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The Sunday Papers

If you link me, I will link you.

Sundays are for staring into the empty link cupboard and rooting around at the back until, among the sauces and spilled flour, you find the week’s best edible games reporting.

  • Nathan “Edge Magazine” Brown linked this on Twitter this week: Thinking About Design – Options as the Greatest Resource. It’s sort of about Magic: The Gathering, sort of about fighting games, sort of about all game design. “Though we have come a long way from the early days of Street Fighter II, many developers still don’t seem to fully understand this concept of options being the most valuable resource, and it’s possible that they never will. MTG still prints unbalanced cards and thus fighting game developers will most likely continue to make unbalanced characters.”
  • Bob Whitaker, an historian in training at the University of Texas, has started a project called History Respawned. In it, he plays games alongside historians, and the first 40 minute episode explores Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag and the realities of piracy.
  • So many controversies. The excellent Matt Lees took Microsoft to task this past week for hiring unpleasant-for-lots-of-reasons YouTuber KSI to be a part of their XBox One launch show. KSI seemingly responded by filing a copyright claim against the original video so that YouTube would take it down which, unsurprisingly, just made things worse. Microsoft severed all ties and KSI’s manager attempted damage control.
  • Related, and mainly for the strong title: The Golden Age of Watching Other People Play Video Games. Which is true, has been true for a while, and I think a lot of people still haven’t caught up.
  • This is a couple of weeks old, but I only just got around to reading it. Parkin does more good work at the New Yorker with The Video-Game Invasion of Iraq. It’s a neat glimpse of the ways in which games can affect lives in dangerous places. I should know, I’m from Scotland. “Currently, though, some online video-game stores, including Steam, the most popular PC gaming company, refuse to accept Iraqi credit cards. (“We constantly work to add more convenient payment methods for Steam customers,” a spokesperson for Valve, the company behind the service, told me, blandly.) This has led to the rise of online-gaming middlemen. “You can now pay Iraqis who own British or American credit cards to sign into your Steam account and buy the game for you,” said Abdulla, who is often employed by Army officers to install fast Internet connections so that they can play online games. “Of course, they charge hugely high interest for the service.””
  • These guys radically changed the shape of my week.
  • There is too much music this week, so have this and this and this and this.

    Got links for next week’s Sunday Papers? Email me.

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Graham Smith

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