The Sunday Papers

Sundays are for fighting a harrowing trans-dimensional war with an army of psychic aliens. Later: a roast dinner. Ah, lovely.

  • Mike Rose writes about Andy Schatz and Monaco: “It’s interesting, because it really made me sympathize with a guy like Peter Molyneux, who talks about his games in the way that he imagines they’ll be like when they’re done. If you’re talking about a game in development, it’s very difficult not to talk about them as you imagine them to be. You really should talk about them as they are, and not as you imagine them to be.”
  • On French gaming TV: “While other gaming channels are struggling to stay afloat financially, or have gone the way of Dot TV, Nolife can safely rely on the grassroots support of its pious viewers. By accepting subscriptions and donations, the producers are insulated from advertising money. In a sense, Nolife has brought Kickstarter to television screens. This model may sacrifice the certainty of monthly cheques, but it affords the very thing their forbearers sought: Démocratie et liberté.”
  • I meant to link to Unlimited Hyperbole last week, but forgot. Have a listen to this.
  • I might have had something to day in Gamasutra’s The State Of Crowd-funding article.
  • The Five Stages Of Starseed Pilgrim (a parody): “That’s when a bunch of spanners turn up in your cogs. You discover those mechanics you’ve become confident with are not constant in the wild. There is not just one mechanics universe but many, each one disrupting your burgeoning mastery of the game in violent ways. In each new mechanics universe you are a child again, humbled by a seemingly inconsequential perturbation that destroys everything. The butterfly effect of game design.”
  • Did I already link Quinns talking about boardgames? I forget. Anyway, watch.
  • The secret hunters of Shadow Of The Colossus: “At first he was looking for canny ways to defeat colossi faster, but he soon discovered something far more mesmerising. The hidden garden at the top of the Shrine of Worship, glimpsed during Shadow of the Colossus’ final cutscene, was accessible in-game. This is Shadow Of The Colossus’ biggest Easter Egg, teased by the mossy growths, handholds and ledges that weave around the exterior of the structure, but not actually reachable until you’ve completed the game multiple times. The Secret Garden, as it became known, is a final reward for the most dedicated of colossi-hunters: one last challenge and a glimpse of verdant green beauty in a starkly austere land. But it wasn’t enough for Ozzymandias and his fellow fans.”
  • George Kokoris writes about how the 3DS enables him to get past his stereoblindness: “As silly as it may seem to get an existential epiphany out of a $200 plastic gadget, the apparent solidity of the tiny simulacra on that screen made them seem almost more “real” than the world around me, which looked suddenly flat by comparison. It didn’t matter that they had three-digit polygon counts and textures that must have topped out at 512×512. I had never before perceived things as having volume, only a sort of surface area in terms of how much of my vision they took up. It was intoxicating. It was a glimpse into something that I immediately realized was part of everyone else’s normal experience. This is how other people see the world all the time. There’s nothing magical about the perception of depth.”
  • Imaginary Atlas is beautiful.
  • A writer spends a year without internet.
  • A fascinating article about how the battle for control of the internet is landing people in jail.
  • Proof that RPS writers – even Craig – can change the world.

Music this week is the teaser for the new Boards Of Canada album. So good. I can’t wait.


  1. GameCat says:

    Christ, I didn’t know that Shadow of Colossus can be even more beautiful and awesome.
    Many people says that games didn’t got they “Citizen Kane” yet. They’re so wrong.
    Oh, fuck Citizen Kane, SoC is gaming equivalent of Adriei Tarkowski movies. Nostalgic, beautiful and full of passion.

    • Cross says:

      I’m equal parts amazed and annoyed that people can keep banging on about that game week after week.

      • dethtoll says:

        Well, if there’s a shortlist of AAA titles that qualify as “art” games, it’s on there. Though I prefer Ico.

    • AndrewC says:

      Oh golly, citing ‘Citizen Kane’ is always a dangerous meme.

      But never mind: here’s a thing – recently Vertigo overtook Citizen Kane as Number 1 Movie Of All Time on the widely cited Sight & Sound poll. The first half of Vertigo is basically ‘those bits at the beginning of GTA missions where you follow someone around’. It makes you think.

      • woodsey says:

        There’s a quote for the Blu-Ray release. ‘Vertigo: The shittest bits of GTA.’

      • SkittleDiddler says:

        I must be the only person on earth who thinks that Vertigo is Hitchcock’s crappiest “silver age” movie. Poorly paced, badly acted and just plain boring compared to his other works from that era. Seriously, it’s worse than Marnie.

        • AndrewC says:

          It’s true it would have benefited greatly from the inclusion of Galactus.

          • Lord Custard Smingleigh says:

            To be fair, there’s very little in media that wouldn’t be improved by the presence of Galactus.

          • ChiefOfBeef says:

            Fantastic Four: Rise Of The Silver Surfer is foremost among those films which would be greatly improved if Galactus had made an appearance.

        • PopeRatzo says:

          You’ve got a problem with Marnie?

        • Shuck says:

          I’ve always felt it was weak, and I know others share that view. Inexplicable that it would end up at the top of any sort of “best of” list. Though frankly I’ve never quite seen “Citizen Kane” as the “Citizen Kane” of movies. There were certainly earlier films that made good on the promise of film and explored and developed formal issues in a way that few (if any) games have yet.

        • Noodlemonk says:

          Although it does come with one hell of a musical score by Herrmann.

        • E_FD says:

          Personally, I’m disappointed Lifeboat rarely comes up in discussions of Hitchcock movies. I think it’s one of his best.

      • KDR_11k says:

        Supposedly Citizen Kane is mostly praised for its technical achievements, defining many techniques of filming. I’d say a game equivalent would probably be Super Mario Bros with the way it has shaped many of the tropes in gaming (AFAIK it’s the first game with air control and pushing the jump button longer to jump higher as opposed to having your whole jump defined by the time you leave the ground, it also codified that pre-jump animations are usually a bad thing).

      • Radiant says:

        GTA is third person.
        You’re always following someone around.

      • P.Funk says:

        Just goes to show how little you can trust the “experts” or the masses. I have always throught Vertigo was a tremendously overrated film. I remember sitting in my Modern Novel, Poetry & Film class years ago in college watching this film listening to the teacher laud this or that aspect of it. I thought it was one of those classic Hitchcock hates women movies.

        Of course my teacher turned out to be one of those dreadful know-nothing profs who had only mastered making facets of culture sound abstract and deep without actually knowing wtf she was talking about.

        I also frankly think Citizen Kane is overrated, or it just aged really poorly.

        You wanna know what I mean, go back and watch the first episode of Boardwalk Empire, listen to that vaudeville comedian you hear throughout and see how much people laugh at it. Some stuff is just… culturally incomprehensible overtime.

        I think Apocalypse Now or 2001 are going to age much better than those earlier films. And I just think that many Hitchcock films get more praise just because people think “its Hitchcock so its good, right?”.

    • MarkN says:

      Gaming has had its Citizen Kane for 30 years. It’s called Robotron. It wouldn’t make a very good film admittedly, but then Citizen Kane wouldn’t make a very good game.

    • McDan says:

      I love Shadow of the Colossus, my favourite game, and love that there can be new things (or not, recently anyway as the article says) found out about the game. Those articles are brilliant, so thank you very much Jim.

    • PopeRatzo says:

      Christ, I didn’t know that Shadow of Colossus can be even more beautiful and awesome.

      It would be a lot more “beautiful and awesome” if they’d put it out for PCs. If I were starving and the only food in the world was from Sony, I’d just go ahead and starve before giving them any of my money.

      • RobinOttens says:

        Hey, it works perfectly fine on my PC. Ripped the DVD of the game I had, downloaded an emulator, and it plays perfectly. And in higher resolution than the PS3 HD version I have.

      • RedViv says:

        Given that this game was made by an internal Sony studio, you’ll still be out of luck. Unless you’re a Horribly Awful Person and just steal it, you fiend.

    • Reapy says:

      A part of me wishes I could be into games enough to enjoy combing the landscape for hours on end, but the veil is pulled back to much, the content the artist intended is much better than the void of a level editor to me.

      Still a part of me thinks the concept of exploring outside the game level could be a really awesome 4th wall breaking part of a game.

      Traverse the broken lands, where the creator has not yet completed his works, and there, lost in the mists, stood a temple, and in that temple was a man, a man with a secret.

    • rockman29 says:

      Shadow of the Colossus feels “real” almost over other games.

      This is what I see when I play.

      On your horse the camera always pushes off center, so you when you look in any direction, you see what you are looking at and your characters animating beautifully off to the side.

      The camera jitters every so slightly when walking, and trees and foliage will fill the sides of the screen in a forest or grassy area. The jitter is so balanced an unobtrusive, like when you are actually just yourself walking anywhere. A tree or rock formation slowly passes in the periphery of the camera’s vision, so cinematic…

      Agro is the most beautifully animated horse in gaming to date, even animal to date, and maybe character overall… not in technology, but in just being convincingly real. It’s done so well on PS2 and maybe because it’s on PS2 it’s glossed over because it’s THAT GOOD. And he gets scared of colossi or your own arrows, he can run into a wall and his body grimaces in reaction. If you ignore him he’ll do his own thing, he’ll even eat grass or drink water after a run if you’re near a source for either. Heck, you can jump off a cliff and call Agro and he will come find you assuming you didn’t die… he’s the perfect gaming companion and I love him :)

      Nothing is like SOTC in gaming, except ICO. Really. It’s just that powerful of a game. The world feels solid and natural all at the same time. The game world has its rules and nothing else, because everything else is up to you. No other game I have played offers that experience like SOTC does, not even close.

      Edit – Also I forgot it works with Remote Play and looks beautiful on Vita :)

      • GameCat says:

        Well said.
        I would like to add that I just love these huge and open fields. I think only few games manages to have such huge and almost empty (in terms of gameplay, because I can recall some small animals, snakes perhaps, living in grasslands etc.) levels that was just simply great and fun to travel.

        Man, I wish Fumito Ueda and “his” (because he’s directing this game as a freelancer) team would finish The Last Guardian in this year. :(

    • P.Funk says:

      I don’t understand why people talk about SoC as if its some masterpiece of story. Its an experience, but not really a story. Its moving art more than a story.

      You can glean a lot about an artist or the idea he’s trying to expound by looking at many of his works, especially those in a series, but they’re not a story as such. I thin of a game like SoC in the same way.

      A story game thats nearly as good as a film would be something like Grim Fandango, in my opinion.

      And yes, gaming has never come close to even being as good as most half decent films. The last 6 years has seen a decline in Triple A storytelling, and most smaller projects just can’t afford good single player anyway.

  2. MegaAndy says:

    I really enjoyed the stereoblindness article. I must say though I find it hard to get my head around it, if I look through one eye I still seem to be able to judge volume and depth? Perhaps I already know these details from looking in stereo

    • Xerophyte says:

      I have pretty much the same condition as the author. I was severely cross-eyed until I was 19 (one eye was off by about 35 degrees), when I had the same surgery the author mentions but on both lateral muscles of both eyes — it’s basically cutting off the muscles that move your eyeballs around and then re-attaching them with sutures to make them tighter or slacker, which is a fact that seems to really freak a lot people out whenever I mention it. As a result I’ve now spent a decade just slightly cross-eyed (also, my eyes are slightly rotated compared to each other which means my peripheral vision is crap) but I still don’t really have much in the way of stereoscopic vision.

      Err, anyhow. Fake 3D, including 3D TVs and cinemas if I can get a good seat, is actually a lot easier for me to perceive than the 3D in reality when I’m just looking straight ahead but in my case at least it would be a gross exaggeration to say that I only see surface areas out in reality. Our brains are actually really, really good at assigning depth information to what we see without needing stereoscopy. If you close your eyes and open one eye then the world will look flat initially, but if you just tilt your head to the side and back then your brain will cheerfully use the parallax to assign a depth to everything. If you’re walking around with one eye open this happens instinctively. Which is why one-eyed people don’t stumble through life and maintain usable if not optimal depth perception.

      Still, I do attest to the 3DS being slightly niftier than normal for the appropriately lazy eyed. In my case it’s also more an argument for getting 3D TV or monitor than against.

    • jalf says:

      If you move your head, you get pretty much the same information from one eye that you would by holding your head still and looking with two eyes. Also, of course you can make reasonable guesses about distance and size based on prior knowledge (I know the object I’m looking at is actually this big, so if it occupies so much of my FOV, it must be roughly that far away”), but it’s a lot less accurate.

      Try holding your head still, and reaching out for an object in front of you, either just by extending your hand towards it, or moving your hand towards it from the side. It’s surprisingly inaccurate.

    • Rich says:

      Most of your depth perception isn’t due to stereoscopic vision; it’s mostly due to tiny movements your eyes make. I can only see out of one eye, thus making me stereoblind, but I’m still able to judge distance and volume in most circumstances. Stereoscopic vision seems to be most important in low light and for watching fast moving objects. As a result, for me night driving is a problem, and I was never any good at ball sports (which made school an absolute gas, as I’m sure you can imagine).

      One thing I always say is, you know how games and TV are 2D but you can tell they’re showing 3D objects? Well that’s how it looks normally to me.

      • rockman29 says:

        As far as I know, the micro movements of the eyes help us simply see. Without them, we wouldn’t be able to stare at one object without our vision going away.

        However, for depth, most of this is interpreted by the brain judging the relative motion of scenery when we move our heads around. That’s why when we look far into the distance, we can interpret depth when a farmhouse in the distance moves across our vision and the road next to us moves much faster.

        Only when objects are very close to us, normal binocular vision will have actual stereoscopic vision.

    • rockman29 says:

      When you see depth with one eye/camera it’s mostly due to parallax. Even with two eyes and binocular vision it’s mostly due to parallax.

      Normal human vision with two eyes can’t see proper stereo depth much further than 15 or 20 cm. The rest is interpreted through the relative motion and parallax when you move your head around.


    • Tams80 says:

      Try looking at a view with a range of distances, particularly something mid distance away with objects at different distances.

      If you close one eye and remain still for few seconds, then open your eye you should be able to make out depth more clearly.

      For example I’m looking at a bush in front of a wall (with a road between them). While I still make out some depth, I can’t tell if the bush is right next to wall or not (it looks like it may even be the same distance away). When I open my eye, I can easily tell the bush is quite some distance in front of the wall.

  3. Sheng-ji says:

    The authorities are being way to heavy handed with these hactivists. Yes, they have done unpleasant things to people to make their point and yes, some of them are entirely self serving, but when they are getting sentences on a par with murderers and rapists then something is rotten.

    • Cryptoshrimp says:

      On par? You mean far beyond what rapists and murders are getting? The Steubenville rapists (the case freshest in my mind) got 1 and two years, respectively. This guy gets 20 if my maths are correct. Absolutely abhorrent.

      • Sheng-ji says:

        You’re absolutely right!

      • i saw dasein says:

        The Stubenville rapists were tried as juveniles, accounting for their relatively light sentence. Mr. Auernheimer was sentenced to 41 months, which still seems too long to me, but which is not nearly as long as 20 years.

    • Trithne says:

      …”Sentences far in excess of rapists and murderers.”

    • WrenBoy says:

      Its disgraceful alright.

      Also, while I liked the article, I would rather focus on the basic injustice rather than the personalities involved.

      • bill says:

        I kind of agree. It’s a well written article, but it seems like more would have been achieved with a simple investigative piece and straight out asking a lot of the prosecutors involved how they justify the hugely imbalanced sentences and responses.

        • i saw dasein says:

          They did interview at least one of the D.A.s, and he explained the length of the sentence.

          “A few days after Andrew is sentenced, I ask Paul Fishman, the US attorney for New Jersey, how he ended up with 41 months. “His accepting no responsibility,” he replies, “his attempt to tweet from a mobile device between his legs in the courtroom during sentencing, and then pushing away the marshal who was trying to get the device – none of that helped him.” Forty-one months was the maximum sentence for a hack such as his, Fishman says. The minimum would have been 33 months. Andrew got the maximum because – a senior justice department official tells me – the court has a “mandate to consider the characteristics of the defendant”. It didn’t help, I’m sure, that Andrew told Gawker in November 2012 that Judge Wigenton was “a mean bitch, I hear. I can see it in her eyes, she’s a black Baptist Bush appointee.”

          For the US attorney’s office all this is, of course, black and white: “It’s about stopping him, punishing him, and telling other people, ‘You could be next,'” the justice department official tells me. “He can’t walk into your house, look around, take a note you wrote to your wife, send it to the news media and say, ‘Hey, Jon, you should have locked your door.’ There’s no altruism here. He’s a self-aggrandising guy looking to enhance his own reputation by exploiting loopholes he’s smart enough to identify.” He pauses. “There’s a perfectly fine argument to make for an open internet,” he says, “but the law doesn’t allow people to take matters into their own hands. There are basic rules. You can’t steal other people’s stuff. Even if you think people shouldn’t own that stuff – that’s not up to you.”

          Back in the court in Walnut Street, just after the judge passes sentence, Andrew is led away in shackles. Before he vanishes, he shoots a grin to his friends and calls out: “All hail Discordia!””

          • iridescence says:

            I agree. Pretty ironic that his attempts to pretty much troll the judge and the court probably led to his harsh sentence. I have little sympathy for this asshole or people like him and hate to see them using legitimate causes as a smokescreen for what they do,. He admits that he considers “anyone with a Twitter or a blog” is a legitimate target (i.e. most people on the internet) People like him aren’t really about holding the rich and powerful accountable. They’re bullies who never grew out of it and now hide behind their keyboards while pursuing their twisted idea of fun at others expense.

            Trolls probably do more to limit freedom of ordinary people on the internet than big corporations ever will. They should not be held up as counterculture anti-heroes.

          • cliffski says:

            Very interesting, and not the kind of information that the likes of torrentfreak would report. Puts things in a new light.

          • bill says:

            I read that part (and found it to be the most interesting part of the article).

            While I partially agree that he brought it on himself, and that seemed to be his intention, I still don’t think that the recent sentences hold up in relation to other crimes.
            It may be true that he was rude to the judge and didn’t show remorse, and that the system is set up to punish that. But when you compare his sentence to that of other criminals – who regularly express their ‘remorse’ in order to get a lighter sentence – it seems like a mockery.

            Cases will vary in how much they are criminals/anarchists/activists, but the recent prosecutions do generally seem to be excessive.

          • hotmaildidntwork says:

            I think more interesting than the actual sentence is the range of possibilities. Even the stated minimum would have been several years longer than what is apparently being given out in response to other serious crimes, which leads me to wonder about the maximums and minimums on those offenses.

    • PopeRatzo says:

      something is rotten

      That’s the key. And the rottenness you smell is corporatism/fascism.

      As long as corporations are given a status above human beings, it will just get more and more rotten.

      • Sheng-ji says:

        I don’t believe there is any fascism involved, not if we use the proper meaning of the word rather than common slang use but certainly, judging by these sentences, lying bankers and phone hacking journalists should currently be looking at similar sentences. Why aren’t they?

        • The Random One says:

          Because the system is stacked to protect itself. If the phone tapping journalists were tapping the lying bankers’ phones they’d get comparable sentences I’d bet.

          A few weeks ago I read a great article on how the US was certain that HSBC was laundering money from all sorts of shady organizations pretty much everywhere west of Ankara but they could only give them a slap in the wrist since anything that actually damaged the corporation would also damage the world economy. It’s bloody maddening.

  4. tyen says:

    Oh man. The story about Paul Miller was like a slap to the back of the head.

    In so many ways, the way he spoke about his troubles with the internet and himself mirror the same thoughts I’ve been going through for the past year.

    Especially the part about how you should stop thinking as yourself as the main character in the narrative of your life, or that your life has a narrative at all.

    Also his troubles over how life just goes on. Those parts just stuck out to me so strongly.

    Now, I’m going too watch that video again, then do a whole bunch of thinking.

    • PopeRatzo says:

      No, narrative is good. Just don’t make yourself the anti-hero.

    • strangeloup says:

      It was certainly interesting and it lacked the self-righteousness that I worried would be present. In my personal experience, I’ve found that getting rid of social media accounts (Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr) made me more able to focus on projects I wanted to work on (computer or otherwise) or games I wanted to play, instead of constantly refreshing those pages.

      For myself it’s really not practical for me to go offline for any extended period of time as I have pretty severe social anxiety. I think, insofar as you can talk about “the internet” as a general thing, that it’s no more inherently good or bad than any other tool. That being said, I do find it vaguely troubling when people check their smartphones (presumably Twitter or whatever?) every 30 seconds, instead of interacting with people around them.

  5. WrenBoy says:

    The NoLife article spends more time on french cliches than it does on the channel itself.


    • cowardly says:

      Plus, there could not be a more biased view of the CSA’s role. I mean, it clearly has many (many, many) faults, but to go so far as to imply that it considers ” foreign programming and ideas […] threatening by virtue of their otherness” is realy quite idiotic.
      But yeah, the endless stream of French (or should I say Parisian) clichés make it hard to take anything in the article seriously.

  6. phenom_x8 says:

    Oh,man! Believe me this is great :

    link to

    Flashpoint, the first shooter who taught me that I have to running zig-zag from cover to cover to avoid enemys bullets. Its made me wondering, yeah why not? its the most simple logical things to do, right? Why dont I even think about it when playing other shooter until flashpoint?

    • Faxanadu says:

      You do, just in a smaller scale – you strafe left and right while shooting back. In Flashpoint, the scale is so much bigger, that you don’t even know where the bloody hell the shot came from, so you need to run for cover before returning fire.

    • Michael Fogg says:

      The early ‘secure Morton’ mission is an all-time gaming highlight to me. The player charges a small town with his team, while all around other units exchange fire, armored units roll past and helicopters whirl by. The feeling of being lost and insignificant in the middle of the chaotic battlefield really makes an impression. Only the Omaha mission in the first MoH rivals it in that regard.

    • BurningPet says:

      I played flashpoint at my brother’s computer one evening when i was at a 2 day vacation from the army.

      Back then i was a commander in an infantry-demolition unit. until that point, all the FPS i played were idiotic comparing to real life. i tried to use various tactics i learned in the army, like skipping (advancing in short intervals at random locations forward so all the platoon could cover each other at a steady progress.), i tried to utilize real life urban warfare tactics but there was just no need for that, i tried to practice open field movement by walking the terrain in what we call here the invisible height and the 8 camouflage practices, but realized it made no difference. i just couldn’t accept how arcadey all those shooters were and felt greatly dissatisfied.

      And then came flashpoint, and the defining moment came when i was sitting there in front of the computer and thought to my self, “yep, they finally made it” and it wasen’t when i utilized skipping in zigzags or taking cover, it was where in one mission you were giving a plain simple order. go stand in a guard post.

      haha. i was 3 years in the army, probably about a year worth of that time was spent standing at fucking guard posts.

      So yeah, operation flashpoint – hyper realism. a fantastic game i will never forget only because it made me do the most mundane task any soldier can do. standing at fucking nowhere, doing absolutely nothing and expecting everything.

  7. SuperTim says:

    I’m interested to know what you all think of the ‘instagram law’ that has been passed last week. For example, the BPPA has issued the following statement:

    link to

    I hear a lot of media saying that the law is very very fine. But if it is, why are professionals photographers complaining?

    • bill says:

      Well, from my very quick research on something i’d never heard of before, it seems like the Pros are the ones complaining because they are the ones that’ll be affected (or so they fear).

      Instagram(etc..) shouldn’t really be affected, but Pros who’s work is copied might then find that those copies are used without them being compensated. (the originals shouldn’t be).

      Really though, in an era of reverse image search (google, tin eye) it should be possible for them to agrue that anyone who doesn’t find the original author didn’t do due diligence.

    • Cinek says:

      I’m a photographer.
      And a gamer at the same time.
      So let me put it this way: Governments support fighting with piracy of the games, companies release DRMs and other garbage to defend intellectual property in their games and make everyone PAY for them. Meanwhile UK government releases the law that allows very easy dodging of the payment, essentially ENCOURAGING PIRACY of the photographs.

      It’s totally ridiculous law. If something like that would be passed on computer gaming market we all would be able to freely enjoy any games “found” online where we cannot find any contact to their authors, and as a result most of the games on… for example should be free to take by anyone.

      • blackmyron says:

        That was the philosophy behind “abandonware” for years – that long out-of-print games where the manufacturers were either out of business or had no intention of re-releasing it should be available, one way or another. That was the theory – in practice, the most active of the game companies would demand their games to be taken down, and the sites would usually comply. Thus, the name held true is no one complained.
        The main issue was that game companies saw no profit in re-releasing old games except in very limited circumstances. Now, with gog and Steam, it really requires no effort on their part.

  8. wodin says:

    Quins is a Star..great talk.

  9. WrenBoy says:

    My comment of some considerable time ago is marked as awaiting moderation. I cant help but suspect that this is a slyly misleading statement aimed purely at my continued frustration.