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The Sunday Papers

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Sundays are for going for a run, drinking coffee out of doors, and looking forward to a few days respite.

For Polygon, Jay Castello spoke to trans streamers about why they need better discoverability tools within Twitch. This is a good example of how basic decisions of a platform holder can have sweeping consequences for communities.

“Finding your tribe can be literally lifesaving – literally!” says Steph “FerociouslySteph” Loehr. “Minority identities need spaces they can feel safe in, and usually that means finding someone who understands the struggles first hand. Trans people are just more likely to feel safe and empowered in trans spaces.”

Jay has been busy this week, also writing for Kotaku about how Animal Crossing players are using the game’s customisation options to make it more accessible. Nintendo don’t do much in terms of explicit accessibility options, but their design choices turn out to sometimes lend themselves to accessibility anyway.

“The reason why I’m so passionate about this is that it is very, very rare to find a new game that I’m able to play,” says Minor. He points out, for example, that the sound of your character’s footsteps stops if you are walking into an obstacle, which helps him navigate his island. Different kinds of trees make different noises, which allows players to tell which is which without needing to see them.

Content warning for murder, suicide and harassment. For Wired, Cecilia D’Anastasio wrote about the retro game community’s problems with misogyny, and how despite repeated warning signs, “a network of institutional failures” allowed one person to continue their threatening and abusive behaviour.

At the time, Ferretti had several records under his belt, on NES games in particular. DeSpira recalled that he wanted a full-page spread in Twin Galaxies devoted to an interview about his accomplishments. A former co-owner, she says, asked her to do it just to “get Rudy off our back.” DeSpira balked, but says her manager gave Ferretti her number anyway. “The first words out of his mouth were, ‘You fucking cunt,’” she says. She hung up. Afterward, she says, he called and texted her for hours. (The former co-owner did not respond to WIRED’s request for comment.) Meanwhile, DeSpira watched as Ferretti was put on trading cards by Twin Galaxies’ founder, and received honors at events.

Clever AI man Mike Cook posted his talk on procedurally generating ‘information games’. I find this stuff fascinating, and I think it should be of interest whether or not you make games yourself.

These Papers will become longer and more useful as I get back into the swing of gathering material for them each week. Thanks for continuing to read them in these stumbling weeks.

If the above doesn’t satisfy, I’m going to cheekily recommend something of our own. Last week we published a free tabletop RPG based on EGX Rezzed, the fabulous indie games event none of us can attend right now. It’s filled with jokes and the final boss is Geoff Keighley. Plus, if you can’t play it yourself, you can still have a grand time listening to Alice, Matthew and Nate do so on our podcast.

Music this week is Sylvan Esso’s Tiny Desk (Home) concert. I surely linked their original performance on Tiny Desk back in the day, but this, from May 2020, is miraculously just as good. Have yourself a dance break.

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Graham Smith

Editor-in-chief

Graham is to blame for all this.

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