the most well-known videogame characters. The first genuinely meaningful chapter, if we’re at all interested in characterisation within videogames.”
  • Video Games Gave Me Judas Priest is a name for an article: “It was Brutal Legend, Double Fine’s heavy metal epic that pushed me over the edge. Maybe it was the choice to use “The Hellion” as background music in the game’s menus. Or the clever casting of Rob Halford as not one, but two devilish characters. Once I’d won my last stage battle something clicked. Tim Schafer’s clear-eyed nostalgia and un-conditional love won me over. Soon after I downloaded Screaming for Vengeance from Amazon and a love affair began.”
  • Bizarre “academic” study of which Starcraft race would win in real life: “The humans, a group of exiled Earth prisoners called the Terran Dominion, often use fast attacks designed to wipe out opponents before they have a chance to build a proper army. Though the researchers say the races would be very nearly deadlocked, this strategy would give the Terrans a slight advantage.”
  • An overview of Roguelikes.
  • Mental Asylums in videogames: “Bedlam. An institution so horrific, so archaic in ‘treatment’ procedures and so completely unempathetic in their approach to psychiatric disorder, it is no longer just an institution made of bricks and mortar, but a literary institution. Bedlam means chaos. Bedlam means confusion and uproar. Bedlam, a place that was supposed to help people, became so synonymous with anarchic adjectives its very name came to be used as an umbrella term for all of them.”
  • Who is Gordon Freeman?
  • It’s been a while since I linked to my favourite non-games blog. This post is fascinating.

Music this week is all of Tarkovsky’s films online.

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Jim Rossignol

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