The Sunday Papers

Sundays are for telling people what to Sundays are for, of course. And a Sunday without it – as they were over the holidays – is no kind of Sunday at all. Let’s celebrate our return with some of the finest recent words about videogames.

  • This article is in French, but Google Translate does a good enough job with the translation – and John would be sad if I didn’t link it. It’s about Hexcells Infinite, and the difference between handmade and machine-generated puzzles.
  • In Hexcells Infinite, the role of Matthew Brown oscillates between that puzzle designer, especially in these minimalist grids whose solution can only occur in an instant, and level designer. By carefully preparing the clues scattered throughout its gates in Corsant very significantly the difficulty, Matthew Brown draws a path that the player has to operate through its puzzles, if he wants to avoid any mistake. In this, the game reverts to being wandering in golden hexagon grids, gray and blue, and puzzles Hexcells to roam like the levels of a classical narrative video game, while player traceable discernable that the designer has left him, or attempt to cut through the thickets, at the risk of being wrong at risk, as Bartlebooth, to think that this piece representing England actually corresponded to a portion of India.

  • It’s a rare politician that seems human, but Tom Watson’s love of videogames continues to confirm that he’s of our species. In the New Statesman late last year, he wrote about his favourites of 2014. Worth it for the last paragraph, which it’s no spoiler to quote here:
  • During the recent supposed coup against Ed Miliband, I was planning the downfall of Atheon, the final boss in the “Vault of Glass” raid in Destiny, with a trade union official from Manchester and an English language student from Rome. It’s this experience that has led me to form the view that crime is dropping thanks to video games. If Ed wants an easier life in 2015, maybe he should buy John Mann and Simon Danczuk a PS4 this Christmas.

  • We liked Mountain a bit, but internet bores suspicious of the enjoyment and intentions of others suggested that it was (gasp) not a game and was therefore probably a trick or a joke. Creator David O’Reilly remained mum about it, till writing some thoughts over the break. What say you, Mountain man?
  • Between Damien and I there was never a discussion that Mountain was not a game, much less a controversial game. It was an idea that required an interactive environment, it was created using a game engine and the pipeline was almost identical to any other independent game. It was developed for gaming systems through game distribution platforms and was released with a game publisher. Some pseudo-intellects may spin some clever sounding crap about the semantics of the word game, win conditions, fail states etc. — but I really, truly and sincerely don’t give a shit.

  • Robert Yang (of these pages) writes about his free spanking game Hurt Me Plenty, and “sex, consent, and intimacy in games and tech.” Yang is smart and this is great:
  • These kinds of representations are dangerous more for their structural properties: players understand these romances as puzzles to be solved where sex is the reward — and the idea that sex is a puzzle reward feeds directly into a pick-up artist (PUA) culture built on manipulation and perceived entitlement to bodies. This is essentially the “kindness coins” critique, that the logic of training players to expect sex, based on a series of so-called strategic actions, is super gross and perpetuates damaging ways of thinking about relationships.

  • Chris Livingston has been coerced into joining the pirate ship PC Gamer as a full-time member, which means he is dead to us now. From beyond the grave he writes his now traditional series on Text Adventures That Never Were, which begins with Far Cry 4, The Evil Within and Shadow of Mordor.
  • Our Adam found Deadnaut a little slim, albeit with reasons to feel the developers have a promising future. Favourite face of the RPS comments Lord Custard Smingleigh has been finding plenty of fun in its tales of survival bastards, however:
  • Deadnaut is a moderately-roguelike moderately-tactical exploration game set in a universe where humans have reached the stars and found alien civilisations… Or rather the remains of alien civilisations. Derelict ships filled with corpses and monsters are the new frontier, and desperate bands of last-chancers, Deadnauts, take on suicide missions for the slim chance of getting out alive with a payoff that will make it all worthwhile. I recruited a bunch of wholesome Twitter people and, with their permission, created some decidedly unwholesome Deadnaut versions of them. Lets see how far they get before they die horribly, shall we?

  • From 2009 but new to me, Gausswerks’s Design Reboot series turned its attention to Deus Ex’s Gunther Hermann and Anna Navarre. Note to self: steal this.
  • There could be unforeseen consequences; there could be blowback. Especially if Anna disappears someone back at headquarters (not just a target, and the target’s family, and all the first responders while on a mission). There are a lot of possible reasons for this–the game could feature a “catch the spy” subplot, a whodunit with randomized suspects, and Anna needs to be sure the mole is dead. Or maybe just someone didn’t refill the coffee maker after the last cup, and Anna/the player really wants to see how many people they can kill. Pushing it as far as they can without a killphrase getting invoked, or SWAT teams descending at night on Anna’s bunk.

  • As always, I enjoyed Nathan Ditum’s end-of-year look back at the films he saw in 2014. Mostly for lines like, “300: Rise Of An Empire offered an interrogation of masculinity roughly equivalent to staring at a novelty chocolate penis.”
  • For more fine writing about videogames from 2014, try these round-ups from Critical Distance and The Guardian.
  • Music these past weeks has all been jazz, because it’s the music that I like to drink, relax and watch the weather to, and Christmas is for little else. I’ll spare you and offer Remurdered by Mogwai instead, which is best if you gradually turn the volume up minite-by-minute for the duration of the song.

    141 Comments

    1. rustybroomhandle says:

      Mountain… mountain?

      Captain Kirk is climbing a mountain. Why is he climbing a mountain?

      link to youtube.com

      He wants to make love to the mountain.

    2. DrollRemark says:

      In relation to Hexcells, wasn’t one of the reasons newspapers picked up the Sudoku craze so enthusiastically when it broke, because the puzzles can be generated automatically? It’s a few levels less complex than Hexcells (since it’s all contained within a fixed size grid) so easier to programmatically check the available answers at any stage. No more pesky typesetter costs!

      • jrodman says:

        It’s easy to programmatically create sudoku, but they’re really awful. The handmade ones with variations and creativity are far better.

        There are a lot of puzzle types that are automatable. See, for example the Simon Tatham puzzle collection, available for your computer or mobile device. However, the handcrafted equivalents of each time (eg nikoli) are far more entertaining.

        That said, I’m not a big fan of the puzzle form as compared to types of logic puzzles.

      • kwyjibo says:

        Sudoku became popular because it allows stupid people to think that they’re clever.

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          Phasma Felis says:

          I’m guessing you’re bad at Sudoku and bitter about it?

          (I’ve never played, arithmetic does not entertain me)

          • Josh W says:

            No, this is a great point actually, Sudoku allows people to complete a puzzle that appears mathematical, in an afternoon, or even just a lunch break, by applying logic and short term memory.

            It breaks down the divisions between people extremely familiar with abstractions and logical sets and those who are not, and importantly, uses numbers without any requirement of understanding arithmetic.

            Like lots of good puzzle games, like Portal, it shows people that they can solve things, that they can puzzle through problems that look superficially very austere and without an obvious touchpoint from normal life.

            You can use some of your life experience to play portal, because of it’s use of physics, but largely it relies on working up slowly based on it’s own logic, so that you gain confidence in your own ability to see situations and interpret them in your own fashion. In the same way, you can work upwards in Sudoku, starting with simple puzzles with a lot of redundancy and clues, up to ones that can only be solved by working through a lot of steps of possible influence to work out how the existing filled squares relate. It’s fundamentally about solving problems of multi-dimensional constraint in a simple fashion, which is why almost any programmer who goes near it starts trying to make a program to do it rather than doing it themselves. But for those people who don’t think that way, or just are more used to facing these problems with their brains only, it’s an easily digested version of the same problem, stripped of the usual problems of interpreting the importance of the different domains. It’s also just about putting things in lines until everything is filled, which gives an obvious and satisfying sense of completeness.

    3. Gap Gen says:

      Sundays are for a whole bunch of conflicted thoughts about while yes, freedom of speech is good and killing people for exercising it is bad, is it a little weird to have a protest march organised by the government with 40 heads of state in attendance, and either way it makes me a little uncomfortable to associate with icky if not openly racist art purely in the name of solidarity, plus is this somewhat like how Acclaim’s PR works, doing something awful then lapping up the free publicity from the outrage, plus the weird place terrorism takes in our public consciousness, and the sense that nothing in the end has really been done to address the social issues surrounding the incident short of declaring support for the heavily armed status quo? I dunno. Either way, I’m sitting in my jogging bottoms surfing the web rather than going to said protest march in the January sunshine.

      • Snargelfargen says:

        I’m not participating in the protests for similiar reasons, but I know quite a few people who are participating as an act of solidarity because they identify as journalists, writers, Parisians or simply people who value free speech. Some of them have never seen an issue of CH. I think it’s an interesting example of how a popular protest can draw in people from all walks of life, not because they identify with the movement as a whole but because they have a very personal stake in it.

        • Gap Gen says:

          Yeah, I agree with that. And yes, I realise I benefit from the freedom of expression that the liberal state celebrates, even if it’s not an absolute or comes into conflict with other ideals such as secularism.

      • DrollRemark says:

        Yeah, I’ve felt all kind of weird about this too. I can’t help but wonder what the reaction would have been if, say, a cartoonist for a BNP magazine had been killed. I’m not saying Charlie Hebdo are equivalent, just that there’s a difficult boundary of how much support to show.

        • Snargelfargen says:

          It’s definitely an uncomfortable situation. I’ve had to think pretty carefully about what exactly people are protesting for or aginst.

          Hezbollah’s chief came out with a statement claiming that ISIS’ brutality was more damaging to Islam than the work of cartoonists. Which sounds great and sensible until you realize that Hezbollah are themselves responsible for some outright reprehensible acts of terrorism. It was surreal to find myself agreeing with them – broken clock is right twice a day and so on…

          • P.Funk says:

            Or maybe instead you should appreciate the fact that terrorists are not an easily quantifiable and homogeneous breed who exist solely to behave exactly as western propaganda insists.

            We also have to put it into a different context the actions and the ‘personality’ of a non-state terrorist organization and one which is tied to a community or nation and which has very local interests. Hezbollah is very different to the al Qaeda types and has very different goals. ISIS is a fascinating case though because its like a non-state terrorist group stole themselves a state.

            I think though that there is always going to be a very big difference between the terrorist who turns out to fight and protect his home (in his mind) and the one who adventures overseas to fight for an abstract idea that has no attachment to anyone’s day to day life where he comes from.

            I also think that the longer they exist the more rational they become. I don’t find it the least bit difficult to believe that Hezbollah sounds more reasonable. They aren’t just terrorists, they’re also now local governments, community services, and like it or not a part of their community in many places. That changes things greatly. They have something to lose and even in terrorist terms that counts. Doesn’t make them good guys, it just makes them more rational, less prone to action based purely on abstract ideas.

          • Snargelfargen says:

            There’s an interesting discussion to be had about Hezbollah, but that’s for another time. I was just commenting on how it’s funny to see groups with comepletely different moral compasses condemn the attack on CH – and how that uncomfortable agreement forces me to try and define exactly what I personally think about the situation, instead of simply protesting.

            Edit: Ok, I already said this wasn’t the place for this topic, but I do feel I should reiterate that Hezbollah is responsible for acts of terrorism. Their role and influence in Lebanon and the middle east is really interesting and is up for discussion. That doesn’t change the fact that they have done some unequivocally Bad Things.

        • asclark says:

          From what I gather Charlie Hebdo published plenty of pretty insulting things about other religions too eg the Pope in amorous embrace with a Swiss Guard. And as a Catholic my reaction was that French left wing cartoonists gotta do what French left wing cartoonists gotta do, not to plot murder, nor like the moderates to (rightly) condemn it but also to demand blasphemy laws in France, a country which prides itself on laicite.

          Ultimately it’s holding Islam to a different standard that’s racist, the racism of lowered expectations.

          Also, echoes of “She shouldn’t have worn such a short skirt.”

          • DrollRemark says:

            See, this is exactly it. I try to point out carefully how I feel about the situation and I get slyly accused of victim blaming.

            Are Charlie Hebdo responsible for what happened to them? Absolutely not.

            Do I think they have a right to publish the cartoons they did? Definitely.

            Is what the killers did wrong? Duh, should I even have to say this? Yes.

            Am I going to change my profile picture to “Je Suis Charlie” or retweet their cartoons, or go on a march in support of them? Hmm, I’m sorry, but I’m just not sure about that.

            • asclark says:

              Your careful nuanced opinion slyly equated Charlie Hebdo with the BNP. Apophasis per Wikipedia:

              “The device is typically used to distance the speaker from unfair claims, while still bringing them up. For instance, a politician might say, “I don’t even want to talk about the allegations that my opponent is a drunk.””

              Therefore I pointed out that the magazine is actually extremely left wing and attacks Christianity too. Insofar as there can be a religion of the elite in secular France, it is Catholicism and therefore it can’t be argued that the magazine purely dumps on the faith of immigrants and lets French religion off. Since the attack is on religion in general, rather than Islam in particular, equating it with the BNP is entirely wrong headed.

            • DrMcCoy says:

              @asclark: Yes, and many of their Christianity-attacking cartoons are equally problematic; I don’t like them either. And I say that as an (extremely?) left-wing atheist.

              Still, I’m not French, I’m German. I don’t speak French and I have never read that magazine. I admit that I don’t know the context and the social climate in France. And therefore I am not going to ignorantly show unreserved solidatory; I’m not going to say that I am Charlie; I’m not going to redistribute those cartoons. Because I don’t and can’t know the full implications of doing so.

              The only intellectually honest position for me is to condemn the murder, condemn violence and not say much about these cartoons in particular.

              I do however say that I don’t support unregulated limitless free speech. I favour drawing some lines, and many European countries, including Germany and France, already do. There are laws against harassment, against libel/slander, against hate speech (and “Volksverhetzung” as it is called in Germany). There are laws against denying the Holocaust specifically in several countries. I do think those laws are a good idea. Does that mean I have a statist / authoritarian streak in me? Maybe.

            • Llewyn says:

              Your careful nuanced opinion slyly equated Charlie Hebdo with the BNP.

              I suggest re-reading it; he quite clearly did not do that.

            • DrollRemark says:

              Your careful nuanced opinion slyly equated Charlie Hebdo with the BNP. Apophasis per Wikipedia:

              “The device is typically used to distance the speaker from unfair claims, while still bringing them up. For instance, a politician might say, “I don’t even want to talk about the allegations that my opponent is a drunk.””

              All the Greek words in the world can’t help you grasp a comparison, it seems. My point of mentioning a BNP cartoonist was an attempt to establish where the boundaries of uncritical support lie. Hell, since you’re a huge advocate of free speech, surely it shouldn’t matter that I used them as my example, since they have just as much right to exist as CH, right? And if one of them got hurt, you’d show instant support, wouldn’t you? I mean, you wouldn’t want to be a hypocrite, perish the thought!

              As Dr McCoy put it perfectly, I feel uncomfortable showing my solidarity with something I have almost no knowledge about, not whether or not they’re racist. And I’m absolutely not apologising for their killers, I’m a bit confused how you could even think that.

              The weird pressure groups trying to get all papers to publish the cartoons is much along the same lines, and has unseemly similarities to the Daily Mail’s annual “Why aren’t these people wearing poppies” shame-a-thon. I think the Guardian’s editorial line of “freedom of expression mean the freedom to choose whether or not we want to print those cartoons” put it perfectly.

            • DrollRemark says:

              I’ve never denied comparing them. I deny equating them. For someone who’s obviously smart enough to put together a cogent argument about freedom I would have hoped you might grasp that.

          • asclark says:

            “I suggest re-reading it; he quite clearly did not do that.”

            Apophasis, from the ancient Greek meaning, “Having your cake and eating it.”

            “Yes, and many of their Christianity-attacking cartoons are equally problematic; I don’t like them either. And I say that as an (extremely?) left-wing atheist.”

            So you’re saying you’ve got the right to be offended on the behalf of Christians? Obviously I can’t speak for every Christian but I only get offended when a person or entity appears to pick on Christianity as a weak target and inconsistently ignores Islam. Charlie Hebdo did not fall into that category so I don’t mind. The same incidentally applies to Dawkins. As he attacks all religions, I’m not bothered. Equally, it might be argued that attacking the Pope is not analagous to attacking Mohammed and the test is what I think of depictions of Jesus. Let me assure you that I’m not offended either by the Life of Brian or the Last Temptation of Christ.

            The problem with censorship which you argue for is that it doesn’t actually stop people thinking the thoughts they otherwise would but just sweeps them under the carpet and causes resentment which boils over in the end.

            • asclark says:

              “All the Greek words in the world can’t help you grasp a comparison, it seems.”

              If you say so. The rhetorical effect was to put the two things being compared in the same basket though.

              And no, I wouldn’t want to be a hypocrite and do support absolute freedom of speech, especially for those I disagree with, as this prevents society becoming an echo chamber.

              Insert Voltaire here.

      • RARARA says:

        It’s exactly what the likes of ISIS intends – create tension between moderate Muslims and the rest of the country, drive the former to to further radicalization through the feeling of marginalization and finally join the terrorist ranks (especially if they are young and unemployed).

        Don’t get me wrong, I’m from a Muslim community and I know how much overreaction there can be over portrayal of religious scripts and figure, but no one wants civilian deaths from terrorist attacks, especially considering it’s mostly other Muslims who bear the brunt of their assaults.

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          zapatapon says:

          Only tangentially related but somehow relevant seeing this is a gaming site: I’ve seen on some news outlet reports of recent trending islamist social media propaganda using the cover picture of “Spec Ops: The Line” (to depict a resolved islamist fighter). Seeing this felt… rather uncomfortable. Can’t find it any more though, as it seems to have been DMCA’ed (in this case I can understand the publisher not wanting to be associated with this at all). Has anyone else seen this?

          • RARARA says:

            I’m not familiar with the particular imagery, but I’m not surprised. Groups like Al Qaeda will appropriate almost anything to gain momentum in the social media sphere… including advertising in porn sites.

            Yup.

      • Geebs says:

        I look at it this way: CH’s staff really don’t deserve to be labelled satirists or cartoonists, but they don’t deserve to be dead either. The attack was more of a case of what was wrong with the individuals who did it than anything else, and a show of solidarity is OK as long as it doesn’t endorse the unpleasant messages of either party.

        On a positive, but still extremely sad, note, a similar incident involving somebody self-radicalised in the Gulf was dealt with very quickly by the authorities, who gave a clear message of not standing for this sort of thing.

        • iucounu says:

          Let’s be very sure we understand exactly what CH was doing before we make judgements. A lot of the superficially shocking covers I’ve seen around (principally, the Boko Haram one) turn out, in context, to be caricatures of racist attitudes, rather than racist caricatures.

        • El_Emmental says:

          “CH’s staff really don’t deserve to be labelled satirists or cartoonists, […] a show of solidarity is OK as long as it doesn’t endorse the unpleasant messages of either party.”

          Unless you know more about the Charlie Hebdo newspaper than the handful of front page covers spammed in social media without any context at all, you should seriously refrain from making such statements.

          DrMcCoy (commenting above) realized that he/she knew very little about CH and in full intellectual honesty simply decided to be against the violence and remain neutral about the magazine itself (I suppose until he/she learn more about it). That’s a much more honest reaction to the situation than yours.

          Satire: the use of humour, irony, exaggeration, or ridicule to expose and criticize people’s stupidity or vices, particularly in the context of contemporary politics and other topical issues.

          “… A feature of satire is strong irony or sarcasm—”in satire, irony is militant”[2]—but parody, burlesque, exaggeration,[3] juxtaposition, comparison, analogy, and double entendre are all frequently used in satirical speech and writing.”

          These covers and drawings are racist, xenophobic and hateful if you miss the entire parody, exaggeration, and double entendre – they “don’t deserve to be labeled satirists” yet you’re the one completely missing what is satire. Seriously, if you don’t know anything about a situation, please have the decency of looking it up before making such statements.

          • Geebs says:

            Personally I think that their stuff was too incoherent and lacking in wit to qualify as worthwhile satire. As I mentioned, it doesn’t mean I think they deserved to die, nor that the supposed offence the killers took is any excuse. Still doesn’t mean that the stereotype that easily-offended Muslims are somehow being appeased by the media is true either, or that the case is a freedom of speech issue. Hence I support a show of solidarity but not the surrounding political opinions.

      • LordOfPain says:

        I find it bizarre first that you have an issue with the French government being involved in a demonstration in support of innocent men and women butchered by evil cowards and second that you felt the need to raise it here without any sort of prompting.
        And the ‘social issues’ surrounding the incident? I assume you mean that Islamists are driven to perpetrate horrific crimes against civilians by evil Western society? Since that is what is continually repeated by people of a certain political bent. Despite the things that happen and have happened for so many years in places like Afghanistan and Nigeria.
        I’m sorry but I find the lack of appreciation for the human tragedy in these events galling.

        • Flatley says:

          I’ve seen far more outrage and hand wringing over insensitive (or potentially insensitive) remarks about Islam resulting from the murders than over the actual murders themselves.

          I think all of this “culture of offense” business is starting to come to a head, though – a variety of writers and thinkers are stepping up to call us on our bullshit. NYT had a good piece on it last week, and The Atlantic had a nice one yesterday.

          • Emeraude says:

            As much as the hand-wringing bothers me (for reasons best defined here I guess, there’s something of a new avatar of political correctness at work here, and I don’t like it) one issue remains I think: I don’t remember journalists doing the rounds after any ETA attack asking the Basque to denounce the terrorist acts – if it ever happened, it certainly didn’t happen to the massive extent to which we’re seeing the French media ask muslims to denounce the crimes perpetrated by other muslims.

            There is something at work which I have trouble to define, and which is probably the mirror on the secular side to the almost instant conspiracy theories developed by muslim youth around me to discredit the events as presented by journalists – as representatives of the authority..

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              zapatapon says:

              massive extent to which we’re seeing the French media ask muslims to denounce

              Do we now. I guess it must depend on which side of the political spectrum you look. Libération, a prominent left-wing journal (currently hosting what remains of the Charlie Hebdo staff), published
              this today, at the time of writing listed on top of their “most shared” articles. If you don’t read french, the title is “Charlie Hebdo attack: french Muslims have no duty to justify themselves for anything”. Also worthy of note is that Stéphane Charbonnier, one of the cartoonists killed in the attack, expressed the exact same opinion in a 2011 interview (also linked from Libération)

              Edit: from your other comments, I gather that you must be french of live in France, and probably have a better overview of the media coverage there (I live abroad). If what you report is correct, this saddens me.

            • Emeraude says:

              That we do yes. And you’re right we’re also seeing the contrary emerge, which kinda makes me hopeful – to a point.

              But I’m a very pessimistic person, so I tend to focus on the empty part of the glass.

              If anything, if Charb felt the need to address the issue, I think you can grant me that there are at least enough signs pointing at it being a problem ?

        • Gap Gen says:

          It’s something that I’ve been thinking about a lot recently, and as someone whose workplace is now under armed guard and who lives less than a mile away from where a policewoman was murdered, it’s not something where I can just change my Facebook profile picture and then forget about. (BTW, I appreciate that this is off-topic, so I understand if RPS prefer it’s discussed elsewhere)

          I’m less bothered by the French government organising the march than the fact that several of the invited heads of state have arrested journalists for exercising free speech, though I suppose it’s not really a protest if the government organises it because people aren’t trying to change the way the government is thinking. Like I said in another reply, I’m thankful that my freedom of speech is represented.

          Like you say, the intent of the attacks may have been to provoke people into attacking or marginalising French Muslims (indeed, there have been fifteen attacks against mosques, etc, after the Charlie Hebdo killings), and so radicalising them. Europe in general does have a problem with integrating immigrants, who are often from countries that were colonised by Europe in the past. France had a particularly ugly history in Algeria and other parts of the world (this is what was happening 100 years ago, for example: link to twitter.com, and the ugliness surrounding Algeria swung both ways: link to en.wikipedia.org). It’s also something that has happened in the past, and will probably happen again assuming Jihadism survives in the Muslim world – there were metro bombings in the 1990s, for example. Of course the attacks should be condemned – people shouldn’t be killed for their beliefs, and of course the French government’s security response is necessary. But France and the rest of Europe does have structural issues that it needs to address for the long term, and once the immediate anger has subsided and facts become clearer, it’s a debate that we will need to have. Here’s the Norwegian PM’s response to the white supremacist attacks that killed 77 people: link to norway-un.org

        • joa says:

          Yes, the amount of apologetics for the extremists surrounding the incident is almost as disturbing as the murders themselves.

          Pretty scary over the years how the left have gone from a message of “these are the actions of extremists and don’t represent all of Islam” to almost saying “those guys had it coming”.

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            zapatapon says:

            I have no idea what “left” you are talking about. In France, Charlie Hebdo themselves along with other more traditional left media were always very clear in both
            1/ Denouncing (for CH: ridiculing/offending) religious extremists
            2/ Not holding other muslims responsible for what the extremists are doing

          • TaylanK says:

            You know what’s more disturbing? People thinking it’s not possible to feel outraged at the atrocity AND at the same time think critically of CH and their political messages. This “you are either with us or against us” mentality is the bane of social harmony and understanding. Most social, political and economic problems we face on this planet today require a lot more nuanced and balanced approaches, than simply rushing to making up sides and joining one.

            • Flatley says:

              — “You know what’s more disturbing? People thinking it’s not possible to feel outraged at the atrocity AND at the same time think critically of CH and their political messages. ”

              The problem is that (as we’ve seen), it is nearly impossible to make a nuanced critique of CH’s political messages without coming off as an apologist for extremism. There’s no need for any of this “The terrorist attacks are deplorable, but…” analysis. What happened this week is bigger than politics.

              — “This “you are either with us or against us” mentality is the bane of social harmony and understanding.”

              When we are talking about a group of people who handle religious offense by gunning down the opposition, “with us or against us” is not a high standard to uphold. I can easily affirm that I am “against” that mentality. Is this a somehow ambiguous choice for you to make?

            • El_Emmental says:

              “… think critically of CH and their political messages.”

              The problem is how this is done without knowing about the social and political context surrounding these drawings, same with the satire, ridicule and double entendre surrounding these drawings. They’re provocative, but meticulously made to only make fun of the extremists (of all sides) by carefully documenting the issue – the point is always to piss off and ridicule the extremists, while showing you know the moderate well enough to not be hurtful.

              In the previous months, they were making fun of Daech and the Jihadists, not the muslim. In October 2014 (n°1163), the front page said “The french muslim are tired of the islamism” (designating the IS in the text), with the front page drawing being “If Mahomet was back…”, depicting a member of the IS with a butcher knife on the throat of the prophet, who’s saying “I’m the prophet, idiot”!” while the terrorist answer “Shut up, infidel!” (a clear allusion to the IS fanatics cutting the throat of other muslims in Syria and Iraq).

              In 2011, Charb – who was the main target of that attack – clearly said that he was “tired that we’re worried to see moderate muslims not reacting”, that “there is no moderate muslims in France. There is no ‘muslims’, there is people with a muslim culture, who respect the ramadan like I can do christmas and eat turkey at my parents, but they don’t have to commit more than that as ‘moderate muslims’ against the radical Islam, because they are not ‘moderate muslism’, they’re citizens. And as citizen they act, they get Charlie Hebdo, they demonstrate with us, they vote against these right-wing cunts. What pisses me of is how we always call them out ‘as moderate muslim’, there is no moderate muslim. It would be like asking me: “React like a moderate catholic”. I am not a moderate catholic even if I’m baptised. I am not catholic at all”.

              But of course if you missed all that, if you missed the entire satire, the entire cultural, social and political context, then yes Charlie Hebdo is just a bunch of reactionary arses.

            • TaylanK says:

              “Is this a somehow ambiguous choice for you to make?”

              Nice strawman there. Thanks for proving my point.

      • Emeraude says:

        The thing that amuses me is that I don’t believe one instant the Charlie people would have liked what is being done with their death (some of those that survive don’t seem to be liking it either), and quite certainly would have mocked it.

        The mixture of navel-gazing, misplaced sacralization and opportunistic misappropriation that we are witnessing has an underpinning both ridiculous and disgusting, and they certainly would have ridiculed it in the disgusting childish ways they so enjoyed.

        I’ve never been a huge fan of their humor, though when they hit right they did it brilliantly (people may have an issue with the Mahomet representations, a valid one, but as the miscreant daughter of a muslim and a catholic*, I think what made them so abhorrent to a certain brand of Islam is that they were, on a certain level, perfectly representative of what they’ve been doing with religion; they mustn’t have liked that mirror), but certainly they didn’t deserve to die, and as added insult to the fatal injury to have their death turned into the antithesis of what they stood for while alive.

        *: amusing that my English spell-checker demands a capital letter for muslim but not for catholic. Understandable, but amusing.

        • Gap Gen says:

          Apparently there is a difference between “Catholic” and “catholic” – “catholic” can mean Christianity as a whole (according to Wikipedia, anyway).

          • El Goose says:

            It can also be used as an adjective in a non-religious sense to imply “wide-ranging”, so like “catholic tastes.”

            • Llewyn says:

              Or, more traditionally, ‘universal’ (from the Greek katholikos). This sense of catholic is the origin of Catholic.

            • El Goose says:

              Ah yes, you are entirely correct, I think that’s what I was reaching towards but your description was a lot better. My forgetting of the etymology of Catholic It doesn’t speak particularly well about my being a student of classical Greek, does it? :-)

        • Meneldil says:

          Good thing then, that we didn’t march for Charlie Hebdo, but to let it be known that we will fight for the values we hold dear.

          I didn’t like CH much: too vulgar, too pipi-caca-bite for my taste. But I was there, and I was proud to be there, and proud of what I saw.

          This wasn’t an attack on Charlie Hebdo. It was an attack on free speech, France, and more broadly, the western world.

      • jonahcutter says:

        As has been explained to me, the Charlie Hebdo cartoons aren’t racist. Some interesting commentary about it here:

        link to quora.com

        A tldr comparison (for those perhaps more familiar with U.S. culture anyway) would be insisting Stephen Colbert is actually a racist, totalitarian, oligarch because he portrays one.

        Without context, and across language/cultural borders, the cartoons do seem racist. And Stephen Colbert has fooled people into thinking he is actually a Randian right-wing buffoon, in no small part because he doesn’t break character. Charlie Hebdo does something similar with their cartoons. They portray the character (or idea) they are lampooning, without ever breaking character within the cartoon.

        • El Goose says:

          Thank you for that link, it was very informative. What I find most frustrating about the attempts to paint Charlie Hebdo as racist is the insinuation that this somehow makes their being murdered more understandable or palatable. Even if they were an instrument of right wing reaction that still wouldn’t change how horrific their deaths were.

      • AngoraFish says:

        These kinds of popular post-event reactions, just like similar popular responses after 911 and the recent terrorist siege in Australia, or even the death of Princess Dianna (walls of flowers, commemoration books, politicians needing to be seen to ‘do something’), say far more about unrelenting, wall-to-wall sensationalised media coverage traumatising populations than they have to say about any of these actual incidents.

        • Emeraude says:

          Come on, I’m a monster of cynicism myself, but however we might think it misplaced, there was something overall positive on display there today. It’s going to be used, capitalized on from all the wrong people , tainted, there were some vile undercurrents below it all, but as of today it was mostly a decent manifestation of a positive public sentiment. And hopefully, it will end up not being a purely cathartic burn out, and some of it ends up shaping things to come if only a little bit for the better.

          Not to mention some people will have met their significant other today and have great sex tonight. Oh and all the restaurants working on Sunday are going to make a killing.

          Whatever, us killjoys will have our grim time later. Let positive people have theirs.

          Oh, and I just spotted my favorite homage to the Charlie people. I think they would have loved that one.

          • El Goose says:

            I just had a heartwarming series of little mental vignettes of people meeting together at the rallies today and then going home and fucking vigorously. Thank you for those images, they’re really rather charming in their own way :-)

            • Emeraude says:

              I refuse to be held responsible for any happiness you might have felt, or any joyful scene you might have imagined.

              #iamgrumpy

          • AngoraFish says:

            I’m not saying that emotional outpourings aren’t genuine, just that they’re clearly triggered by the tone and length of media coverage rather than the events themselves. These kinds of public outpourings simply don’t occur where TV coverage is limited to a short mention in the top half of the nightly news. They occur when regular programming is cancelled in favour of looping repeats of the same one or two tramatic videos cut and edited in different ways, underscored by dramatic music and hysterical commentary from talking heads mouthing platitudes and speculating about doom-like scenarios, all broadcast endlessly into people’s living rooms.

            • Emeraude says:

              Victor Hugo’s death brought an estimated two million people in Paris. but then you might argue that it was brought by newspapers. And before that it would have been the town criers.

              Of course the public channels of communication are going to be instrumental to those events. Of course the people who own and control those channels – and the socio-political class of the people that make the channels – are going to be able to influence them. And are going to try and manipulate it. Consciously or not.

              But without the will of the people to act in the first place, they wouldn’t be able to move them.

              And without them the event would find its way. Do you think the gathering of people in Paris in 1945 were generated by the media ?
              Do you think the gathering of people this week-end would have been this big – would have even happened – if the people killed had been right-wing hate-mongers ?

            • AngoraFish says:

              Obviously certain themes and/or personalities appeal to the popular zeitgeist, and mass media is very adept at identifying and, unconsciously or not, exploiting that. It’s not a conspiracy, it’s just entertainment.

              None of which changes the fact that there almost certainly wouldn’t have been a gathering at all had coverage been limited to a normal level (eg newspaper front pages and standard TV news bulletins only).

              Had Boko Haram’s massacre of 2,000 women and children in Nigeria the next day received wall to wall coverage you can be sure that another version of “Do They Know It’s Christmas?” would be in the recording studio as we speak.

          • Premium User Badge

            zapatapon says:

            some people will have met their significant other today at the Charlie Hebdo memorial rally and have great sex tonight

            As far as I’m concerned, the best homage to the “Charlie Spirit” I’ve been given to read is right above. Thanks for that!

        • El_Emmental says:

          “sensationalised media coverage traumatising populations”

          That’s complete bollocks and you know it. You’re projecting the 9/11 neo-cons terrorismploitation and blindly applying it to the situation, to pretend you have agency in your life – how a smart man you are. How many pages of “The Society of the Spectacle” have you read so far?

          Here’s how the media obviously ‘traumatized’ me:

          I was in the street, coming back from work, when my brother called: “terrorists just attacked Charlie Hebdo, they shot Cabu, Charb, Honoré, Tignous, Wolinski, they killed them all”. He got the news from a friend on Facebook, who works in a company whose headquarter is just nearby, so his colleagues warned him about the ongoing attack. The evil manipulating media at it again I guess.

          I was on my bike, stopping on the side of the road to answer that call. It was completely surreal. “What… But… What…” is the only thing I could say. I just couldn’t believe it, it took me at least 30 min to just accept that such thing was possible, that it was the reality I was currently living. Thousands of people spontaneously regrouped at the main town square, long before the TV news were running the story and showing footages, long before the “Je Suis Charlie”. We just couldn’t believe what was happening, we felt we had to show we were not backing down. The police scrambled forces left and right to secure the area as much as they could, while the local journalists showed up late to take some pictures of the crowd. That was only 4 hours after the guns started firing on the journalists.

          I really don’t know how the idea that people could go in the streets to defend the freedom of expression and mourn the death of the most important satirical newspaper in France (the only one left) is so foreign to you that it must be “the media” behind it, that it must be ignorant people only showing up because they were told to.

          I’ll just turn a blind eye to how extremely disrespectful and condescending it is for all the people who showed up despite the risks, both on the 7th and then again on the 10th/11th – I believe that explaining what it was about and how it happened is much more important than simply being insulted by the ignorance of a few.

          Charlie Hebdo has been there for 45 years (1970), created by a good bunch of the Hara Kiri crew (1960, that makes 55 years) after the “bête et méchant” satirical newspaper was banned for making a joke combining the recent death of De Gaulle and the media dramatizing a recent fire at a ballroom (“bal tragique”). Just like in the UK when people recently rose against the glorification of the Iron Lady by the worst thatcherists, the Hara Kiri (soon Charlie Hebdo) band was there to take down the General from the pedestal the gaullists had set up for political gain.

          For 45 years, it was the only place where we could find caricatures and satire of all people, groups and politicians, where nothing was sacred and untouchable – not even themselves – (they loved to criticize their own work as mean, tasteless and stupid).

          The people who died that day were the only people left from the May 68 era and its irreverent rebellious spirit. In an age where everyone is “offended” and criticism is seen as a threat and a danger first (a terrible repeat of the appeasement mentality) they were badly needed.

          That’s why people showed up in numbers. They fucking knew what Charlie Hebdo was and what it represented for the french culture and society.

          In the demonstration on the 7th and on the 11th, I looked at the crowd to see who was there: mostly people in their 50s-60s, some late-20s/30s adults. The demographic was much more made of bookworms who read Le Monde than people who own a TV, let alone watch it. Painting it as a bunch of media marketer setting up a drama event for media-enslaved tools is incredibly ignorant of the situation.

          9/11 was Ben Laden attacking the symbol of the US economic super power, the media made it about Freedom™ Fries™,
          Diana’s car accident was paparazzis (and the celebrity magazines they work for, all paid by their readers) being what they are -fucking scumbag-, the media made it about the death of the good-natured innocent celebrity poster-child princess.

          The Charlie Hebdo attack was terrorists attacking the freedom of expression and satire, and now media are trying to turn it into a historical moment with the world leaders banding up against terror (when only time will tell if it will be the case or not).

          People in France are shocked because journalists were killed, not because some evil media are telling us that the western civilization is in danger or whatever crap the far-right will try to push – that shit isn’t even showing up on TV.

          edit: let me answer everything in one post.

          “I’m not saying that emotional outpourings aren’t genuine, just that they’re clearly triggered by the tone and length of media coverage rather than the events themselves.”

          As explained above, that’s – sincerely – an idiotic if not ignorant statement. If you don’t know what Charlie Hebdo was for people in France, please look it up before making such judgments. Were you in the streets, in the offices, in the homes of french people when it happened?

          The reaction abroad to the attacks might have been the result of the media coverage (I don’t live abroad so I can’t say how it happened there, it’s very probable Charlie Hebdo was relatively unknown outside of france so most people only feel sad because of the coverage there), but in France it wasn’t the same at all, Charlie Hebdo is a very special part of the french culture, society and history. It is the very attack that shocked the french people, not whatever later showed up on TV.

          “These kinds of public outpourings simply don’t occur where TV coverage is limited to a short mention in the top half of the nightly news. They occur when regular programming is cancelled in favour of looping repeats of the same one or two tramatic videos cut and edited in different ways, underscored by dramatic music and hysterical commentary from talking heads mouthing platitudes and speculating about doom-like scenarios, all broadcast endlessly into people’s living rooms.”

          I said it before, I’ll say it again: that’s projecting the 9/11 terrorismploitation (channels showing the Twin Towers attacks on loop 24/7) without ever paying attention to what actually happened in France.

          In the hours after the attacks, the media coverage was only reporting that an attack happened at Charlie Hebdo, saying it was unclear who was behind it (despite the initial clues hinting at jihadists, already being available to the journalists). The simple information that CH was attacked was way enough for people to immediately form up massive crowds in all major towns, a handful of hours after the shooting.

          There was no dramatic music, no “expert” calling it the beginning of the apocalypse, no hysterical commentary asking people to prepare for war. The few ‘guests’ who wondered if it was a “war” beginning were immediately told they were stupid and reacting irrationally. The scheduling was only changed for a few hours, on the news channels only, before continuing the planned schedule. People weren’t panicking: they were still going outside, to the grocery store for example. Even the jewish “casher” grocery stores, despite having information hinting that it was a jihadist attack.

          That’s why there were so many people there when the 3rd terrorist attacked the grocery store and set up a siege, 2 days later and with the 2 other terrorists on the run. These twenty hostages (4 killed, 1 escaped, 15 detained or hiding) were there because people weren’t freaking out, because that fantasy of the manipulating media simply wasn’t there, no matter how reassuring that would be for you.

          “Obviously certain themes and/or personalities appeal to the popular zeitgeist, and mass media is very adept at identifying and, unconsciously or not, exploiting that. It’s not a conspiracy, it’s just entertainment.”

          Oh yeah, murdering journalists in broad daylight is “popular zeitgeist” now, it’s entertainment. But you’re not falling for that, you’re better than this, you’re better than these sheeps. Fucking hell. Politkovskaya getting shot in the head on Putin’s birthday was probably the funniest entertainment ever, whoo, I really enjoyed that show when I read that news online.

          There’s still people out there reading and paying for quality newspapers you know? People who don’t use information as entertainment at all, people who take these things seriously. Pointing at the couch potatoes just to justify your “traumatizing media” fantasy is severely pathetic.

          “None of which changes the fact that there almost certainly wouldn’t have been a gathering at all had coverage been limited to a normal level (eg newspaper front pages and standard TV news bulletins only).”

          Hng… With that sentence you just showed you did 0 research, you just picked the “9/11 drama” ball and ran with it. Town squares were packed on the January 7th 2015 afternoon, by people who just heard about the attacks by their friends, on the phone or social media, long before the old media networks caught up with it.

          And seriously, “normal level of coverage” when a terrorist attack specifically targets journalists right in front of them?! (other journalists were in the nearby buildings FYI). You want the other journalists to sit and wait like nothing happened, “oh, and in other news, A WHOLE FUCKING NEWSPAPER WAS MURDERED TODAY. On to the weather forecast and celebrity gossip now…”

          If half the journalists at the Times or the Grauniad were assassinated in broad daylight, there would be proper coverage and not just a footnote about it the next day – it’s the fourth power for fock sake, that’s the equivalent of members of the parliament or senate being murdered on the benches! That goes way beyond “a bunch of people killed, too bad”, that’s a direct attack to a society’s core institutions.

          “Had Boko Haram’s massacre of 2,000 women and children in Nigeria the next day received wall to wall coverage you can be sure that another version of “Do They Know It’s Christmas?” would be in the recording studio as we speak.”

          Oh, the infamous “eat your peas, kids in Africa are starving” argument. How practical.

          First, the part where two if not three highly-trained terrorists armed with AK-47 and a RPG7, who just killed 12 people and injured 11, escaped the police forces and were hiding somewhere in Paris & its region. If that’s not an information worth reporting, despite being life-threatening for anyone within 200 km around Paris, what kind of information do you think would be worth reporting?!

          The 2000 civilians killed in Nigeria weren’t forgotten in the french media, but what do you think the french/western nations can additionally do about it? They’re already dedicating their intelligence agencies, satellite imagery, airstrikes and troops to fight extremists in Africa (spending millions of dollars and their limited military resources to help these countries – the successful campaign in Mali is a clear example of that). You want them to go some several extra miles and re-colonize Africa to take full control of it, including the media coverage for the nigerians?

          The french or westerners have no rights to claim the nigerian society as their own, to invade, arrest and kill in its name. We saw the results in Iraq, in Somalia: the road to hell is paved with “supposedly good” intentions.

          To me it seems you’re completely missing the purpose and meaning journalism can have within a society, by solely focusing on the budget challenge of journalism, the need to have enough hits/readers to survive and/or turn a profit. Generalizing about the entire media and press worldwide by assimilating them to Fox News or the Daily Mail only gives you an overly simplistic and very limited view of what is today’s journalism.

          The coverage of an event is directly related to how we can do something about it and how we’re personally affected by it – if a volcano’s eruption covers an entire town, it’s a terrible tragedy, especially for the families/friends of the victim, but once it’s over it’s over: we can’t do something about it but evacuate the nearby area in case of repeats, help the refugees and improve prevention as well as the warning system. It’s not gonna last long in the news and there won’t be millions in the streets for that, because there’s nothing more we can do about it. When there’s flooding or a deadly storm in Europe, you don’t ask South America to massively cover it – simply because they can’t do anything about it (beyond what they already do, like sending equipment or rescue teams if needed).

          In the case of the Charlie Hebdo attacks, french can do something about it and french have the right to do something about it: it is on the french territory that these attacks happened, it is a french newspaper that was attacked, by french citizens, and it is a core value of the french nation (freedom of expression) that was specifically targeted by the french terrorists. I seriously don’t see how it couldn’t legitimately be the concern of the french people and their media.

          Perhaps you’re just hiding behind cynicism to make the world look simple again. It’s all the media, ideologies are dead, move along everyone. That’s plain intellectual laziness.

    4. Hyoscine says:

      Is there any other kind of chocolate penis?

    5. Anthile says:

      There’s also Eurogamer on Marc Ericksen’s game covers and Killscreen’s interesting article on video game torture from around last Christmas.

    6. amateurviking says:

      I fucking love Mogwai.

      • Faldrath says:

        And that’s the best song from Rave Tapes. Mogwai meets Tangerine Dream? Yes, please!

      • Prolar Bear says:

        WE ARE MOGWAI FROM GLASGOW SCOTLAND

      • LionsPhil says:

        Wow, around the three-minute mark it seriously wakes up. Nice.

      • Ross Angus says:

        Ditto. And after hearing that track, I bought the album on CD. because apparently it’s still 1999.

    7. Melody says:

      Todd Harper wrote about why Dragon Age Inquisition presents the same problems as having sex with oversized penises.
      link to chaoticblue.com

      Jason Kottke quoted from a book that argues that violent play may not be as bad as some of us fear, and it may actually be beneficial.
      link to kottke.org

      Thanks for the links to the Mountain article and to the Robert Yang talk :D

      • Premium User Badge

        Lars Westergren says:

        Laugh out loud stuff, the “big penis” article, plus made me think.

        Turns out virtual Sminglenaut me even more inept than real me.

      • LionsPhil says:

        The Yang article is neat, although I still think the name-dropped Kindness Coins itself remains the most cutting and concise indictment of the handling of “romance” by games.

    8. disconnect says:

      Jon Blyth’s Eurogamer piece on NPC barks certainly made me bark… with laughter, that is!

      • Turkey says:

        I’d like to see a dead serious 200 million dollar FPS that looks like COD or something, with the only difference being that the NPC’s constantly mispronounce things.

        • Premium User Badge

          Grizzly says:

          They already do that in CoD when they are speaking just about any foreign language. Or it has the mooks speaking the entirely wrong langauge (arabic for pakistanis, for instance)

          • pepperfez says:

            (arabic for pakistanis, for instance)
            This…this can’t be true, can it?

      • LionsPhil says:

        Marvellous.

        I love the reload ones in the spreadsheet.

      • RARARA says:

        I honestly hope he keeps adding to his spreadsheet of NPC barks.

    9. Geebs says:

      Not that I give a shit about Mountain, but arguing about whether it’s a game based on it being made in a game engine is like arguing about whether my shopping list is a novel because it’s written on paper.

      • LionsPhil says:

        The insecurity around the whole dispute is hilarious. It’s totally possible to use game tech to make things that are not games but, for example, little art pieces. Sierra were doing it in 1986, using the same engine as King’s Quest et. al. It’s OK, it’s fine.

        • rustybroomhandle says:

          Don’t forget Johnny Castaway. A “screen saver” perhaps, but I remember people staring at it for hours to see what Mr Castaway would do next.

      • blind_boy_grunt says:

        i think the point was more: the shopping list went throught editing, typesetting, print and is in bookstores now. And now you’re question is “how is the plot?”, whereas the question should be: “is it any good?”

        • aoanla says:

          Well, no – there are even plenty of typeset, proofread, printed and bound things written on paper which are not novels. Recipe books, diaries, technical manuals, plays… “Novel” says something about the intent of a piece which is not incorporated merely in the *mechanical* processes of making it.

          More to the point: why does it matter that some people don’t think that Mountain is a game? It’s clearly an interactive art piece of some kind, but apparently it is important to the author of the item that it be specifically considered a “game” as well as an “art piece”. There’s nothing wrong with Mountain not being a game (if it isn’t), just like there’s nothing wrong with The Importance of Being Earnest being a play rather than a novel. (And the author is being disingenuous when dismissing the “not a game” camp’s use of definitional terms – sure, he gets to call it a game, but I get to call this post right here a poem with just as much justification as he’s using.)

          • blind_boy_grunt says:

            good points, i think. But what do you get out of calling it a “not game”? It’s just a semantics fight, which on the internet mostly occures when no one has anything interesting left to say. The problem is when you think saying “ha, not a game!”, means anything and validates concerns like “why is this on steam, why do you write about it (you’re a gaming site)” etc.
            Why do you post your poetry here, btw? I thought this is a gaming site?

            • aoanla says:

              Well, I think part of the problem is that “videogame” has become, for some people, not a modification of the noun “game”, but a noun which incorporates all kinds of interactive software intended for non-utilitarian purposes.

              To go back to our analogy, it’s as if the word “paperback novel” got extended to mean all kinds of fiction published as paperbacks, rather than simply “novels” in paperback format.

              Now, I suspect that the historical cause of this is down to the mechanics of how you actually get works published. There are book publishers which publish all kinds of fiction, publishers which concentrate on prose fiction, publishers which concentrate on poetry and so forth. In the context of software, I don’t think there’s been enough, yet, “non-game” interactive entertainment/cultural software in existence to justify the existence of a publisher specialising in it (or a specialist press, say, to publish criticism or reviews of such software). So, such software is published by the nearest equivalent publishers that you can shoe-horn it into relevance for – games publishers.

              So, I guess I’m happy with saying, under the wider definition that “videogame” is acquiring as a non-subset of “game”, “Mountain is a videogame, but not a game”.

          • AXAXAXAS MLO II: MLO HARDER says:

            “There’s nothing wrong with Mountain not being a game (if it isn’t)”

            No, but there’s a lot wrong with calling Mountain not a game when it clearly is. It’s an attempt to narrow down what a game is, so that when a game tries something different, instead of engaging and criticizing it, one can dismiss it by saying it’s not a game.

            There’s nothing wrong with admitting that Mountain is a kind of game you have no interest in and can hardly see the fun in it. I think the same thing about SAUSAGE’s, but I wouldn’t say they aren’t games.

            • Vinraith says:

              It really does interactive art like Mountain no favors to call it a “game.” That word carries expectations and those expectations are not met by the product. It’s an art project, an art project many people greatly enjoy, why should it have to be mislabeled in order to be validated?

              I mean good lord, look at the Steam tags: Simulation? God Game? Action-Adventure? How does creating a completely false expectation of the experience benefit anyone?

            • aoanla says:

              That’s actually a non-position, as you’ve never said what you mean by the word “game”, and you’re treating the concept that something isn’t a game as an unavoidable insult against it.

              Mountain is a piece of software which generates a 3d rendered image of a floating mountain/island in a window. Things happen to this mountain/island, which you apparently cannot influence yourself, but which may be unique to each instance. People develop an attachment to their particular instance of Mountain, and develop emotional responses to the things that happen to it, feeling sad when that instance reaches its programmed end.

              I would argue that, in any medium other than “videogames”, this would be hard to categorise as a “game” – games have characteristics (amongst which the Author of Mountain lists when accusing people of being mean when saying Mountain isn’t a game, include “win states” and “fail conditions”) most fundamentally including some kind of interactivity. Mountain does not have explicit interactivity, nor does it try to.

              In general, Mountain resembles a piece of personalised art. It exists to produce emotional responses. It has a no interactivity save that internal to the viewer’s internal representation of it. That it changes state and is personal to the user does not make it Not Art (and indeed, the writer claims that it Is Art), and it certainly does not make it a Game (Movies change state continuously, and it’s not obvious that Mountain is any different than a personalised movie for each person who executes it).

              Again: it is not a pejorative to say Mountain is not a game. It is simply a case of using words to mean what words mean. Mountain is a fine thing. It is a piece of art. It is not a game. (It may be a videogame, though.)

              (If you really want to argue about the meaning of words, you actually have to try to define what you mean by them. Tell me *why you think Mountain is a game*.)

            • AXAXAXAS MLO II: MLO HARDER says:

              Mountain is a game because it affords me the same feelings I get from exploring fictitious geography in many pieces of software whose status as games are not questioned, like Skyrim if I had ever actually enjoyed Skyrim. The reason people latch on to things like “fail states” and “win conditions” is because they, themselves, find those to be the most important, defining attributes of games, and therefore anything that lacks those aren’t games. This point of view was so prevalent that for decades games were designed assuming this was true. When ‘walking simulators’ came around, those people’s assumptions were challenged; however, people like me saw a continuum between walking around in Proteus and wandering around looking at random pieces of rock and bizarre freeway strips in F. U. E. L. (OK, maybe I was the only one who played F. U. E. L.) only without the annoying bits that were being forced in because of the “tested wisdom” of the fail states/win conditions crowds, i.e. that such a world such exist in a way that allowed me to conquer challenges within it (mostly dudes wot try to kill me) and that it should be partioned off and conquered as my skill in the game reveals. This is anathema to the fact that most people play GTA by driving around randomly and ramping off buildings, or the success of the free-building version of the Just Cause 2 multiplayer mod that allows people to drive around randomly and ramp off buildings. (You might argue that those games do have fail states, but you wouldn’t argue that the fact you can die while pissing around in any GTA or JC2 adds significantly to the experience, or that most people don’t turn off the ability to die if that is an option.)

              The small bits of interactivity that Mountain does have enable me to engage with it in a different way than I would if it was just a video of a mountain that randomly added top hats to it. Because I engage with it as I engage with many games I’ve played, I’ve found it is a game. If you haven’t engaged with it as a game, it doesn’t mean you’re wrong or you’re not engaging with games properly – it just means we’re different, and there is no reason for your form of engagement to win over mine.

            • aoanla says:

              Actually, no. People use terminology like “win conditions” and “fail states”, because they are fundamental to what a game is.
              Back in the day, Maxis marketed many of their Sim “games” as “software toys” for exactly this reason – a toy is a thing that you interact with and gain potentially mental challenge from interacting with, but does not have the framework of a competitive context that a game has.

              GTA and Skyrim, played with as a way to experience the scenery and environs but without engaging with the layer of missions which provide the win/fail conditions, are being treated as toys in this sense. (In a similar sense to the way in which a set of dice are toys, but can be used to play the game Yahtzee.)

              People make the distinction between games and toys not because they value games more than toys, but because it is useful to be able to distinguish between these two types of thing. By deciding that “all things you interact with” are games, you narrow the English language and make it less descriptive and effective.
              You also invite precisely the kind of criticism that Proteus and other software toys invite from people who, using the word “game” correctly, expect that a game will provide a framework for win and fail states, and are upset when a thing marketed as a game does not do that.
              Describing Mountain (and Proteus) as software toys avoids this by defining expectations of your interaction context accordingly – as Vinraith notes, it is doing Mountain a disservice to attach the tag “game” to it.

            • Geebs says:

              Of course, whether or not it’s a game has no bearing on whether it should be sold on Steam or any other electronic storefront.

            • aoanla says:

              Well, exactly – Steam doesn’t just sell games now anyway, so it’s an especially moot point.

      • Distec says:

        Yeah, didn’t care much for David’s statement there. It’s not pseudo-intellectual to state that your videogame isn’t really a game. Great if you don’t give a shit, although the rest of that part does make it sound like your jimmies are rustled.

        • airmikee says:

          Hahahahaha, you don’t care much for someone’s opinion about you that doesn’t give a shit about your opinion about their game. That’s hilarious.

      • AngusPrune says:

        It’s no longer controversial to suggest that there exists a category of game designed almost exclusively to appeal to a certain sort of youtube celebrity, existing almost solely as a prop for their on-air personality in a sort of symbiotic relationship that gets the youtuber views, and the game sales. Surgeon simulator, Goat Simulator, Slender, Five Nights at Freddie’s are all confirmed members of the genre.

        I’d like to propose in a similar vein that there exists a category of game that exist solely to appeal to a certain brand of games critic. These games are devoid of entertainment or didactic value, but never the less have found a niche in filling column inches of games magazines struggling to come to terms with their role in a world where gamers can form their own opinion of games from extensive gameplay videos, or simply buy them at absurdly cheap prices in sales or bundles and write off the purchase if it turns out to be a bad decision.

        Mountain may have been the first in the genre, but it’s certainly the poster child.

        • airmikee says:

          Isn’t that all 100% and entirely subjective? I find no entertainment or value in games like Far Cry, Assassins Creed, Dark Souls, the Witcher, and RPS’s latest obsession, Smite. Does that mean those games suddenly aren’t games just because of my opinion?

          Nobody is saying you have to like Mountain, or other games that you don’t think are games. You don’t have to buy it, you don’t have to play it, you really don’t even have to think about it. So what difference does it make to you if someone else buys it, plays it, thinks about it or *gasp* likes it?

          I don’t own Mountain, I haven’t played it, and I’ve rarely put much thought into it. But seeing the developers comment that he doesn’t give a shit about people that don’t think his game is a game makes me reconsider all of that. I’ve just added it to my Wishlist and I’ll pick it up next time I go on a shopping spree, partly to support an artistic dev that’s thinking outside the box, and partly just to stick it in the craw of haters and whiners.

          • aoanla says:

            …dude.

            Try to read what people write before responding to them.

            ArgusPrune didn’t say anything about Mountain not being a game. They said that they thought it was devoid of didactic or entertainment value. Something can be a game and still devoid of those qualities (in which case it will probably be a poor game, but still a game).

            The people in this thread saying that they don’t think Mountain is a game are also mostly the people who are supporting the validity of Mountain as a piece of software, and of art. I realise that this apparently difficult for you to grasp, but there’s a difference between “considering something worthwhile” and “agreeing with the creator as to the classification of a thing”. (For example, if I found a cure for cancer, as a complex organic molecule, then that would be laudable. If I then announced that it was a boat, then people would rightly deride me for claiming something obviously false, even though it had tremendous value to humanity.)

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          Phasma Felis says:

          I have never watched a Goat Simulator video. I love Goat Simulator. Your argument is invalid.

        • DrollRemark says:

          I think it was Mat Lees video about Mountain that said much the same (I paraphrase): critics love Mountain because they can have it sat their open, doing it’s funny little thing while they’re staring at a blank document and wondering what to write about. Your average Steam downvoter dislikes Mountain because they’re have a job where they’re not allowed to sit there with a game running during the day, and when they get home and get a chance to play something, they want to something that actually involves playing.

      • LogicalDash says:

        The operational definition of game he gives — that made by a game developer, with game making tools, published by a game publisher, bought by people browsing Steam or Humble — does have the benefit of being used by a large number of people. The very same people mentioned in the definition, in fact.

        It’s difficult to avoid reducing the meaning of “game” in this way. You might have some aesthetic theory about games that doesn’t apply to those like Mountain, in which case the definition used in that theory will naturally exclude it. This won’t get Mountain removed from GOG.com, though.

        You can argue all you like that Mountain should not be sold where video games are sold, or should be shelved with the dev kits and video capture software, but in order to actually refute the description of Mountain as a “game” in the operational sense, you’d have to say that Mountain is not presently being sold as a game.

        I see no one doing this. I conclude that the people who say it’s “not a game” are doing so in the service of some aesthetic theory or other. I might want to hear about those theories, actually, but I don’t think the particular definition of a term used in the theory is the first thing one should hear of it.

        • aoanla says:

          Actually, they’re doing so because the theory of games, as taught, says that the distinction between a game and a toy is that a “game” has some kind of contest involved where you can win or lose, and a toy is more open ended. (You can use toys to play games if you invent some contest to use them in.)

          I note that Maxis did define Sim City and the other early Sim software as “software toys” for this reason.

    10. dfuse says:

      Dark Souls. It’s been since the original X-COM and Planescape Torment that a game sucked me so into its world. I wonder if I’ll ever be able to enjoy a game as much after finishing it. Which might not be bad, I’m starting to ignore the real world and getting really tired from not sleeping enough.

    11. Blackcompany says:

      I hate to say this, and perhaps I am simply jaded and cynical: But stripped of all that romantic language and mushy whatnot that culture attaches to them, relationships, at their most basic, are little more than psychological puzzles where certain behaviors result in rewards from a partner. And among the most common rewards a relationship partner tends to offer is, well…sex.

      Some of the behaviors necessary to receive rewards will most certainly be or appear “romantic” in the eyes of a given culture. Others will simply involve helping around the house, or with the children for those that have them. The necessary behaviors, their frequency, duration, etc, will inevitably vary from one relationship to the next. And certain behaviors may be necessary in one relationship while not necessary – or even frowned upon – in others. This only enhances the perspective that all relationships are, at their most basic, psychological puzzles wherein a given set of well timed behaviors repeated with the correct frequency and performed in accordance with a certain set of criteria or expectations, will result in rewards from a partner, up to and (frequently) including sex.

      So yeah…not really that far fetched a perspective, when you examine relationships from a purely psychological or even purely biological perspective.

      Granted, sex happens in relationships for reasons that also have nothing to do with rewarding behaviors. Humans are not primarily concerned with behavioral conditioning of their partners. But it certainly does happen as a reward for (contextually) “correct” behavior as well. So yes, from a certain perspective, relationships are essentially real life puzzle games with sex as one possible reward. Its not necessarily romantic and it isnt going to sell hallmark cards but that doesnt make it untrue.

      • Zallgrin says:

        I feel like you are describing not long-term relationships, but one-night stands. What people get from relationships is emotional support, love and having a cool, interesting person around. Sex is great and all, but having a stranger in bed won’t help you if you feel miserable, alone and shitty at 3 am.

        Human relationships are not as much puzzles with input/output, but a constant cycle of giving and taking to and from each other. Eventually both will have more than they have started with, if the relationship works right.

        • LionsPhil says:

          Even if we’re going hurf-durf “just animals with airs and graces”, stable relationship-building is more for support for raising the young than producing the young in the first place.

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            Grizzly says:

            The thesis also doesn’t readily explain why asexual people can develop romantic relationships.

      • Melody says:

        You are very cynical.

        Seeing relationships as puzzles is wrong for all kinds of reasons, first of all because of motivation. You don’t behave appropriately in a relationship in order to obtain a reward, you do so because you care about the other person. And they’re not puzzles because there isn’t one fixed solution, but it’s a constant negotiation of your interests and your personality with your partner’s. It’s never totally selfish nor totally selfless.

        And also, as Yang points out, only Pick Up Artist culture would see a relationship as a puzzle. That’s actually attempted manipulation. What you are supposedly doing in a relationship is getting to know another human being at first, then loving them, and then living your lives together because it’s better than the alternative, for everyone involved.

        You’re a heterosexual man, right? At least your choice of words suggests as much: “helping around the house, or with the children”. You wouldn’t clean your own house, without a romantic partner? If it wasn’t a partner, but someone you hated, wouldn’t you still split the housework evenly? You shouldn’t receive a prize for doing your part. Really, your wording has unfortunate implications that I’ll not explicitly draw out because I’d rather assume you didn’t mean them.

        Also, sex shouldn’t simply be a reward because it’s much more complex and interesting and meaningful than getting a cookie for doing something. It’s also much more complex than “that act one performs to achieve an orgasm”, i.e. it’s more than a simple-minded means to an end. It’s yet another way in which people express themselves.

        I could go on, but no. Relationships are not puzzle. Relationships are connecting with other equals, who all have a rich inner life just like you do.

        • joa says:

          We may not like to think of it that way, but it is what it is.

          We’re wired to want to have sex because that’s how we continue the species, and males and females each have their own different traits that signal their appropriateness for the task of raising children, so we tend to play up these traits. So it is essentially puzzle and reward (although biology has tricked us, in that it’s not really about the reward at all, but our ability to solve the puzzle that makes us successful).

          Given the nature of games, if one wants to make a gameplay mechanic out of sex then they’re going to have to simplify it down to this level.

          • AXAXAXAS MLO II: MLO HARDER says:

            That’s explictly wrong. For starters, if the only reason we wanted to have sex was because we were following a deeply ingrained desire to have children, our standards for beauty would be constant throughout all cultures and history. Just take a look at how Renascence art adores fat woman and this is disproved. Plus, if our only drive was reproduction, women would only feel the desire for sex when they were in their fertile period, and would no longer feel it after menopause. In fact, if that was the only factor, it’d be no different from the sex lives of apes. The sex drive of human beings is immensely influenced by our state as intelligent and civilized animals; any attempt to link it to bare animal necessities is either an attempt to shame it for being uncivilized or an attempt to ascribe one’s sexual needs to an uncontrollable primate brain so that one does not need to engage with them critically. The fact that human beings like to have sex at every time, sometimes with the same partner for a long time, sometimes with many partners very often, and sometimes one may not want to have sex at all, is one of the most obvious markers of what sets human beings apart from other animals.

            • joa says:

              “Explicitly wrong”? What does that mean?

              Pretty incredible that you’re denying that our drive for sex comes from our need to reproduce.

              The fact that women may want to have sex even when they’re not fertile does not disprove it – biology is not so precise. We may have evolved the desire for sex and then there was no real evolutionary pressure to further refine it so be so exact, i.e. only during fertile periods and so on.

              Like it or not most of our desires, sexual and not come from our primate brain. That’s what drives us – we just have a frontal lobe to engage with the desires in a more abstract way. We’ve only evolved our intelligence in order to help us better satisfy our animal needs, which are very simple: survive and reproduce.

            • AXAXAXAS MLO II: MLO HARDER says:

              I am denying it because I believe it to be a common misconception that I don’t believe in. Humans and, IIRC, dolphins are the only two animals that have sex outside of their reproductive periods. Of course the fact that sex is pleasurable comes from a biological origin, just like the fact that food is good and food that is fatty and greasy is extra good, but that doesn’t mean we are giving in to our basest urges every time we eat anything fattier than a saltine. That’s without mentioning people who are asexual. If you “can’t believe” I’d make that statement it might be a good time to challenge your assumptions.

            • joa says:

              So what are you saying exactly? It’s not at all clear.

              Our urge to have sex comes from the fact that having sex will further the species. That’s a basic fact. Are you honestly arguing with this? Obviously since we’re an intelligent species we can chose to have sex in ways that will never produce a child but that doesn’t change the fact that we evolved our desire for sex because of reproduction.

            • Haplo says:

              Behaviourism conversations are the best conversations. I mean that sincerely.

              (I do not mean that sincerely).

              Folks, it sounds like the two of you are sort of talking past each other. Let me have a look.

              It sounds like what Joa’s saying is this: sex produces children. Therefore, the urge to have sex is there to ensure that people produce children. People want sex, they have sex, babies happen, ergo the ultimate purpose of the urge for sex is reproduction, regardless of whether people actually want children or not.

              Yeah, alright.

              On the other hand, it sounds like what AXAXAXAS MLO… (You’re going to need to tell me why you chose this username, mate, I’m now officially curious) is saying is this: just because the urge for sex has a biological purpose (reproduction) doesn’t mean that the act is always sought after because of that biological purpose. People can desire sex for reasons other than reproduction and often do (people who don’t want children can still want sex).
              Perhaps more importantly considering the topic, what AXAXAXAS is saying is that reproduction doesn’t need to be the ultimate goal of sex and, by extension, sex doesn’t have to be the ultimate goal of a relationship. Relationships don’t need to fulfill the urge to reproduce, but rather can have more abstract purposes. Relationships don’t even need to fulfill the urge for sex- people can desire a relationship, sex and children, or just two or one or none of these things. All of these things can be fluid and dealt with in abstract ways that frustrate easy attempts to link A to B to C, yet still be sustained despite seemingly contradicting biological ‘purpose’.

              Yeah, alright.

              Brains are complex, folks. Each point of view can draw upon plenty of arguments or evidence, but there’s enough nebulousness and complexity alike (as well as plenty of exceptions) that it’s possible to reconcile them.

        • Geebs says:

          The whole pick-up artist thing isn’t a culture, it’s bread and circuses. Conflating a non-existent isn’t-it-horrid of the day with hey-voice-acting-is-expensive-and-it’s-hard-to-pace-the-plot-in-a-40-hour-game is an odd foundation for social commentary.

      • Scrape Wander says:

        I would argue that, taking this interpretation to its logical conclusion yield two ideas.

        1) ALL relationships (not just sexual) are puzzles that result in tiered rewards. Friendship, employed peers, teacher-student, etc. I think this dismisses our (humans that is) inclination towards selfless enjoyment, conversations about literature to no foreseeable end, cooking a delicious meal for a group of friends so you can sit together in the afterglow of non-sexual bliss, discussing battlestar galactica theories. Humans have the capacity to enjoy each other in ways that are not predatory in nature. It’s great.
        2) If relationships are games, that means games are also relationships. In other words, even though you’re sitting on the train playing sudoku on your phone, you’re actually having sex with it, working to bring it to climax. That dirty, dirty little sudoku puzzle. It knows how naughty it is. Which makes it all the more frustrating when you fail / couldn’t get it to cum last night. Hopefully it doesn’t remember.

        In all seriousness tho, I thought Yang’s article was great, but truly reflecting romantic relationships in games will arguably never be achievable. YetI celebrate the notion that we should put more thought into it. BioWare are by no means a bunch of jockish PUAs, but I hope that they read and reflect on texts such as Yang’s, incorporating them into even better sexual dynamic mechanics in future games.

        I feel quite ignorant for never having giving the sexual mechanics in their games more thought.

        • Emeraude says:

          To which I would answer:

          1) Just because relationships may be viewed as puzzles doesn’t mean they are to be viewed as puzzles only.
          2) The equality doesn’t have to be transitive.

          If anything, the big issue is not with the puzzle/game side of the equation. After all it can mean being open, receptive, comprehensive, caring about the others. It’s with the reward side that we hit something problematic.
          But then that’s probably an issue that people have had with behavioral theories since almost as soon as they became part of the intellectual establishment.

          • Scrape Wander says:

            Point. The reward is the thing. I guess, in this sense, BioWare is kind of on the right track, right? Like, I don’t recall getting into sexual relationships in their games providing substantive in-game rewards, unless you count a (usually hilarious) cut-scene or a meaningless xbox achievement a reward.

          • Blackcompany says:

            Exactly the point I tried to make. Relationships can be seen as – and even treated as “puzzle games.” But just because this is true, it does not means its the only we should see or treat them. Just one possible point of view in examining their give and take as well as the rewards that result from it.

        • pepperfez says:

          but truly reflecting romantic relationships in games will arguably never be achievable
          I think accepting this is the first step to having better, more interesting relationships in games. Exploring individual facets of relationships beyond the whole courtship/gifts/saying-the-right-things stage has a ton of potential — I’d love to see the Fire Emblem system, where characters’ affection is increased largely by fighting near each other, become more influential, for instance.

      • Urthman says:

        The thing that you’re missing is that human brains have also evolved the ability to model and run simulations of other people’s brains. And when we get enough feedback and specificity to refine the model, it can be so vivid and compelling that we experience the other person’s pleasure and pain as if it were our own (probably because we’re using some of the same brain functions that give us consciousness of our own pleasure and pain in the first place).

        It’s called empathy, and it’s great. Having a relationship with someone (sexual or otherwise) when you are mirroring each other’s brains and experiencing pain and pleasure together is incredibly satisfying, much more satisfying than when other people are just a black puzzle box that you try to manipulate with inputs to get particular outputs.

        • Emeraude says:

          I don’t see how modeling courtship as a game of sort in any way prevents empathy.

          Seeing the other as a mystery to be pierced and understood – explored – doesn’t necessarily imply a predatory approach or a childish “I pulled all the right moves so why won’t s/he put out ?” mentality.

      • Malibu Stacey says:

        I hate to say this, and perhaps I am simply jaded and cynical

        Nope you just suffer from a complete and utter lack of anything resembling empathy.

    12. RARARA says:

      It is the year 2015, and I’m glad that the death of written video games journalism due to YouTube personalities has been found to have as much merit as the predictions of the death of PC gaming (since 1984).

      Cheers, RPS.

      • Mad Hamish says:

        Amen to that. I suspect the supposed allergy to reading text that is apparently taking over the internet is mostly an affliction of the young and impatient. Youtube is for the most part surgery junk food. A few channels that actually make intelligent videos about games and don’t just churn out brain farts and sensationalism every day, but it’s only a few. I find it humorous that there’s a generation that pride themselves on not watching the drek served up to them on television only to go watch something equally shite on youtube.

        • Emeraude says:

          As much as dislike the video format and loathe the very idea of people watching videos of games instead of playing them, there is a distinct qualitative difference between video hosts and television channels. On the later you can only look at what is being programed, on the former you can look at whatever you want whenever you want and produce content yourself – in the form of comments and videos.

          There is quite clearly a difference. Not enough of one to be proud of preferring one or the other. But enough that the preference might be understandable.

          • Mad Hamish says:

            Yeah there is that, you get to choose what channel you watch. It’s more decentralised and there’s more choice and all that. I have no evidence for this other than youtube comments and it could be influenced by my bitter jealousy of their youth but I suspect that once they start watching a channel they’ll consistently stomach any old shite it puts out. Accursed bloody young people.

        • Premium User Badge

          tigerfort says:

          I’m seriously puzzled by this idea that “impatient” people watch video in preference to reading text. It takes much longer to listen to a thousand words than to read them, and I often lose patience with videos because they’re so slow at communicating information. (Worst when they put text up on screen v e r y s l o w l y, I’ll grant, but “I could have finished reading this by now” is a common complaint.)

          • P.Funk says:

            Perhaps then you misunderstand that those who subsist on video to the exclusion of text are not interested in consuming information or knowledge, but of being distracted in a culturally relevant manner by content and a format of their choosing.

            Its kind of like when people will sit around for hours talking but refuse to discuss anything of merit or intellectual value. The small talkers need distraction but what they don’t need are thoughts that exist beyond their ability to reduce them to simple truths and happy conclusions.

            When someone watches someone else play a game its easy to feel happy because you’re witnessing success, participating in it but not required to expend effort in pursuing it or concern yourself with the emotional trauma of failure or setback based on your own inferior skill set.

            • Premium User Badge

              tigerfort says:

              I’m not failing to understand people’s reasons for doing those things. I’m failing to see why anyone thinks that they’re doing them because they’re impatient. When someone is “being distracted in a culturally relevant manner by content and a format of their choosing”, that doesn’t mean they’re impatient, it just means they’d rather (for example) watch video than read long blog articles. The two are completely unconnected to each other.

          • malkav11 says:

            That’s my big problem with videos too, but it’s worth noting that people’s reading speed and ability to process what they read vary dramatically, and it’s entirely possible there’s a significant population of people for whom video is a faster and more efficient way of absorbing information.

        • RARARA says:

          On that note, actually, if anyone is curious about interesting gaming YouTube channels, try out Extra Credits, Errant Signal, Super Bunnyhop and Sunder.

    13. BreadBitten says:

      I know this is tantamount to heresy around these parts, but I found Eurogamer’s analysis of Nintendo’s possible (and entirely plausible) plans for its future absolutely riveting!

      link to eurogamer.net

    14. Premium User Badge

      particlese says:

      Woah, hey, neat! That Mogwai track sounds to me like music from a Valve-made Tron game. (Ricochet 2 confirmed.)

      What sort of jazz was heard this past week? Jazzy minds want to know.

    15. macaddct says:

      Shout out to /r/hexcellslevels as a subreddit dedicated to hand-built Hexcells Infinite levels

    16. Lord Custard Smingleigh says:

      Crivens! It’s a good thing I’m working on more installments then! More death and horror awaits.