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The Sunday Papers

Sundays are for worshipping the sun god. Careful though, because sacrificing meat on the burning altar of bar-be-cue may enrage him further. Later, as you hide in your cave from the blazing skygod, perhaps you’ll read about the happenings of the computer people. Or perhaps you’ll simply sleep.

  • Simon Parkin on “that cancer game”: “Joel is four years old and currently fighting his third year of terminal cancer. His young body has already endured a life’s worth of surgery, of chemotherapy, of prayer. The tumours have left him partially deaf and blind and, at one point, forced him to relearn how to walk. Yet he remains a survivor, confounding his medical team’s expectations with a resolute determination to stick with life, with his brothers, with his lot. But while the family remain in the eye of this storm – next week Joel has an MRI scan to check whether the skewered tumours have returned – they’ve chosen this moment to express their story through a video game. Why now?”
  • Hyper-inflation in Diablo III: “Hyperinflation is the economist’s equivalent of an astrophysicist’s quasar cluster or a marine biologist’s dolphin “stampede”: a rare exhibition of a unique set of circumstances which arise infrequently and are closely studied when they materialize. Such events are exotic enough that they become legendary: many individuals knowing little about monetary policy are aware of the recent outbreak in Zimbabwe, or familiar with the defining instance in the post-WWI Weimar Republic.”
  • Six developers of 2D shooters talk about why they enjoy working in the genre. Matt James: “In shmups the design is close to the surface, it’s easy to see. I have nostalgia for designing shmups and thinking about their design. Nostalgia and some sentimentality about the past – my past – was a key theme in Leave Home, although that probably grew out of the fact it was a shooter as much as making it a shooter was an intentional decision in the first place.”
  • Leigh Alexander on Sissyfight: “Sissyfight was an important moment in this whole history,” [Zimmerman] adds. “A big motivation for me in doing this is just that I know there are a bunch of players out there who really miss the game, and I feel a certain amount of duty to try to get it back online for those people who had friends on Sissyfight, who met their spouses there,” Clark says One such couple are doing all the new avatar art rewards for the Kickstarter, even. “That human side, as cheesy as that might sound, is why I want to make sure this gets funded, so we can give it back to the people that really deserve it.”
  • Game design and the “beautiful dilemma”: “The best game experience I can have is when its mechanics present me with several good options every turn. And then it hits me with a beautiful dilemma: Each turn, I can always do something good, but I cannot do everything that I want to now.”
  • Rich Stanton writes about Starcraft II pro Greg ‘Idra’ Fields for the Guardian: “Idra’s the sort of athlete who, if you opened up a playbook, and there was the recommended fundamental playstyle … he does that, but refined to such an incredible degree that it almost feels like he’s cheating.”
  • Cara Ellison publishes Martin “GoldenEye” Hollis on Monopoly: “It is still a terrible game however. Partly I say this because the mid-game drags on interminably as the needle of advantage gradually yet erratically swings over, but mainly I say it because playing it is a horrific, soul-destroying and divisive experience. Monopoly is a game for all the family but you might not feel like family afterwards. You will however have all the money.”
  • Beautiful photography from the “abandon building” genre.
  • An Xbone link, but I enjoyed Tom Bramwell’s grilling of Phil Harrison: “Why should my readers trust that what you’re saying about Kinect this time is going to hold true?”

Music this week is Boards Of Canada’s Reach For The Dead.

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Jim Rossignol

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