Sundays are for heroic dwarfs entering the gold-filled lair of the sleeping malevolent dragon of games journalism, and awaking it, saying it’s the 300th anniversary of the Sunday Papers, and whether it would deign to rise up one last time and scour the earth with its fiery prose and/or compiling a list of the finest recent writing (mostly) about games. And the Dragon did rise up, and its wings blotted out the sun, and it said “Okay – as long as I can get it done before I finally get around to going to see the Hobbit this afternoon.” And the Dwarfs said “Sure.” And the Dragon said “Great, let’s do that then.”
- I was in Venice last weekend, and rather reading Mann’s Death In Venice as I planned to on the journey, I couldn’t turn away from Leigh Alexander’s Breathing Machine: A Memoir of Computers. Well, I could, but only when the turbulence got a bit crazy and I had to have a little cry. It’s a short e-book, which you can buy in all the usual places. Gamasutra ran an excerpt if you need a taste, but if you’re reading the Sunday Papers, I suspect you’re already clicking buy and I’m speaking to thin air. Come back, you fuckers. It’s Leigh writing precisely and beautifully of the coming of age of herself and the consumer information age. Also, lots of text adventure chat.
- Cara’s Patreon experiment bears its first inky fruit.Her embed series is basically her going and living with Devs, around the world and writing about them and their culture. The first only goes as far as London, but explores the fertile London Indie Dev scene. This is basically my home turf, and Cara catches people brilliantly in these pen portraits. Go read about drinking, woe, me being bemused at girls crying and photos of Alice’s excellent grin.
- Nice to see everyone’s still playing DayZ. Lovely tumblr Hey Are You Cool writing about the people they come across in DayZ. Always like this sort of personal folk-history game-stuff. Snapshots of life, and snapshots of snap shots that end a life.
- Ashton Raze writing about Octodad at the Telegraph, specifically about how it works as an analogy for Invisible Illness. “Recently, I’ve had to start walking with a stick, and simply allowing myself to do this took a lot of persuasion. I asked multiple doctors if I was ‘allowed’, even though I knew full well it was helping me greatly, because I was worried about people judging me for doing so, thinking ‘you’re young, you look able bodied, you have no reason to need this’. In Octodad, people look at him and think ‘you have no reason to flail around smashing up a supermarket, you’re just a dad’. They don’t see the octopus part. Why would they? He’s just a guy in a suit. It’s a good disguise.”
- Back in the 80s, I followed American Football for a season. I supported the Seahawks, as they had the best logo. My Brother supported the Broncos. Back in the early 90s, I played the first version of Madden religiously (as in, about once a week, at best.) My brother was generally better than me. All of which means I love Jon Bois climax of his hacking Madden story, involving a team of invulnerable Seahawks stomping ineffectually tiny Broncos, especially as the Bronco Quarterback is called “Mom.”
- Meanwhile, Tim Rogers reviews Football itself over at Kotaku. That’s the Football of the colonies, of course, which is very different from our own foot-to-ball highjinks.
- Richard Cobbett’s Crap Shoot reaches Die By The Sword. I find Crap Shoot somewhat depressing, as it’s reached the point where the obscure games being covered are just things I’d call “games.” What do you mean the kids on the street don’t know about Die By The Sword? What’s wrong with you all? Did Jim and I fight Edge in the great Severance Wars of the early 00s for nothing? CLUE: YES, WE DID.
- More Patreonowords, with Mattie Brice’s The DIY of Games Criticism, talking about… well, the Academic/Populist/Thinking-in-public axis, etc. What next, in short. In passing, realised it’s the 10 year anniversary of the NGJ Manifesto in March? Man. Oh man.
- Craig lobbed this at us – which is Zack Hiwiller writing about the last ZZT disc towards the end of last year. This gets me all excited, as I think it’s something about the excellent Frankie Goes To Hollywood game in the eighties, but I realise that’s ZTT, and my brain’s playing up again.
- Great Medium article talking about designer drugs. The world’s gone a bit SpaceChem.
- Music? Oh, haven’t been around for ages. Here’s the crap I was listening to in 2013, plus some cheery ramble.
Does anyone remember how the “Failed” gag “worked”? It’s kinda foggy.