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The Sunday Papers

Sundays are for watching as cosmic symbols align, allowing you to perform the ritual which will invoke the universe’s superbeing. Also: reading about videogames.

  • The Man You’ve Killed The Most: “It was vocally stressful, but I just ploughed through the full four hours of screaming and killing and getting set on fire… going absolutely mad, and there was so much joy in it that my voice held out. I felt a lot more relaxed when I got out of that session.”
  • On Jedi Knight 2: “Every battle is completely unique. Some fights are hilariously brief, as a cocksure Reborn runs directly onto the point of your lightsaber, or mis-times a jump and plummets down a chasm. Others are epic struggles as your opponent matches you blow-for-blow, sabers crackling furiously as they clash over and over. Such fights are often interspersed with tense stand-offs in which the Reborn sheathes his saber and goads you into attacking. When one of you finally succumbs, you either punch the air at a well earned victory, or giddily reload to the point before the battle, wondering how it will play out this time. There’s no better indication of a successfully designed game than when losing is fun.”
  • The Guardian talks to CCP about Valkyrie: “We were much more interested in creating a playground, which would be self-reinforcing. But it became much bigger and has lived on for much longer than we ever thought, or even dared think. Now when we look at it, and think of the fundamentals of it, EVE in all its forms is going to outlive us all.”
  • US Gamer’s Cassandra Khaw talks about life with a former gangster father, in light of a similar character in GTAV: “Retirement for the average Joe tends to be a time for introspection, a space of years dotted with nostalgia and the brandishing of memory-tinted photographs. But it’s different for people like my Dad. The idea that anyone with a less-than-legal background would be forthcoming about their pasts is largely a Hollywood construct.”
  • Gamasutra’s article on Road Not Taken is worth a read: “I tend to think of the experiences of games as a probabilistic envelope of outcomes. Have you seen a pachinko machine?”
  • The Washington Post on a legal battle involving Mario fandom: “The gaming industry’s greatest loss from long copyright terms is the way they impoverish new video games. We only have to think of “Cinderella,” “Apocalypse Now” and the many film adaptations of “Romeo and Juliet” to see how new culture is often built on cultural innovations that came before it. Nintendo, of course, still creates new games in the Mario Brothers franchise. But in a better copyright regime, we could have lots of people creating clones, sequels and re-interpretations of “Super Mario Brothers.” Other classic video games of the 1980s, such as “Donkey Kong,” “Pac Man” and “Galaga” are ripe for the same treatment. But copyright law stands in the way.”
  • Tommy Refenes on the Steam controller: “One drawback to undefined physical buttons is that your thumbs need tactile contact in order to accurately know what button you are pressing. As the engineers and I were talking about this, the idea of little nubs being on the controller that would be noticeable enough where your thumbs would find them, but not so abrasive that the circle pads couldn’t comfortably used in mouse / trackpad mode came about. They had been thought of prior to my being there, but weren’t on the controller I was using. I expressed that they needed to be put in. They might show up in some form after my feedback…so…you’re welcome Valve / Valve customers.”
  • Carmack and others at Nvidia’s recent conference, contains Carmack’s comments on SteamOS.
  • Australian researchers on the positive effects of games: ”As a society we say it’s OK for children to play contact sports which can be very aggressive and inflict real pain but at the same time worry about the impact of violent video games,” he said. ”I’m not sure we should be so concerned about violent video games when there are a number of other activities which could be just as bad.”
  • I rather enjoyed this:
  • Music this week is by RPS chum Forces Of Good.

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