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The Sunday Papers

Sundays are for breakfast. All day. No one can stop me.

  • Polygon on why Company Of Heroes 2 is offensive to Russians: “Relic says that the game reflects historical realities, and points to historical research and personal testimony from Russian soldiers. Its critics say that while the Eastern Front did see unprecedented barbarism and cruelty, Relic has been selective in its narrative choices, preferring to ignore what people in Russia celebrate as a noble sacrifice that did more to save the world from Nazism than the American-led invasion from the West.”
  • The Reticule’s interview with Matt Kempke, and The Reticule on Redshirt: “There are certainly elements of one of Cliff’s games, Kudos within Redshirt with managing friendships and trying to improve your skills to work up the career ladder. What makes Redshirt stand out though is Spacebook which is an amalgamation of Twitter and Facebook. As Cliff told me, “we now know, with the society that we’re in; if Star Trek was accurate, Picard and all that would be updating their Facebook status and tweeting about bloody Klingons and… that’d be happening because we’ve become that shallow! And we find that quite calming; it’s a very sarcastic and sort-of comedy kind of game.””
  • The Psychology of the Steam summer sale: “Seeing a game you want show up as a Daily or Flash Deal on the Steam Summer Sale is like getting a food pellet. It’s a reward you get for checking the storefront. In fact, checking Steam at 12 noon every day to see what the new batch of deals are is my very favorite thing about the event –second only to checking back every 8 hours or so for the handful of Flash deals. And let’s not forget seeing what Community Choice games won the last round of votes. While I’m sure Valve has the slate of deals worked out ahead of time, the selection of games seems random to us. And Steam spaces things out masterfully, making sure that you come back to the site throughout the day to see if you’re going to get a reward in the form of a great deal.”
  • An old Warren Spector article on RPGs: “The oddest thing about computer role-playing games today is that you never hear anyone talk about the importance of playing a role. You hear about “400 character classes!” “6,753 unique skills!” “827 errand boy missions!” and “A world so big you won’t want to explore it all!” Give it a rest. This is shallow. It’s silly. It betrays our geeky roots in paper gaming (a medium with only a dangerous, superficial relation to electronic gaming).”
  • Electron Dance on “Ted Lauterbach’s complex and surreal puzzle-plaformer suteF”: “In 2011, I thought suteF was fabulous. Two years on, maybe I’m going to change my mind. Have games aged so quickly? Now we’re in an age where getting hyped about another puzzle platformer is an illness to be cured. So, ugh, look at this game wearing its tutorial on its sleeve. I am getting flashbacks of One And One Story: “Once again, I remembered I must not fall from too high.””
  • FACT.
  • Tim Keenan’s video about publishers.
  • Simon Parkin on Earthbound: “With its colourful palette, simplistic approachable sprite art and endlessly rich and inventive soundtrack (the game was one of the first to employ samples) Earthbound represents a singular vision and occupies its own space on the video game landscape, one without squatting copycats or neighbours. Despite a reported $2 million advertising campaign in the US, the original game sold only 150,000 copies outside of Japan (accounting for its stratospheric cost on the second hand market today), its unusual approach and routine theme alienating an audience interested only in the supposed maturity of fantasy. Today, the childlike graphics might put off a new generation of game players, but there are, one hopes, enough who are interested in restless creativity, idiosyncrasy and vision to make Earthbound a latter day success.”
  • RPS chum Geoff Manaugh is becoming editor of Gizmodo.

Music this week is Jonathan Meades’ article on utopianism in Essex.

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Jim Rossignol

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